Weekly SEO news: 22 December 2015
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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Experiment: does Google crawl dynamic content?

Earlier this year, Sander Nagetegaal from Centrical.com did a series of experiments to find out if Google crawls dynamic content. What did he find out and what does this mean to the Google rankings of your own website?

Google JavaScript: yes, no, maybe?

What did he test?

Many modern content management systems dynamically insert content on web pages through JavaScript code. If Google cannot crawl that content, these web pages will  look as if they have no content at all. Sander tested several different scenarios:

  1.     Content injection before DOM has loaded
  2.     Content injection after DOM has loaded
  3.     Content injection by async javascript
  4.     Content injection after httpRequest
  5.     JSON-LD content
  6.     JSON-LD injection
  7.     JSON-LD injection, asynchronously
  8.     JSON-LD injection after httpRequest
  9.     JSON-LD injection with Google Tag Manager
  10.     Meta elements injection
  11.     Meta elements injection, asynchronous
What did he find out?

Sander Nagetegaal found out that Google crawls and indexes all content injected by Javascript, independent of whether it is synchronously or asynchronously injected. However, JSON-LD content fails to show up in the search results. Here are his results:

  • Google crawls and indexes all content that was injected by Javascript.
  • Google even shows results in the SERPs that are based on asynchronously injected content.
  • Google can handle content from httpRequest().
  • However, JSON-LD as such does not necessarily lead to SERP results (as opposed to the officially supported SERP entities that are not only indexed, but also used to decorate the SERP).
  • Injected JSON-LD gets recognized by the structured data testing tool - including Tag Manager injection. This means that once Google decides to support the entities, indexing will not be a problem.
  • Dynamically updated meta elements get crawled and indexed, too.

What does this mean to the rankings of your own website?

Two months ago, Google discontinued its supports for its previous proposal to make AJAX web pages crawlable by Googlebot. As the experiments above show, Google can index the content anyway now.

However, it might still be a good idea to make sure that web crawlers that cannot index JavaScript can also access your content. In addition, Google's Gary Illyes said that contents won't be indexed by Google if you put them in a JavaScript array that only expands the content when you click.

Google can index content that is delivered by JavaScript. If you must use JavaScript to serve the content of a website, this shouldn't cause any problems with Google. However, other search engines might not be as good as Google when it comes to JavaScript indexing.

If possible, make sure that the content of your web pages is accessible from all devices, with or without JavaScript enabled. The tools in our web-based website promotion tool SEOprofiler help you to make sure that Google and other search engines can index your pages correctly.

In addition, the tools help you to make sure that potential customers find your website through the right keywords. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Try SEOprofiler now

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google: indexing HTTPS pages by default

"Today we'd like to announce that we're adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page.

When two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, we’ll typically choose to index the HTTPS URL."

GoogleGoogle: avoid commas, semicolons, spaces and special characters in URLs

"In a help thread on in a webmaster forum, Google’s John Mueller said that you should avoid special characters in URLs [...]

URLs like that are often harder to automatically link (when someone posts in a forum or elsewhere), and hard for us to recognize correctly when we parse text content to try to find new URLs."

Google search ranking update continue

"Remember the unconfirmed Google update from November 19th? Well, there is speculation that there are still fluctuations around that update that are continuing to roll out.

Glenn Gabe is following it pretty closely and he posted on Twitter that he saw the November 19th update, then saw a flutter with it on December 4th and then again on December 10th."

GooglePotential Google search update on December 16th?

"Google told us Penguin isn't happening in 2015 and that means Panda and other search quality ranking changes are likely not happening either. But Google is constantly updating their core search algorithms, even now, so maybe there was something that was rolled out last night?"

The search for an optimal AdWords CPC

"To help find the optimal solution, we need to have a clear goal. I feel the most obvious goal to aim for is to maximize the profit of a PPC campaign. Maximizing revenue is fine, but its one-dimensional nature can lead you into trouble. (Remember, 'Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity.')

Let me first try and pique your interest in this problem and its shape-shifting answer, then go on to discuss the journey to finding a better understanding of the answer."

Search engine newslets

  • Google testing new brand name medical Knowledge Panels.
  • Social analytics firm Topsy shut down by Apple two years after purchase.
  • Google’s change of address tool is broken.
  • Four years of Schema.org - recent progress and looking forward.
3. Recommended resources

SEOprofiler Smart

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  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • AdWords Profiler and Ranking Profiler
  • and much more.

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4. Previous articles
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