Google Advises SEOs to teach JS Devs

What’s this about?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates w/e 11 August 2017.

Read the mildly surprising news that Google is advising SEOs to teach JS devs, and the kerfuffle that followed. JS is just not giving up and going away, but people said that about Adobe Flash, and look how that turned out.

Contact me to chat about how to ensure JS and SEO play nicely together.

#SEO #JavaScript #WebDev #KnowledgeSharing

Google Advises SEOs to teach JS Devs


  • John Mueller started a bit of a Twitter fest when he advised SEOs to learn from JS devs and share SEO knowledge with them.
  • You could say this touched a raw nerve, and a lively discussion took place.
  • JavaScript is great sometimes, and not great at other times – pretty much the same as SEO.
  • Both sides of the discussion need to work together. Too often, the JS side of things have been developed before SEO is a consideration, and SEOs just want to ignore JS.

Google JS Devs Learn From SEOs

Actions to take:

  1. Read the Twitter thread. There is an element of amusing spluttering.
  2. Don’t code solely in JS. It is not yet completely crawlable and indexable. Remember that Find, Crawl, Index are the foundation of SEO success.
  3. If coding in JS, run mini-tests using Google Search Console’s Fetch and Render to test what can actually be be read, and build incrementally.
  4. Remember Google expends extra effort to crawl JS.
  5. When building, ensure SEO is included right at the start of any dev project. Just before launch, or post-launch is often too late.
  6. Don’t rely on JS devs to do SEO, in the same way you wouldn’t rely on SEOs to dev JS.
  7. Contact me to chat about how to ensure JS and SEO play nicely together.


Ah, life is funny. A few years ago Flash was the next big thing, and look where that is now: Flash Death Announced. JavaScript is currently riding high due to publishers’ desires for dynamic websites, but the lack of desire to foot the processing bill to serve them has driven the push to using our phones / tablets and computers to do the processing for them. Google has always loved low-powered distributed computing, hence its love for JS.

John is right, JavaScript is not going away in the short term, but it will not last forever. Its flexibility whilst being its strength will also be its downfall, as there is no core JS standard, but different frameworks or packages.

Google still has Issues With Crawling and Indexing JavaScript, despite all its best crawling efforts and it is foolish for any dev to rely on Googlebot expending the additional effort to send a JS URL to its Web Rendering Service. Its also foolish for an SEO to rely purely on flat HTML anymore.

Until there is a standard JS framework, it will always be a challenge for devs and SEOs,

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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