Essential Javascript SEO Guide!

Infipi Team

Javascript performs a crucial role in a web platform. It provides many exclusive features that can turn a simple website into a powerful application platform. From the SEO perspective, Javascript – discoverable by Google can help find new users and re-engage the existing users when they search for the content that your website consists. While Google search runs the Javascript code you can optimize some of the errors that may persists in your website.

For website designing companies and SEO specialists, this becomes a must-do task for them to deliver the optimized and search engine friendly web content to the users and search engine crawlers.

Here’s a short guide to understand how search crawlers read Js and what the best practices are to fix the Js bugs!

How Google bots deal with Javascript?

Google bots/crawlers process the Js in 3 main steps:

  1. Crawling
  2. Rendering
  3. Indexing

 When Google fetches a URL by making a HTTP request, it first goes through the robots.txt file and checks if you allow crawling for that URL or not. It skips that URL if disallowed and parses the other URLs in the “href” attribute of HTML code and add them to the crawling queue.

Some websites’ initial HTML code does not contain actual content, bots have to execute Javascript code before reading the actual web content that Js generates.

Googlebot queues all the pages for rendering unless instructed by robots.txt to not to index them. Once the Googlebot’s resources are allowed, the browser renders the page and executes its Js code. The bots parses the HTML links again for crawling and to index the page. 

Use Unique Page Titles & Snippets

Unique, descriptive titles and well explained meta descriptions within a character limit helps users to search quickly the best suited and relevant result for their goals. Some practices to optimize the page title:

  • Every page must have specific and unique title specified in <title> tag.
  • Title should be descriptive and concise
  • Avoid keyword stuffing
  • Brand your title concisely
  • Avoid repeated & common titles
  • Mindfully disallow the search engine from crawling the pages

For meta descriptions, make sure the page descriptions are unique, descriptive and high-quality. 

Write Compatible Code

Browsers offer many APIs and JavaScript is all time evolving language. Make sure your website code is compatible with every Googlebot.

Use Meaningful HTTP Status Code

Googlebot uses HTTP status codes if it encounters something wrong while crawling the webpage. You should use the meaningful status code to Googlebot if the page should not be crawled or indexed like 404 code for page not found, 401 if page is under construction (need admin access), 301/302 if the page is shifted to the new URL, 5xx if there’s something went wrong on server side.

*Add a <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”> to 404 error pages using JavaScript for optimization.

Use Meta Robots Tag Cautiously!

A page can be prevented from Googlebot to index or follow the URL using meta robots tag. Web developers use JavaScript to add meta robots tag to the page or to change its content. Make sure this tag is used wisely for the webpage. If your page initially contains meta robots “no index” tag, the bots will not render and stop crawling that page and skips executing the Js code. 

Fix Images and Lazy-Loaded Content

Images sometimes weigh costly in terms of bandwidth and website performance. This can have a negative impact on the website users. It can take a longer time to load & the visitors have to wait before they can access the content of your website. This can make them impatient and force  to leave your website. The best strategy is to use lazy-loaded content.

Lazy loading or on-demand loading is an optimization technique for the online content, be it a website or a web app. Instead of loading the entire web page and rendering it to the user in one go as in bulk loading, the concept of lazy loading follows the strategy in loading only the required section and delays the remaining, until it is needed by the user.

This can improve the user experience but implementing a lazy load can make the code heavy & a bit complicated. It may also affect the website’s ranking on search engines sometimes, due to improper indexing of the unloaded content. So try to use lazy load content only when needed.

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