JavaScript SEO: Optimizing Your Javascript Site to be Search Engines Friendly

Written by Daniel E. Nnechi

Ekene Daniel Nnechi
7 min readJul 22, 2023

You know, Javascript has become a big player in today’s web experience, right? It’s all over the place, making websites more interactive and dynamic. But when it comes to SEO, it’s a bit different from the usual strategies we’re used to. Instead of focusing on designing or programming Javascript, webmasters need to understand how Google handles it. This way, they can figure out how to analyze and solve any issues that might affect their site’s performance.

Photo credit: Pexels

So, what does Javascript SEO mean? Well, Javascript is like a magic wand that programmers use to create all those cool evolving web contents like browsers and applications we love. And Javascript SEO is like a branch of Technical SEO, specifically focusing on how websites built with Javascript can shine on search engines.

In simpler terms, the goal of Javascript SEO is to make sure that websites created using Javascript are easy for search engines to crawl, render, and index. Because when search engines can easily understand your site, it means better user-friendliness for your visitors in the long run.

So, if you’re a webmaster or someone who’s managing a website, understanding Javascript SEO is crucial to make sure your site is visible and performs well on search engines. It’s like giving your website an extra boost to reach more people and create a fantastic user experience.

How Does JavaScript Affect SEO?

The whole debate about whether Javascript is good or bad for SEO has been going on for quite some time, and you know what? It’s a bit of a tricky question. Some might say, “It depends!” And honestly, they’re not wrong!

Javascript isn’t like a magical solution that can fix all your SEO woes, but it’s also not something to be ignored entirely. It plays a significant role in web-building and digital marketing, keeping up with the ever-growing online world.

You see, Javascript helps create those snazzy and appealing websites that users just love. And you know what SEO is all about, right? It’s about making your site more visible and getting those higher rankings. So, in a way, Javascript can contribute to that user-friendly experience that SEO strives for.

But, and this is a big but, there are some downsides to using Javascript too. It can cause issues that affect SEO negatively. So, it’s all about finding that balance and using Javascript wisely.

How Google Processes JavaScript Pages

Now, let’s talk about Search Engines, notably, Google and how it deals with Javascript pages. Google has indeed been crawling Javascript for quite some time now, dating back to 2008. And you know what? They’ve gotten pretty good at it! Google has improved a lot, and now they can thoroughly render complete web pages that heavily rely on Javascript.

So, there are three main ways Google processes Javascript:

  • crawling,
  • rendering, and
  • indexing

They’ve come a long way, and it looks like they’ve embraced Javascript as something that’s here to stay.

Photo credit: Pexels

JavaScript SEO: Crawling

You know, when it comes to Javascript-related issues, they can be pretty “Technical” and efficient. But that efficiency is super important because the web is overflowing with tons of content to crawl through! And that’s where Google comes in, and boy, they’re worth their onions! 🧅 But even Google has its limitations, and that’s where the magic of Javascript and other technical programming steps in to lend a helping hand.

So, here’s how it goes: Google’s bots start their journey by discovering URLs from the “crawl queue” through a smoky tendering process (just kidding, it’s an HTTP request!). They then check if those URLs are allowed for crawling and if not, well, the bots have to respect the rules and move on without crawling further.

But fear not, the URLs that are allowed for crawling get parsed in the href attribute of HTML links and are added to the crawl queues. That way, Google can efficiently explore and index all the awesome websites out there, making sure they’re included in search results.

Now, let’s talk about the rising popularity of Javascript in website design. It’s like the star of the show! 🌟 Because with Javascript, you can create updated and interactive content that keeps users engaged and coming back for more. No wonder around 95% of over 1.5 billion websites are using Javascript! It’s not just a trend; it’s a smart move that can greatly influence business growth and give your SEO strategy a big boost.

So, next time you stumble upon a cool and interactive website, just remember that behind the scenes, Javascript is making it all happen, and it’s a crucial player in the game of Technical SEO.

JavaScript SEO: Rendering

So, rendering is a pretty cool process in web development. It’s like magic that turns all those website codes like HTML, CSS, and Javascript into interactive pages that we see and enjoy when we click on links. It’s what makes websites come to life and be visible to us, the awesome website visitors!

Now, when it comes to rendering Javascript, Google has a simple but important goal. It wants to keep track of all the URLs that need rendering and return them in a ready-to-be-processed form. Google then works its magic, processing the Javascript to see if there have been any changes in the DOM (Document Object Model).

This rendering happens after the crawling of the pages and just before they get indexed. Google uses a nifty system called RENDERTRON, which is like a headless Chrome rendering solution built using Puppeteer. It’s like a production line for web pages, getting them ready to be served to all the users out there.

Now, why is rendering so crucial for SEO? Well, it affects how search engine bots index your pages and it also has a big influence on user experience (UX). If your pages are beautifully rendered and easy to navigate, users are more likely to stick around and have a great time on your site.

But, you know what? In some cases, search engines might struggle a bit with crawling and rendering Javascript-heavy websites. It can get a bit complex sometimes, and that can have adverse effects on your site’s ranking and organic traffic. But don’t worry, there’s a silver lining!

Research and practical examples have shown that using Javascript to build your website holds great promises, like creating a beautifully designed and user-friendly space.

JavaScript SEO: Indexing

Now, let’s move on to indexing. It’s like neatly organizing information before users start searching. Google takes all the information it crawled from the web and organizes it in its index, making it easier to find and serve relevant results to users when they search for something.

Remember, “relevance” here doesn’t just mean keywords and structuring. It’s about analyzing the contents and organizing them in Google’s index to make sure users get the most helpful and relevant results.

How to Make Your JavaScript Site SEO Friendly

You know, in the big world of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to success for every website owner. And with Javascript being the most widely used programming language and around 95% of webmasters using it, it’s crucial to ensure your site is SEO friendly, especially if it’s packed with Javascript-powered elements.

So, how do you go about making your Javascript site SEO friendly? Let’s dive into some tips:

First off, take a moment to discover the extent of Javascript usage on your site. It’s simple! Just deactivate Javascript on your browser and see how much content you have left on your site. If there’s not much left without Javascript, that means your website heavily relies on it.

Next, when adding links and images, make sure you do it with consideration of laid-down web standards. This will help search engines better understand and index your content.

Another important step is to ensure that your rendered HTML contains all the useful content you want to appear on your site. This way, search engine bots can easily crawl and index your content.

Consider using server-side rendering, which is a rendering framework that allows your application to display the webpage on the server instead of rendering it in the browser. This can help with SEO since search engine bots can easily access the fully rendered page.

And, of course, make sure that Googlebots can access all the important content and tags on your site. This will improve your chances of ranking well in search results.

But hey, one thing to be mindful of is the “overuse” of Javascript. It’s like a double-edged sword! Sometimes, website owners go a bit overboard with it, and that can hinder successful SEO. Striking a balance is key to enjoying the benefits of the fantastic interactions between Search Engine Optimization and Javascript.

So, there you have it! Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to making your Javascript site SEO friendly and ready to conquer the digital marketing world!

If you have any more questions or need further advice, feel free to ask.

Happy optimizing! 😊



Ekene Daniel Nnechi

I help audacious brands connect with the right audience and drive revenue growth through data-driven marketing communications.