JavaScript Rendering

Search engines treat JavaScript content on a website different to typical HTML content and will render it separately. As the use of JavaScript on the web increases due to the number of features possible, it is important to understand how search engines view this content and optimize for this. Our Hangout Notes cover best practice recommendations from Google, along with the latest advancements to their rendering engine.

Ensure Hidden Content is Set-up With CSS Rather Than JS if You Want the Content to be Indexed

June 14, 2019 Source

If you have hidden content which you want to be indexed, ensure it is implemented using CSS, rather than sever-side JavaScript, to enable Google to see the content has been loaded when they crawl and render the page.

An Updated User Agent is Expected to Reflect The New Modern Rendering Infrastructure

June 14, 2019 Source

Google has been experimenting with the current user agent settings and is re-thinking the set u. John expects some changes to be announced in the future around an updated user agent so that it reflects the new modern rendering infrastructure.

Look Into Server-side Rendering For Improved UX as Dynamic Rendering is a Temporary Workaround for Crawlers

June 11, 2019 Source

Dynamic rendering is a temporary workaround to allow search engines and social media crawlers to be able to access content even if they can’t render JavaScript. John foresees dynamic rendering being less useful in a few years as all crawlers get better at processing JavaScript, but look into server-side rendering for an improved experience for users.

Ensure all Key Content is Available if You Are Streaming Content

May 28, 2019 Source

If a site is streaming content progressively to a page, John would recommend ensuring all key content is available immediately due to the method used to render content. Any additional content which is useful for users but not critical to be indexed can then be streamed progressively.

Googlebot No Longer Needs to Convert Hashbang URLs into Escaped Fragments

May 28, 2019 Source

Googlebot no longer converts hashbang URLs into escaped fragments as it is able to render and index them directly rather than using the pre-rendered version specified with the escaped fragment. Therefore, John would recommend moving to something that’s URL-based rather than hashtag-based.

Rendering JavaScript Content Will Still Take Longer than HTML Content

May 10, 2019 Source

Despite the new update to Googlebot, JavaScript still needs to be rendered in a second wave of indexing. When indexing Javascript content, the rendering will still take a little more time but this is typically no longer than a couple of days depending on the site.

Be Cautious Implementing Infinite Scroll on Publishing Sites

May 1, 2019 Source

John recommends being cautious implementing infinite scroll on publishing sites because having multiple pieces of content in the same HTML might be confusing for Google if they are individual pieces of content.

Viewport is Expanded During Rendering & Likely to Trigger Infinite Scroll Once or Twice

May 1, 2019 Source

When a page is rendered, Google expands the viewport and then contracts it to try to fit the primary content on the page. Expanding the viewport could trigger one or two infinite scrolls on pages with this functionality, but would not cause Googlebot to keep triggering this and infinitely crawling pages.

URL Inspection Tool Could Change to Include Desktop Rendered Screenshot

April 7, 2019 Source

John cannot confirm that the URL Inspection tool will be changing to include a screenshot of the desktop rendered version of pages. However, John admitted that this is something that is missing and that he will put it on the Search Console team’s radar.

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