What I Learned About SEO From Building Websites With The 10 Most Used JS Frameworks

16 September 2019

Posted in: BSEO

The web is rapidly evolving towards Single Page Applications and JavaScript-driven websites, and understanding the effects on SEO is key to being a successful technical SEO.


Speaker: Jan-Willem Bobbink
Company: notprovided.eu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jbobbink
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jbobbink/
Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/11internet/what-i-learned-about-seo-from-using-the-10-most-used-js-frameworks-brightonseo

What was the talk about?

To start Jan, presented us with some statistics regarding the recent change towards using JavaScript frameworks amongst web developers. From the statistics shown, it is apparent that JavaScript is becoming one of the most popular languages used by web developers.

Jan then progressed onto talking about why we should use server-side rendering when using JavaScript, and how you can use Googlebot and the URL Inspection Tool to determine if Google will render an entire. He defined the following basic HTML requirements:

  • Title and meta tags
  • Directives like indexing and crawling directives, canonical references and hreflang annotations
  • All textual content, including a logical set of headings
  • Structured data markup
  • Careful lazy loading

Jan then went on to describe how there can be some data persistence risks when crawling for data. Each Googlebot crawling does not pass anything to the next URL request due to headless browsing, so cookies, local storage and session data cannot be used.

The talk moved on to defining what can break when using JavaScript frameworks and how to test them for robustness. These techniques are defined as follows:

  • Unit test the server-side rendering, as this can break and cause issues. You should ensure that you have a unit test for the server-side rendering.
  • Use a third-party monitoring tool to keep track of the server-side rendering. This must be a third-party tool so it can highlight any problems that have occurred without any influence.
  • Reduce the amount of JavaScript. Using a lot of JavaScript in web development is considered unnecessary and should be reduced to enhance the performance of your site.
  • Use the log files to see if any JavaScript issues are occurring. Typically this is due to the JavaScript files not loading.

Potential impact on the industry

With JavaScript becoming more prevalent in web development, SEOs need to be conscious of this, and aware of how JavaScript errors can affect rankings.

Favourite quote

“JavaScript will define and impact the future of most SEO consultants. A big chunk of websites has moved, is moving, or will move over to a JS-framework-driven platform.”

Key takeaways

  • JavaScript will be used more and more in web development.
  • Developers should be conscious of how much JavaScript they’re using during web development.
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