How can JavaScript damage your SEO

Little details can hurt or help your SEO. Examples are websites created using JavaScript, which is commonly used to create dynamic content.
How can JavaScript damage your SEO

If I’m looking for a company website using a search engine, but I’m having trouble finding the website in the search engine results that are easily available on the site, one of the first questions I ask myself is whether this page or its elements were designed in JavaScript. JavaScript can be a powerful tool for creating dynamic content, but its use also has some drawbacks.

Sledovanie pozícií kľúčových slov v základnom nástroji pre SEO - Google Search Console

Why JavaScript?

We live in a time when employees, customers and shareholders want to see dynamic content. Websites based on a large amount of text just don’t work anymore, and static content doesn’t appeal to anyone. The need to create websites featuring video content has increased the popularity and use of JavaScript. As a result, many companies have started to make more use of JavaScript to create video and HTML pages for static content.

However, there is a catch. Google Crawler may have difficulty finding and understanding web content programmed exclusively in JavaScript.

From an SEO perspective, JavaScript brings with it two specific issues:

  1. Crawlability: JavaScript can limit the content Google crawler can find. If Google crawler cannot find your content, it cannot index it.
  2. Obtainability: A web browser loads your website, but cannot identify everything included under its content. If Google crawler cannot identify your content, it cannot include it among relevant keywords.

A browsing or searchability issue could cause your website to not appear in results on Google, Seznam, or other search engine, which will cause a drop in your website traffic. This issue can also occur when migrating a website from HTML to JavaScript.

JavaScript paradox

In his article „How to Diagnose and Solve JavaScript SEO Issues in 6 Steps“ for Moz, the author, Tomek Rudzki, describes migration-related issues as a “JavaScript paradox”:

  • Big brands jump on the JavaScript hype train, because they believe that JavaScript frameworks create an amazing user experience (UX).
  • Reality shows that JavaScript frameworks are too complex.

What should you do?

What should you do if you lose traffic because of a website designed in JavaScript? Solutions can be complicated, but they exist:

It is advisable to avoid problems from the onset. How? Involve your SEO team in your website development. A good SEO expert will point out potential issues and find alternatives before your website is programmed.

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Google improves its ability to understand JavaScript.

Google can currently index JavaScript, but it still has trouble crawling information. Therefore, some pages with high JavaScript content may appear in search results, but Google still has difficulty understanding their content, which is also reflected in their resulting positions.

We believe that we are now only beginning to get beneath the surface of JavaScript and SEO, but thanks to Google’s efforts to improve understanding of JavaScript, this environment is sure to change.

Published on:
18. January 2021
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SmartBase is a full-service development studio focusing on interactive solutions mainly e-commerce solutions, educational applications, complex web or mobile applications.