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Google Indexing JavaScript

Posted on 6.02.2014

Within the last three months the highest number of websites that Google has had indexed (found and logged by the search engine) at any one time was more than 50 billion.

Google’s ability to read a website is critical to the site's success. For those that ran JavaScript in the past, being indexed correctly was problematic for them. Google only used to be able to read the content inside the HTTP response body of JavaScript sites instead of seeing the site as a user would, like they can for HTML websites. In simpler terms, Google was not able to see the complete website just a portion of it. 

While Google has been trying to improve their JavaScript indexing ability the process has had its bumps along the way. One of the more common problems they are experiencing is that JavaScript and CSS files are being blocked by robot exclusion protocol's (REPs) like robots.txt. If pages are blocked using REPs, Googlebot (Google’s indexing bot) cannot retrieve the information it needs to properly index the site. This is crucial for mobile websites because CSS and JavaScript help alert Google that the site is optimized for mobile.

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Google has also been having problems with JavaScript sites that are using too complex or esoteric versions of the language. When this problem occurs, two different things have been happening. The first is that they cannot fully index the site which can lead to key elements being left out. The second thing is that Google can index the website incorrectly resulting in false information being indexed.

To help developers out, Google is working on adding a tool which will enable Web workers to better understand how Google reads their website. It will be available through the Google Webmasters SEO tool. 


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