Why SEO Will Be A Major Part In The Front-End Scene

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SEO has always been a major topic within the Internet of Things. In fact, it has been covered from a User Experience point of view, from a Content one, from a PR perspective and, lately, from a technical one. Optimising a website’s backend is extremely complex and to do it with a focus on Google’s algorithm (and, also, other search engines) is definitely quite the task. Let’s analyse which parameters will be hit by technical SEO in the next couple of years.

Crawling Optimisation

In order to understand technical SEO, it’s important to understand what’s the process behind Google’s indexing. User agents (in Google’s case, Googlebot) are crawling the web, in order to then create a detailed index where they can successively rank such pages. This, of course, applies to an HTML-only page, which is extremely hard to find (let’s say impossible in 2019). When other variables such as CSS and Javascript are stepping into the equation, there’s a defined process that should be taken into consideration: rendering. In fact, the user agents are processing the information which is included within big blocks of JS code to then create a much more clear picture of the site. This process is very much the only reason why many sites are being heavily slowed down in terms of rankings, but we’ll cover it in the next couple of paragraphs. In order to optimise the crawling and indexing process, it’s important to check your robots.txt files and your HTML tags, since those are the first two things such crawlers are looking for.

The Javascript Variable

Unlike what’s been normally stated by many “SEO Experts”, Google does read Javascript but doesn’t automatically crawl it (see paragraph above). The rendering process for what concerns Javascript is quite complicated and requires a vast knowledge of JS as a whole plus its libraries React and jQuery. In fact, these are the only libraries which are likely to be quickly rendered by Googlebot, given the fact that Chrome 41 (Googlebot’s current version) is pretty old and requires a simple coding syntax.

By analysing Javascript in its complexity, with the application explicitly related to Google, we can state the fact that another big part of its applications would be related to the eternal debate between CSR (Client Side Rendering) and SSR (Server Side Rendering) for what concerns apps and the overall site’s speed. If you’re concerned about your Javascript, running Google Developer Tools and their JS debugger will show you how Googlebot will fetch your page’s JS. This is extremely important because if your content is included within big blocks of JS, it’s likely not to get crawled by the user agent.

CSS: Is It Important?

It can’t be a front-end analysis if it doesn’t consider the CSS part of your site which is, indeed, as important as the JS one. A phenomenon like white spacing and overused sprites fro image-running could impact your UX, your speed and therefore, your rankings. In fact, Googlebot is actively looking after the speed of your site, because it considers it one of the biggest elements within the UX sphere. As stated by many app developers, in fact, there’s an active study based on Lighthouse’s (Google’s mobile testing tool) before running any form of beta testing.

To Conclude

With all these elements taken into consideration, we can safely say that front-end development is definitely one of the core element within the SEO industry and it’s extremely likely to grow in the next couple of years.

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