JavaScript is great…but not always for SEO


We recently received a new enquiry from a company that had experienced a big loss in traffic following the launch of their new website. We often see this anyway as many website migrations are not handled properly, with not enough consideration given to the effects on rankings in search. However, this recent enquiry had a key issue which we have seen a few times previously and seems to be becoming more prevalent. That is, the increased use of JavaScript to load the main content on a page.

Whereas a “normal” HTML website will have all of the code processed at the server and sent to the browser in its final form, a website that relies on JavaScript will only send the HTML part of the code to the browser with the JavaScript part then rendered by the browser. This is a two-step process and search engines handle it so. However, many JavaScript implementations are not SEO friendly and cause serious crawling and indexing issues.

With a recent client we replaced the JavaScript with HTML and the rankings recovered. It’s no coincidence. If you are planning on using JavaScript on your web pages, it’s still best to use it only for the dynamic features necessary for your users to carry out certain interactions with the website, not for loading the content.

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