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1027 28
News 7 min read July 29, 2020

How To Find Errors On JavaScript Pages: JS Rendering Is Now Available In Site Audit

How To Find Errors On JavaScript Pages: JS Rendering Is Now Available In Site Audit
Pavel Alekseev
Pavel Alekseev
Product/Project Manager at Serpstat
Can't stop, addicted to the updates! We recently released two significant features: the Site Audit API and the Links Intersection tool for finding new link sources. Today I will introduce to you another Serpstat feature - JavaScript rendering in Audit.
Previously, SEOs could not check pages with JS scripts for technical issues with our Audit, because it did not see the content there. Now the tool can render JS pages and check them for issues. Read more about the update and why you need it below.
How To Automate Searching For Technical Issues: Leave All Your Work To Our API

What is rendering
Before talking about the new Audit feature, let's take a look at how Google indexes page content, which is hidden in JS scripts.

JavaScript rendering is the creation of an HTML mask of a page that takes into account the changes made by JavaScript.

Previously, search engine crawlers only crawled and indexed content that was stored in static HTML source. Today, many sites use JavaScript frameworks and libraries (Angular, React, Vue.js, and Polymer).

Sites made in JS do not display the content of the page by the server. The content is loaded using JS in the user's browser. For example, here is the Serpstat main page that uses React scripts. What the user sees:
As you can see from the second screenshot, there is no content in the source code of the page that user sees.

Therefore, the reality is that developers' creation can not always be adapted to the requirements of a search engine. While Google claims that the crawler is good at rendering JavaScript, the reality is somewhat different.

What's going on in the code:
Личный кабинет Serpstat
1
JavaScript is very sensitive to errors. One mistake in your code can make Google unable to display your page.
2
Google has problems with crawling JS files. Crawling, compiling, and running JS files takes a very long time. In the case of a website that is teeming with JavaScript, Google Bot must wait until all the steps of the JS file components are completed before it can index the content.
3
Google technical limitations. Many modern features are simply not available for Google Bot.
The Pitfalls Of Optimizing JavaScript Sites: Are They Worth It?
Personal advice
Want to learn how to use Serpstat to find and fix errors on your site?
Leave a request, and our experts will advise you on the development of your project, share training materials, and offer test access to Serpstat!

Why JS rendering in Site Audit is great
As you can see, even Google has problems with JavaScript crawling. Therefore, it took us a lot of effort to teach our crawler how to do JS.
Note: Currently, the JS rendering function is available only in the Page Audit tool, but soon it will also be available in the Site Audit module.

What was the problem
When loading pages with JS scripts, the source code does not contain the content that is in them. The server issues a page containing the JS code that will be executed in the browser. Only then the content appears. That is, the Audit needed to get content that is not on the page since before that, it downloaded the source code for verification.

How did we solve the problem
Now, during the audit, we run the source code for the page in an emulated browser. The JS code is executed and we get the final result, with all the content of the page; an audit is conducted on this final result.
SEO experts believe that one of the effective ways to edit meta tags is to use the Google Tag Manager (GTM). You can read about the advantages of this method here.

However, this method also has disadvantages: if you want to check your site for technical issues, then many crawlers will not cope with this task, since they will not find meta tags from the server source code. To solve this problem, JS rendering in One Page Audit is suitable.

Conclusion
The value of this function is that it does not need to be connected additionally, it is available to everyone at once. Therefore, you need to do just a few simple steps:
1
Go to the Page Audit dashboard.
2
Create a new project.
3
Be surprised that you don't need to launch anything extra:)
4
Get the result.
Thanks to the new Site Audit feature, SEO specialists will be able to crawl the site taking into account the changes made to the code by JavaScript elements. This will help you avoid serious errors that could hinder ranking that were previously impossible to identify.

If you still have questions, do not hesitate to ask them in the online chat!

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