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Troubleshooting SEO for JS Frameworks - Patrick Stox - DTD 2018

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It's what it says, some of the problems we've seen with JS frameworks and some of the things to look at to figure out what's going on.

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Troubleshooting SEO for JS Frameworks - Patrick Stox - DTD 2018

  1. 1. @patrickstox #DTDconf Troubleshooting SEO for modern JS frameworks
  2. 2. @patrickstox #DTDconf Who is Patrick Stox Technical SEO for IBM - Opinions expressed are my own and not those of IBM. I write, mainly for Search Engine Land I speak at some conferences like this one, SMX, Pubcon, TechSEO Boost, etc. Organizer for the Raleigh SEO Meetup (most successful in US) We also run a conference, the Raleigh SEO Conference Also the Beer & SEO Meetup (because beer) 2017 US Search Awards Judge, 2017 UK Search Awards Judge 2018 Interactive Marketing Awards Judge Some of you may know me from the Wix SEO Hero contest (I got disqualified https://beanseohero.com/)
  3. 3. @patrickstox #DTDconf Why do SEOs need to learn about JS?
  4. 4. @patrickstox #DTDconf WordPress is replacing their TinyMCE editor with Gutenberg built in React The content blocks make it into more of a page builder
  5. 5. @patrickstox #DTDconf Be prepared Devs will focus on build and functionality and SEO and accessibility are afterthoughts. Many of these folks are devs who haven’t had to work with SEOs before. Counterpoint: many SEOs haven’t worked with JS or these devs.
  6. 6. @patrickstox #DTDconf What’s an SEO to do?
  7. 7. @patrickstox #DTDconf Find out about the setup, what framework, how is it rendering? • Server-Side Rendering (SSR) – renders on demand from the server • Pre-Rendering – a headless browser records the DOM (Document Object Model) and creates an HTML snapshot. Like SSR, but done pre-deployment. Prerender.io, BromBone, PhantomJS • Client-Side Rendering – rendered in the users browser • Isomorphic or Universal – Serves a rendered version on load but then replaces with JS for subsequent loads.
  8. 8. @patrickstox #DTDconf What should I use? • Server-Side Rendering (SSR) – slower TTFB unless you cache, will work for the ~2% of users with JS disabled. • Pre-Rendering – may not serve the latest version, doesn’t allow for personalization, will work for the ~2% of users with JS disabled. • Client-Side Rendering - longer to load but everything is available and can be changed quickly. A loading image is typically used but you may see a blank page. • Isomorphic or Universal - This is probably the best setup, but it can be a lot of resources to load.
  9. 9. @patrickstox #DTDconf Can I detect the User Agent and serve an image only to Googlebot? Sort of. It’s technically cloaking, but if the output is the same I would do it. Really, make sure your output is the same.
  10. 10. @patrickstox #DTDconf What about Bing or international markets? Fabrice Canel of Bing said at Pubcon Vegas in 2017 that Bing processes JS. (be wary) If you’re in Asian markets you’re out of luck for now. I’d still prefer to use Isomorphic or Universal.
  11. 11. @patrickstox #DTDconf URLs Most of the frameworks have a router allowing you to customize URLs. /en/us?Topics%5B0%5D%5B0%5D=cat.topic%3Ainfrastructure Create patterns to match /{language}/{country}/{category}/{slug}
  12. 12. @patrickstox #DTDconf They don’t have to change URLs to show different content To change URLs for different content, usually History API and HTML5 pushstate() are used.
  13. 13. @patrickstox #DTDconf Links You still need <a href= ng-click, href=“javascript:void(0);” – these won’t be seen as links
  14. 14. @patrickstox #DTDconf Noscript If you put something in <noscript> it’s probably going to be ignored.
  15. 15. @patrickstox #DTDconf It’s hard to 404 You can add a noindex to any error pages along with a message. Will be treated as a soft- 404. JS redirect to an actual 404 page that returns the status code. Create a 404 Route.
  16. 16. @patrickstox #DTDconf Things start to get interesting…
  17. 17. @patrickstox #DTDconf View Source gets you this: <!DOCTYPE html><html><head><meta charSet="utf-8" class="next-head"/><script class="next- head">window.NREUM||(NREUM={});NREUM.info = {"agent":"","beacon":"bam.nr-data.net","errorBeacon":"bam.nr- data.net","licenseKey":"2961bc4e3a","applicationID":"103427480","applicationTime":0.347295,"transactionName":"YQdSMU cDXEMAVEUMClhNcxBGFl1dTkBUCQZZD1U=","queueTime":0,"ttGuid":"8aaa5aa3717120","agentToken":null}; (window.NREUM||(NREUM={})).loader_config={xpid:"VQIHUVBSCRABVFJWBQYDXlQ="};window.NREUM||(NREUM={}),_ _nr_require=function(t,e,n){function r(n){if(!e[n]){var o=e[n]={exports:{}};t[n][0].call(o.exports,function(e){var o=t[n][1][e];return r(o||e)},o,o.exports)}return e[n].exports}if("function"==typeof __nr_require)return __nr_require;for(var o=0;o<n.length;o++)r(n[o]);return r}({1:[function(t,e,n){function r(t){try{c.console&&console.log(t)}catch(e){}}var o,i=t("ee"),a=t(20),c={};try{o=localStorage.getItem("__nr_flags").split(","),console&&"function"==typeof console.log&&(c.console=!0,o.indexOf("dev")!==-1&&(c.dev=!0),o.indexOf("nr_dev")!==- 1&&(c.nrDev=!0))}catch(s){}c.nrDev&&i.on("internal-error",function(t){r(t.stack)}),c.dev&&i.on("fn- err",function(t,e,n){r(n.stack)}),c.dev&&(r("NR AGENT IN DEVELOPMENT MODE"),r("flags: "+a(c,function(t,e){return t}).join(", ")))},{}],2:[function(t,e,n){function r(t,e,n,r,c){try{h?h-=1:o(c||new UncaughtException(t,e,n),!0)}catch(f){try{i("ierr",[f,s.now(),!0])}catch(d){}}return"function"==typeof u&&u.apply(this,a(arguments))}function UncaughtException(t,e,n){this.message=t||"Uncaught error with no additional
