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Does javascript hurt search engines ranking?

javascript search engines

     
10:23 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have a question which has been worrying me for some time - my site is <snip> and the more recent <snip> and it contains a bit of javascript. Does javascript hurt search engine ranking? Will search engines (especially google) be able to read and spider my site? Will my site rank well in seach engines?

Any advice would be appreciated. I've always been told that javascript is bad for search engines..

Andy.

[edited by: korkus2000 at 10:26 pm (utc) on Nov. 17, 2003]
[edit reason] No site reviews please [/edit]

10:35 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to Webmaster World!

JavaScript links are bad for SEs. Other than that, they simply won't do anything with the JavaScript.

Try browsing your site in a browser that has JavaScript disabled. If you can still use it without any problems, then SEs will most likely not experience any problems.

So, unless your site is "JavaScript heavy" (drastically affecting code to content ratio) it shouldn't be a problem.

8:31 pm on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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thanks Doc and sorry korkus.
12:38 am on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Most spiders ignore JavaScript entirely, so there isn't anything "bad" in the sense that you won't be penalized for having something in it that would otherwise be considered "spamming" the search engines (e.g. frequently used variable names). On the other hand, no keywords inside the script will be seen and so can't help you either. Any content you alter on the client side will not be seen by the spiders either.

As drdoc notes, having a lot of script can hurt the ratio of interesting content to overall size. In other words, the "density" of your information may go down if you have lots of script. It's not clear, however, that some spiders don't discard the script from the length. I wouldn't chance it though, and most SEO's (me included) strongly encourage putting the source in separate files, just like you should with CSS.