What are the pitfalls of optimizing JS-based sites?
Plus, you need to focus on the time that the engine will spend on putting the page code together. If it is more than 4-5 seconds, the search robot will simply not be able to index the contents of the pages correctly. And it will be uncomfortable for the user to work with the site.
You should always analyze the cache pages of your site in Google. The text cache will show whether Google bot sees your site as you show it to the user. You should look at pages in Google Search Console like a Google bot to check the errors. It is important to remember that JS-events that fill the site are differently seen by the user and Google bot (for example, clicking on the JS-link, opening a form with dynamically loaded content). This can be a problem for indexing certain types of content (for example, a block of reviews), or a tool for hiding content that is not desirable for the Google bot.
Typically, implementing such simple solutions can significantly reduce the percentage of failures.
Under what conditions can business think about using JS engines?
If search traffic is significant for the business, it is not recommended to make JS sites, as further SEO is too complicated. It's worth thinking about JS engines if the most important thing for your site is the speed of work (as JS-based site which works correctly can guarantee minimal delays from the server and clients' side). As an option, if your business just needs to be in trend (that is, the fact of the existence of such a site is essential).
But if you have a small company or agency, there is no reason to spend money on such a site for 1000 - 10 000 visitors per month.
In case you make the JS website easily crawlable and indexable for search engines using server-side rendering or workarounds like dynamic rendering, yes.
Why? If you're relying on search engines to render the pages, you're going to have a hard time ranking your site. It's like starting a soccer game with 0-5.
Which aspects should you consider when optimizing JS websites?
Making sure that search engines can easily discover, crawl and index your content is essential for every website, so that includes websites that heavily rely on JS too.
There are multiple ways to go about optimizing JS websites, notably server-side rendering or dynamic rendering.
What SEO advantages or disadvantages do these sites have?
In my book, JS websites don't have SEO advantages, only UX advantages.
Example: one of the most well known JS websites is Twitter. It provides a highly interactive interface, and is continuously showing updates.
When we're talking about the disadvantages of JS websites, and provided you're not using any kind of server-side rendering or dynamic rendering, I'd say the biggest disadvantage is that you're relying on search engines to render the pages. This process is highly inefficient, and slow. Rendering pages cost a lot of server resources, so search engines can only allocate a small number of its resources to rendering web pages. This means you shouldn't be surprised it can take search engines several days, or even weeks, to index your freshly published content. For comparison: with little effort you can have regular HTML pages indexed in a few hours without doing anything fancy.
In which cases is it worth creating a JS-based site?
The Twitter example I already mentioned is suitable here: in case you want to provide a highly interactive interface and real-time updates. Say for instance: a website that keeps track of sports results (e.g. soccer scores). You'd want to update your visitors in real-time about changes.
It's good to note that there's plenty of good use cases in which it totally makes sense to heavily rely on JS when developing sites. For instance, for Web Apps, such as ContentKing, JS is essential to provide the user experience we're aiming for.
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