Dynamic Rendering

The solution for Search Bots to access, crawl, and index web pages with rapidly changing content and complex javascript features 

Introducing Dynamic Rendering

Dynamic rendering is the process of serving a normal, client-side version of your site for users and a separate, server-side version for Search Bots. On the server-side, javascript content is converted into a flat HTML version preferred by Search Bots. This allows them to fully access, crawl, and index webpage content.

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Rendering Javascript Content

Google prefers content written in flat HTML, but they are also interested in organizing search results that reflect the internet as it is. Dynamic rendering presents an opportunity to access, crawl, and index large websites and dynamic pages that rely on frequently changing, heavy javascript content.

Historically, javascript-powered websites have not fared well in search. This is attributed to the limited crawl budget of the Google Search Bot and the resource-intensive nature of rendering javascript content. When Search Bots encounter heavy javascript content, they often have to index in multiple waves of crawling. This fractured process results in missed elements, like metadata and canonical tags, that are critical for proper indexing.

Dynamic rendering is essentially a javascript SEO solution. Normally, it is difficult for search engines to process these pages. They rely on static HTML elements instead of the graphical interfaces humans take for granted. But with dynamic rendering, client-side pages are effectively translated, made fully accessible, and served to Search Bots in their preferred flat HMTL format, so they can access, understand, and immediately index content to be found in search. 

Use Cases for Dynamic Pages

Google recommends incorporating dynamic rendering in at least three instances. First, it is recommended if you have a large site with rapidly changing content that requires quick indexing. Otherwise, new content can take a while to index. Second, it is recommended if your website relies on modern javascript functionality. Third, it is recommended if your website relies on social media sharing and chat applications that require access to page content.

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Implementation Process

Implementing dynamic rendering on your own is difficult, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. A competent and experienced team of developers is required to set up a system that checks the identity of every agent visiting the website and determining which type of content to serve. It is a cumbersome process. Fortunately, Huckabuy has a software service, the SEO Cloud, that takes care of this entire process for your business. After a brief period of working with your developer team, the implementation process is complete. Furthermore, our service preserves your preferred development operations. In fact, you can use the latest technologies like Angular and React without worrying about negative SEO impacts. 

Announcement from Google

In 2018, Google announced their support for dynamic rendering as a work around solution for Search Bots to access, crawl, and index javascript content converted to static HTML. You can watch their presentation here.

Huckabuy's Take

There's this concept called dynamic rendering which means that sites load dynamically based on what call them. The simple example is if I go on my mobile phone I get one experience, and if I go on my desktop I get a slightly different experience. And that's all well and good. It's a best practice. And now you can give a unique experience just for the Google Search Bot as well. You still need to have the same content and site. You can't do any sort of tricks like keyword stuffing or altering the page in any way. But you can now queue up what we call "Google's Perfect World".

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Yes! Not only does Google approve of dynamic rendering, they strongly recommend it and even coined the term.

A: It is possible, but it will cost more and quality will likely suffer. This type the type of service that it better to outsource than to train for and risk being done at a lower quality. First, you have to have at least 1 capable developer that can alter your tech stack and wire together some form of rendering service. So, time and maintenance are going to cost you some amount. Second, if you do it wrong or Google changes things and your development team is slow to make an adjustment, your website suffers the consequences. On your own, you are completely in charge of how the most important visitor, the Google Search Bot, engages with your website. If you decide to dedicate 1 or 2 engineers from your development team to this process, it is imperative they are experts. 

A: No! It has no effect on users.

A: Yes. Only your publicly indexable content is exposed for Search Bots. Dynamic rendering also doesn’t interact with cookies or authenticated URLs.

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