Weekly Wisdom Bartosz Góralewicz: 4 Steps To Diagnose Your JavaScript SEO Issues

JavaScript SEO is a complicated issue that effects every project. This blog post will help you diagnose your JavaScript SEO issues and create custom fixes for them. The steps are broken into four easy-to-follow parts:
1) What’s Wrong? 2) Fix It! 3) Measure the Results 4) Tweak Your Approach to Optimization


Transcript has been changed.

Good day, everyone. Bartosz Góralewicz is my name. Welcome to SEMrush Weekly Wisdom, I’m the CEO of Onely. We’re going to talk about JavaScript SEO today, and we’re going to get a little nerdy with it.

For a moment, consider the history of JavaScript SEO. SEO using JavaScript is a relatively new notion. It gained traction in 2016 when we released our first experiment demonstrating that Google had issues correctly indexing JavaScript-generated material. This experiment soon gained a lot of traction since it demonstrated that Google isn’t perfect; it’s not very good. It’s having trouble displaying JavaScript. As a result, Google was able to display a little amount of JavaScript. It was and still is, on the whole, a little sluggish. However, most other search engines at the time had the ability or capacity to index even a small amount of JavaScript information. Nonetheless, this revealed a little issue, which is what I’d want to discuss today.

JavaScript vs. HTML

Let’s begin by defining the primary differences between HTML and JavaScript content, since this is something that we must distinguish somehow. For years, we’ve all been used to webpages made using HTML and CSS. When you look at the source code of an HTML website, you can see the majority of the material that will be shown when you open it. In many circumstances, however, this is not the case with JavaScript. When you look at the code of a JavaScript-powered website, you’ll see that there are often just a few lines of JavaScript script and no visible content on the page.

So, in a visual sense, HTML is similar to a ready-to-eat cake, and it is practically ready to be digested by Googlebot and WRS (web rendering service). And JavaScript is nothing more than a collection of ingredients that must be processed by your browser on your mobile device, your desktop computer, or Googlebot, and then rendered by the rendering service to produce the final result, or, in this case, the finished cake. As a result, this consumes a lot of resources, notably on the CPU of your device or the Google servers. And it’s because of this why JavaScript is so tough to deal with, since it’s both simple and sophisticated at the same time.

Before we go any farther, let me say something. And a lot of SEOs will say that JavaScript is a bad thing. I can see where you’re coming from. We never had an issue with it after we identified the problem and worked with developers to address it after working with JavaScript for quite some time and dealing with a number of corporate firms, eCommerce platforms that are driven by JavaScript. So, I suppose JavaScript isn’t entirely bad. It’s only a little more complicated than the HTML and CSS we’re all familiar with.

Is Your Website Properly Crawled and Indexed? A 4-Step Process

Let’s go through a brief checklist on how to ensure that Google and other search engines correctly scan and index your website. With these procedures, you can determine if you have a JavaScript issue or whether this is a non-issue for your website.

Step 1: Examine How Your Site Performs When JS Is Disabled

The first, really easy step is to open your Chrome browser. Simply install the Quick JavaScript Switcher plugin. Turn off JavaScript and check to see if any of the information on your website changes. If you disable JavaScript and notice that portions of your article, product descriptions, or photographs vanish, this indicates that Google may have difficulty indexing certain areas of your website. So that’s the first step.


Step 2: Use the URL Inspection Tool on Google.

Check whether your website renders correctly for Google using the Google URL inspection tool. That is a fairly easy procedure, and you may check to see whether the page renders correctly after that. And all you have to do is look at the code that Google processed and check whether it’s what you’re searching for. Is this the material that we’re delivering to the browsers? Is the material the same as what I see in Chrome or whatever you’re using?


Step 3: Double-check your indexing

Step three is the easiest method to see whether your website uses two waves of indexing. It’s a little complicated, but it’s the only way to tell. Check Google.com to discover whether the material from your website or page that you released within the previous few minutes or hours has been indexed. If you just published a new post an hour ago and you notice that the URL is indexed, check sure that Google has indexed every single element of that article or page.


And it’s at this point that I’ll have to teach a new concept: partial indexing. With JavaScript content, it’s possible that part of your content inside that URL gets indexed while other information isn’t. This is where things get a little sticky, since the stuff that won’t be indexed is content that uses JavaScript. Check various elements of the website to determine whether they are properly indexed in Google.

Step 4: Compare the codes

Step four is to go to your search console and inspect a few last crawled sites if you’re feeling nerdy and want to delve a little further. Compare the code in the Google Search Console to what you’re seeing in your browser to determine if there are any discrepancies.


So, those are the four stages you must follow. But what if you discovered any flaws or possible troubles throughout those four steps? For instance, you may notice that Google takes a long time to index your information, or that part of your content is never indexed by Google or other search engines.

If this occurs, you’ll need to think about how to render your JavaScript for a search engine, most likely Google and Googlebot, depending on your market. This is something I’ll be discussing in the upcoming edition of Weekly Wisdom with Bartosz, so stay tuned. And I hope you loved this episode as much as I did. Thank you a lot.

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