In the first installment of a new web series, Google’s Martin Splitt explains how the search engine indexes JavaScript sites.

Splitt’s new web series is dedicated to SEO and JavaScript and is available on the official Google Webmasters channel.

The first video gets right down to brass tacks by covering the most basic aspect of JavaScript and SEO–how JS gets indexed in the first place.

Splitt says the series will eventually delve into more complex topics. But brushing up on the basics never hurt anyway.

Here are some highlights from the video.

How Google Indexes JavaScript Sites

When Google crawls JavaScript there’s an extra stage required that regular HTML content does not have to go through.

That extra stage is called the rendering stage, which doesn’t always occur immediately.

The indexing stage and rendering stage are separate, which allows Google to index the non-JavaScript content as fast as possible.

Google’s crawler will come back sometime after the initial indexing and add the JavaScript content.

What this ultimately means for site owners is JavaScript content will take longer to get indexed.

Splitt mentions several times that JavaScript is costly for Google to crawl and index. That’s because it needs to be downloaded, parsed, and executed.

If you want to learn how to make JavaScript content more Google-friendly, stay tuned to future episodes.

Future Episodes on JavaScript & SEO

Martin Splitt says future episodes of this new series will cover:

  • Getting JavaScript content indexed quickly
  • How to handle other crawlers and social media agents gracefully
  • How to make JavaScript sites work well with Google Search
  • Answering common questions about JavaScript & SEO
  • Tools that can assist the SEO of JavaScript content

Sounds like there’s quite a bit of content planned for this series. I’ll certainly be following it closely.

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