Weekly SEO news: 30 July 2019
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Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official: Google and JavaScript

Google has released another document about JavaScript this month. Should you use JavaScript on your web pages? Does JavaScript cause ranking problems?

Official: Google and JavaScript

Google tries to render JavaScript on your pages

If the HTML content of your web pages does not contain URLs or real content, Google tries to render the JavaScript on the web page:

"Crawling a URL and parsing the HTML response works well for classical websites or server-side rendered pages where the HTML in the HTTP response contains all content.

Some JavaScript sites may use the app shell model where the initial HTML does not contain the actual content and Googlebot needs to execute JavaScript before being able to see the actual page content that JavaScript generates."

JavaScript rendering takes a lot of time

Google says that it can take several seconds to render a page:

"Googlebot queues all pages for rendering, unless a robots meta tag or header tells Googlebot not to index the page. The page may stay on this queue for a few seconds, but it can take longer than that."

Once Googlebot's resources allow, a headless Chromium renders the page and executes the JavaScript. Googlebot parses the rendered HTML for links again and queues the URLs it finds for crawling. Googlebot also uses the rendered HTML to index the page.

Google recommends pre-rendering

Although Google tries to render JavaScript pages, many webmasters have reported that this does not always work as expected. Google also recommends that your web server should deliver pre-rendered pages so that search engine bots can read the content:

"Keep in mind that server-side or pre-rendering is still a great idea because it makes your website faster for users and crawlers, and not all bots can run JavaScript."

Web page speed is a ranking factor. If your web server pre-renders your pages, you can be sure that search engine crawlers find the right content, and your web pages will be faster.

Google does not support all JavaScript features

This is another reason to pre-render your web pages: Google might not be able to process all of your JavaScript commands:

"Googlebot has some limitations regarding which APIs and JavaScript features it supports."

If your web pages do not rely on JavaScript to show the content, it is much more likely that Google will find all of the content.

You should use meaningful HTTP status codes

Although website visitors cannot the see HTTP status code that a web page sends, it is very important that your pages use the correct HTTP status codes:

"Googlebot uses HTTP status codes to find out if something went wrong when crawling the page.

"You should use a meaningful status code to tell Googlebot if a page should not be crawled or indexed, like a 404 for a page that could not be found or a 401 code for pages behind a login."

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler checks the HTTP status codes of your web pages. It also shows errors that have a negative influence on your web page rankings.

JavaScript is great, but you should not rely on it

Use JavaScript to enhance your website but do not use it to display the main content of your web pages. If you want to be 100% sure that search engines can find the content on your web pages, your content should be visible even if JavaScript has been disabled.

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler shows you how search engines see your web pages. You can create your SEOprofiler account here:

Analyze your pages now

2. Internet marketing news of the week

John Mueller Google: redirect loops are like broken links

"Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that Google treats redirect loops like broken links. For example, a redirect loop happens if URL A redirects to URL B, which redirects to URL C, which redirects to URL A. [...] For Google, a redirect loop is a page that doesn't work."

Google featured snippets can use descriptions from YouTube

"You wouldn't think the content you find on YouTube, in the description section of a video, would be high quality enough for Google to use for featured snippets in search. But you'd be wrong. Google can and does use YouTube descriptions for featured snippets."

John MuellerGoogle: you need an expert for YMYL pages

"Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout that it should be clear that the content on your web pages is written by an expert if you have a YMYL website. [...]

A YMYL (your money, your life) web page is any page that can affect someone’s financial stability, health, safety, or happiness. Many websites can be YMYL websites."

Google: don't overthink link building

"Google’s John Mueller said in a discussion on Reddit that you shouldn’t overthink link building. Use clear navigation on your website and cross-link your pages when it makes sense. [...]

Concentrate on good links that will have a positive effect on your Google rankings. If you build bad links in the past, remove these links. The tools in SEOprofiler help you with that:

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Is mobile pagination about to make a comeback?
  • A new tool uses AI to spot text written by AI.
  • Bloomberg: To break Google’s monopoly on search, make its index public.
  • Google is testing branded local packs.
  • Some knowledge panels get a big 'Request a quote' button.
  • Google: companies and names come and go and Google can figure this out.
  • Advertisers wasting money on Google Ads through errors.
  • How to show up in Google Maps: a Google My Business optimization checklist.
  • Never-Googlers take the ultimate step to guard their data.

3. Previous articles

Do you need better rankings for your website?

SEOprofiler is a web-based search marketing tool that helps you to get better Google rankings. You can create a free SEOprofiler account here. The step-by-step manual will help you to get started as quickly as possible.