Attention Web Developers: Don’t Be Scared of SEO!


Let’s start with a little scenario. You’ve just written an awesome single page site like this one. You’re super proud of it and can’t wait for the world to see it. Your client also loves it, so you decide to launch. Weeks later, you check on the site’s ratings and you notice your site isn’t ranking very well. You start freaking out. Do people not like it or share it? Do I not have enough content on it? Unfortunately, you’re probably right, your site is a disaster. Not in a user interface way, it’s simply a disaster in the way in which crawlers look at it. 


What are crawlers and how do they work?

For those who don’t know what a crawler is, it’s a Search Engine Spider. It’s a program that search engines use to figure out what’s new and happening on the Internet, and how everything interlocks. Our dear friend Google uses its own web crawler called GoogleBot. GoogleBot goes through every single page that’s on the web and indexes it in its own way. I’m not going to go deep into explaining how these crawlers work, and I’m not going to give you an explanation of how the algorithm works, just know that it’s very complicated. If you want to read about it in depth, go here

So what’s wrong with my awesome single page site?

From a user’s perspective, nothing. It’s cool, interactive, and generates leads. But what if someone has their JavaScript turned off in their browser? The page will look broken to them and they’ll run away to a safe spot. For a crawler, it’s the same idea. You probably used JavaScript and jQuery to render most of your content, and up until recently, it was a bunch of gibberish to our crawler. What most web developers would then do, is re-create the content using basic HTML and send those off to the crawlers and people without JavaScript. In some cases, they would just completely redesign the site to fit the standards. But let’s be honest, the web is progressing at the speed of light, so everyone needs to go ahead and turn their JavaScript on and move on. So did the search engines and the crawlers.

Web Development Image

What changed?

There is no doubt that Google realized that the trend in Web Development and Web Design has taken a different path than it used to. Google went ahead and changed the algorithm to support JavaScript – a big relief for everyone! From a developers point of view, now you don’t have to worry about spending tons of extra time developing those HTML pages in order for Google to be happy with you. To this day, these single page websites haven’t been popular amongst big companies because they were scared the content wouldn’t be discovered and they wouldn’t rank the way they wanted to. I believe that will change over the next coming years, and more and more people will adopt the trend. I mean, why not? It looks good, it’s very easy to use, and it’s easier to create than multi-page sites (if you know what you’re doing). Just a few minor notes need to be mentioned, however. Anyone creating Facebook ads, Facebook isn’t compatible with JavaScript quite yet, so if you put your site in an ad, it might look empty and silly. Also, they are not fully compatible with very complex JavaScript, so don’t go too crazy.

What are your thoughts on the new single page sites? Let me know below!

Newsletter Sign-Up

Share the knowledge!