  18. 18. @patrickstox #DTDconf Source and Google’s Cache Both the source code and Google’s cache are raw HTML, before JS is processed. You can’t rely on these when working with JS.
  19. 19. @patrickstox #DTDconf Inspect or Inspect Element Viewing the DOM shows you the HTML after the JS has been processed. If you want to make sure Google sees it, load in the DOM by default without needing an action like click or scroll.
  20. 20. @patrickstox #DTDconf Render a page as Googlebot • Google Search Console / Fetch and Render - renders a page with the real Googlebot as either desktop or mobile, lists blocked / unreachable resources. Lets you submit rendered pages to Google search for indexing. This is stricter than the system normally used. • Google Mobile Friendly Test - renders a page with smartphone Googlebot. • Merkle Fetch and Render - fetch & render a page with any bot • Google Rich Results Test shows rendered DOM > Crawlers: Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Botify
  21. 21. @patrickstox #DTDconf To check indexing Search Google: site:domain.com “use a snippet of text from your page”
  22. 22. @patrickstox #DTDconf It’s not quite that simple
  23. 23. @patrickstox #DTDconf What may be indexed 1st is HTML, before the render happens So you may not find what’s in your site: search yet. You’ll see errors in the GSC HTML Improvements Report. You might need to check the source code vs the DOM to see what will change once the Web Rendering Service (WRS) renders the page. Nofollow added via JS is a bad idea because it may show as follow before rendered. Internal links may not be picked up and added to crawl before the render happens. We setup a test site in October and couldn’t get everything indexed, but we put it live and everything was fine. Google may not want to crawl everything on a test site. If you need the information indexed fast, Use server-side rendering or pre-rendering
  24. 24. @patrickstox #DTDconf Experiments in June 2017 – Slack log "user": "U0SB51WPJ", "text": "I requested it and the timing puts 2 different bots there. Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +<http://www.google.com/bot.html>) and Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; Google Search Console) Chrome/41.0.2272.118 Safari/537.36", "ts": "1496434137.849731" "user": "U2FNA0DQB", "text": "So it's possible that the same user agent that we know as console - when we request it manually - is the same user agent we'd see when they hit us with the simlauted browser on their own without us manually doing via fetch", "ts": "1496434501.951224" "user": "U0SB51WPJ", "text": "^thinking about this a second, GSC shows how googlebot saw and how a visitor saw the page, so first is google and second is the second tab for how visitors saw the page.", "ts": "1496434516.955902"
  25. 25. @patrickstox #DTDconf Conclusion:
  26. 26. @patrickstox #DTDconf Confirmed in August https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/rendering
  27. 27. @patrickstox #DTDconf Highlights: Googlebot and WRS only speaks HTTP/1.x and FTP, with and without TLS. For rendering, Googlebot is stateless: Local Storage, Session Storage, HTTP Cookies are all cleared across page loads Not available: Service Workers, IndexedDB, WebGL, WebSQL, Fetch, ES6 / ECMAScript 6 support ES6 transpile to ES5 for now (thanks Bartosz!) Recommend using feature detection and Polyfills & treat Googlebot like any browser WRS declines permission requests like Camera API, Geolocation API, and Notifications API. Googlebot and WRS continuously analyze and identify resources that don’t contribute to essential page content and may not fetch such resources.
  28. 28. @patrickstox #DTDconf Tracking Errors and Debugging https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/debug-rendering You can also download Chrome 41.
  29. 29. @patrickstox #DTDconf Myth busting Because of this experiment from Max Prin, most people believe that Googlebot will only wait 5 seconds for a page to load. https://maxxeight.com/tests/js-timer/
  30. 30. @patrickstox #DTDconf What else we know Mostly crawls from West Coast US (Mountain View). According to Gary Illyes at SMX Advanced they don’t throttle speeds when checking mobile sites. They are very aggressive with caching everything (you may want to use file versioning). In fact, because of the caching and you know being a bot and all, they actually run things as fast as they can with a sped up clock. Check out this post from Tom Anthony http://www.tomanthony.co.uk/blog/googlebot-javascript-random/ Mobile Googlebot's screen size is 431 X 731 and Google resizes to 12,140 pixels high, while the desktop version is 768 X 1024 but Google only resizes to 9,307 pixels high. Check out JR Oakes https://codeseo.io/console-log-hacking-for-googlebot/ This can screw with you in GSC Fetch and Render if you resize images based on height.
  31. 31. @patrickstox #DTDconf Thank You, that’s it for me. Now ask Bartosz all of your questions.

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