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Javascript code - stored externally for SEO purposes
how important is it to keep it out of the spider's way ?

 3:26 pm on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's beeb said many times that you should try to keep all javascript code away from your pages by storing them in an external file. The benefit being that your keyword text remains prominent near the top of the code.

How vital is this, and how big a hassle is it for developers who write code using Dreamweaver, etc ?



 3:38 pm on Jun 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

That is a pretty good question, and an issue that most of us have run into at one point in time.

I think that there are a few different things that you can do to overcome this issue:

1) Place the code in an external JS file and link to it
2) use CSS to push the content to the top
3) not worry about it and focus on strenghtening your site in other areas (ex: link pop)

I am not sure what level of impact this will have on your site. I think that it is pretty important to take care of, but at the same time I have seen some top ranking sites with a mess of code at the top.

brotherhood of LAN

 3:43 pm on Jun 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

calling it externall also helps reduce your source code size, which is thought to be helpful in gaining better google rankings.

I was once running 3rd party ads and the bloated code i had to use doubled my file sizes before I started calling it externally. In the end...

Each page had one line of code instead of the full script. (faster loading - less space taken) and I *believe* it helped ranking.

>>How vital is this, and how big a hassle is it for developers who write code using Dreamweaver, etc ?

From what I know, it isn't vital, but maybe a move in the right direction. In regards to it being a hassle to replace..I am sure edit/replace could sort that javascript out ;)


 3:53 pm on Jun 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

A major benefit of keeping your code external is ease of maintenance. I inherited a site that had a bunch of JS on each page that wasn't 100% consistent from page to page. Once I cleared that out from each page & did it externally, maintaining the code was a snap, and any changes only required one file to be uploaded.

<added>The same thing works for CSS, by the way, and elements that can be inserted via SSI. The latter won't help your page size, but will simplify maintenance.</added>


 5:46 pm on Jun 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

For my site, everything that is not "one-place" code is in a file. But that leaves a couple of pages that have odd js routines (including index). In my case, the combined page (html + js) was so small (about 8k) that I think there would be more of a performance penalty to get the separate js file.

My site is too new to see any effect in the search engines yet.


 5:51 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Good points... let me add this question out there... if my site has a bunch of images that cause it to load slowly... does that impact my PR?

brotherhood of LAN

 5:55 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

It shouldnt wangdy, but then again, high PR wont sway the visitor to stay for a slow loading picture!

Google takes into account the size of your source code - not the actually file sizes involved (like CSS, ex javascript, pics etc) as far as I know


 6:06 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

For Dreamweaver users,
There is an extension for inserting external JS. I haven't used it myself, but it sounds pretty helpful. Only recently started thinking about linking to external JS (to speed up an already quick download).

I only have a dozen or so pages on my site and I'm going to cut and paste a link to the external JS.


 8:14 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ive always assumed that one of the best advantages of external js (and I guess css for that matter) is also that it is cached, so that if the same js or css is used by many pages it only needs to actually loaded once, cutting down on loading time very significantly if you have a lot of css or js.


 8:59 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use external .js files on nearly every page I've ever made, and I'm convinced it is A Good Thing for all the reasons mentioned.

Regarding slow-loading graphics and page rank: I doubt there would be any direct effect on page rank, but if pages are painfully slow other sites will be less likely to link to them. This would mean you'd have less chance to develop the page rank that your content would otherwise deserve. It's worth doing everything you can to streamline your graphics.


 11:20 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

For my javascript file links I have found that they can be placed right at the bottom of the page, hopefully increasing page load speed just a bit, and keeping them out of the way of the spiders. Of course, if they are onload scripts, you may still want them in the head section.


 11:42 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

one thing to remeber is that, if a page takes too long, its useless.

example, im on broadband and come accross pages that take upto 10 seconds to laod, if you were on a serial, bugger that, go somewhere else.

do not design for yourself design for a lowest common denomenator, easy graphics, easy linking, easy to understand, and easy on the recipients computer.

work on theme content across the site, rather than loading 10 pages with terms, that could easily with enough research split into another 10/100 pages

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