Does JavaScript Hurt SEO Efforts?

For those who are more focused on getting higher rankings in search engines such as Google, learning the in-and-outs of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques is crucial. There is a list of do's and don'ts readily available for web designers and web programmers to refer too; upon reading that list, one of the major no-no's you will notice almost immediately is dismissing the use of JavaScript. This may seem odd, especially because JavaScript is what makes sites interactive and unique.

But there are several reasons why JavaScript should be used "lightly" if your main concern is to eventually have your site (or your client's site) rank number one. To learn how JavaScript can affect SEO efforts, continue reading below, or read more other related articles about SEO:

- SEO and JavaScript in Web Development
- Benefits of Using SEO Software
- Do You Need to Hire an SEO Company?


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For those who are more focused on getting higher rankings in search engines such as Google, learning the in-and-outs of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques is crucial. There is a list of do's and don'ts readily available for web designers and web programmers to refer too; upon reading that list, one of the major no-no's you will notice almost immediately is dismissing the use of JavaScript. This may seem odd, especially because JavaScript is what makes sites interactive and unique.

But there are several reasons why JavaScript should be used "lightly" if your main concern is to eventually have your site (or your client's site) rank number one. To learn how JavaScript can affect SEO efforts, continue reading below.

Why It's Frowned Upon

If you are unfamiliar of how SEO functions in regards to JavaScript, here is a short overview: search engines will store links in their databases. The more frequent a link is posted and stored, the greater the chance a site will have of popping up higher in the page ranks. Naturally, broken links are unreadable and thus are not stored in the database. JavaScript links, no matter if they are written error-free, are considered broken links. This is because search engines are only accustomed to reading plain HTML and PHP coding.

How Can it Really Affect your Site?

That said, if you use JavaScript (or flash) heavily - for example maybe you want to use fancy tabs for your menu navigation links - they will do nothing to contribute to your rankings. In fact, your will dilute your rankings substantially if you choose to use JavaScript for your navigation menu. This is because the navigation menu is the principal way to link to the other content and pages on your site. That being said, if you used a JavaScript navigation menu and your site roughly consists of 200 pages, the search engine realistically will only be able to detect about 90 pages - that's a lot of pages that potential readers will never be able to find on Google thus deflating your web traffic. If you have a site that depends on web traffic and rankings because it profits your business, this is scary territory to be in.

What You Can Do Instead

If you are gung-ho about using JavaScript (it's great and it should be utilized to some extent), just make sure that you use it sparingly and not on features like the navigation menu. Instead, it would be a better alternative to create a "list" using the address written in HTML and then style it with CSS - at this point you could add a background attribution on each item on the list to add some extra flare if you wish to do so. Not only will it maximize SEO abilities, but it will also make the site easier to maintain. Another plausible option you should consider is simply using a:hover affect in CSS to give it the illusion that the tab(s) is more interactive.

Author: Alvina Lopez
Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez@gmail.com.

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