JavaScript SEO: Best Practices and Debugging

If your website relies heavily on client-side rendered JavaScript, then you should know that search engines are having a difficult time crawling and indexing it efficiently. In most cases, this means your site won’t rank well in Google, which is a huge fault that needs to be tackled immediately.

JavaScript SEO

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And I believe that’s why you’ve clicked on this article, so all you have to do is simply read on to learn more. Now you might be wondering why JavaScript is harmful to your site, right. Well, the read on to know the reason even though JavaScript is a great option to use sometimes.

JavaScript SEO: Best Practices and Debugging

JavaScript is a great option to make website pages more interactive and less boring yes we know, but at the same time, it is a good way to kill a website’s SEO if implemented wrongly. No matter how great your website is, if Google can’t index which will be likely to JavaScript issues, you’re missing out on traffic opportunities.

The reason is, your site index is a way of getting you more traffic and exposure, so if your JavaScript is correctly fixed, it will cause some issues with the site. In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about JavaScript SEO best practices and also helpful tools that you can use to debug JavaScript issues.

Why JavaScript is Dangerous for SEO

This actually one of the plenty questions that people ask

Website Navigation is not Crawlable

The problem here is the links in navigation are not in accordance with the standards of the web, making Google unable to see or follow them. Why;

  • This makes it harder for Google to discover internal pages on the site.
  • Authority is not properly distributed.
  • No clear indication of relationships between the pages that are within the site.

Image Search has Gone Down due to Lazy Load Implementation

While lazy loading is quite a great means to decrease pages, the process can also be dangerous if implemented wrongly. 


  • The content that is hidden under lazy loading might not be discovered by Google which is due to the wrong implementation.
  • It won’t be ranked if Google doesn’t discover it.

The site was switched to react with no consideration of SEO

You might be asking what’s wrong here, well here’s what’s wrong;

  • There’s nothing found on the page, it won’t rank the page.
  • If there multiple pages that look the same to Googlebot, it can choose just one, and then the rest will be approved.

Things to Know about Google and JavaScript Relationships

Here are some things you need to know about how Google treats your content;

  • Google doesn’t interact with content, can’t click buttons on your pages, expand or even collapse the content and others.
  • It doesn’t scroll.

Best Practices for SEO Best Practices

  1. Add Links according to Web Standards

While “web standards” may sound a bit intimidating, in reality, it just means you should link to internal pages using the HREF attribute:

<a href=”your-link-goes-here”>your relevant anchor text</a>

By doing this, Google can easily find the links and also follow them. The following should never be used;

  • window.location.href=‘/page-url‘
  • <a onclick=“goto(‘’)”>
  • #page-url

Just so you know, the last option can still be successfully used if you want to bring people to a specific part of this page, which is not something you would like. Have in mind that Google will not index all individual variations of your URL with “#” added to it.

  1. Add Images according to web standards

Just as with internal links, image usage should follow web standards as well, and that way Googlebot can easily discover and index the images. Your website image should be linked from the “src” HTML tag as follow;

<img src=”image-link-here.png” />.

This helps with the page’s speed optimization and also works well if implemented properly.

  1. Use Server-side rendering

If you wish for Google to read and rank content on your site, then you should make sure that the content is available on the server. 

Be sure that Rendered HTML has all the main information needed

The rendered HTML should have the right information as listed below;

  • Copy on the page.
  • Images.
  • Canonical tag.
  • Title & Meta description.
  • Meta robots tag.
  • Structured data.
  • Hreflang.
  • Any other important tags.

Tools for Debugging JavaScript in SEO Implementation

JavaScript is actually more complicated than before and that can add, remove or even change elements, so looking just at the source code is not enough, rendered HTML is needed to be checked as well.

  • Check how much the site relies on JavaScript in other to serve its content.
  • Another step is to check if Googlebot is served the right content and as well as tags.

Other tools;

  • You can view rendered source chrome extension to use.
  • Carry out JavaScript rendering check.

There you have it. Hope you find this article helpful.

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