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5 Simple Steps to More Crawlable JavaScript

5 Simple Steps to More Crawlable JavaScript

5 Simple Steps to More Crawlable JavaScript

5 Simple Steps to More Crawlable JavaScriptGoogle has had the capabilities of crawlable JavaScript for years, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve actually been efficient at it. In fact, from an SEO perspective, Google’s ability to effectively crawl and index JavaScript websites could be described as extremely unhelpful. The simple fact is that HTML sites proved to provide a better foundation for SEO, so that’s where many businesses focused their website design.


Fast forward to 2018 where times have changed -sort of. Googlebot is reportedly much more efficient at crawling JavaScript, leaving many wondering if this is where the future of web design is heading. Before we get too carried away making predictions about the future, let’s reel it back and talk about how to maximize search engine optimization for JavaScript sites today.


The fact is that while Google might be significantly better at crawling JavaScript, the process still falls short of being highly efficient, meaning that when you use JavaScript, search engines are going to need a bit of a helping hand from you by making it as easy as possible for them to crawl JavaScript files.  

Not sure where to begin? Here are 5 easy steps to crawlable JavaScript.


Prerendering for Speed


At this point, we should all know that speed is crucial to user experience (UX) and that UX is a critical component of SEO. Client side rendering helps to reduce the number of trips to and from the server to load page content. This provides a faster, cleaner experience for the end user – good thing, right?


Sure, except that client side rendering is more difficult to crawl and can slow site indexing down to a snail’s pace. If you’ve got months to wait around for your site to be indexed, then great. If not, consider prerendering client side content to make it easier for Google to crawl, especially if you’re using a framework like Angular.


Links and Anchors


Building links can be a laborious aspect of SEO. The last thing you want is to have your hard work be in vain because the search engine isn’t able to crawl it. If a link is coded in JavaScript without pairing a URL in an href with visible anchor text, then it isn’t recognized as a link at all. In essence, it might look like a link and act like a link, but if Googlebot doesn’t see it as a link then it means nothing. Make sure that links have an anchor tag with a href, and URL wrapped around the link text.


Check Your URLs


It’s common to see the # symbol make its way into the URLs of JavaScript websites. The problem is that if your URL has a # symbol, the search engine won’t crawl or index anything after the symbol itself. But wait, there’s an exception. URLs with “#!” still get the green light from Google.


Take a Sneak Peak


Before you throw your hands up in frustration, take a step back and look at what Google’s crawlers are picking up on your website. Use Google’s Search Console’s Fetch and Render tool to provide a better picture of what stubborn crawling issues remain on your JavaScript site.


Set a Limit


While Google has become much more efficient at crawling JavaScript, it’s still not perfect. One of the most effective ways of making your site more crawlable it by limiting the number of JavaScript files that it contains.


Crawlability can make or break your website’s success. This isn’t a place where you want to leave anything to chance. We’ offer complete web design and SEO services. Contact Ola Moana today and let us help you build an online presence that gets noticed.