The traditional method of serving content utilises a request-response format whereby a series of HTTP requests is sent by the client (e.g. browser, search engine) and responded to by the server. Each request usually operates independently of others, and this is evident when browsing a site and you navigate to a new page, the full page refreshes (a new request has been sent by the browser, and the server has responded with the new page).
What problems can arise?
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Main page content
- Canonical tags
- Meta robots tags
- Structured data
Tools for diagnosing issues
Google Search Console
The URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console should always be your first go-to when assessing how Googlebot sees a page. This can be accessed in the search bar at the top of any property page:
If any links or other key page elements aren’t present within the rendered HTML in Search Console, then it is unlikely that Google is finding and utilising them.
Let’s see how Google is reading this content. The homepage contains links to four locations under a section called “Inspiration for your next trip”:
But when viewing the page source, these don’t appear to be present:
Google Mobile-Friendly Test
This is another Google tool, but one that you can use on any webpage – even those that you don’t have access to via Search Console. It’s normally used to diagnose issues with mobile usability on a webpage, but handily it shows you the full rendered HTML along with a screenshot and any issues encountered when loading the page.
Entering any URL and clicking “VIEW TESTED PAGE” returns a pop-out from the right-hand side of the screen, with the ability to then search through the rendered HTML for key elements, as in Search Console:
We can see that in this instance, the Inspiration section has been detected as expected, and Google is able to crawl the links that sit within it.
Methods for resolving
There are a few leading dynamic renderers suggested by Google, such as:
Then follow any of the previously mentioned methods to verify how the content is being crawled and rendered!
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