Search engines are making the web slower

Like it or not, pushing the work to the clients is a tecnique which made the web able to scale the way it is now: search engines are making it slower and less scalable, as they don’t want us to do so.

The problem is that JavaScript – the creepy JavaScript – is now recognized as a first-level programming language1, although SE are around since more than a decade: thus, crawlers and spiders, although able to interpretate basic JS code, cannot do more complex stuff, like managing Handlerbars or HInclude.

Or, at least, we don’t know if they can.

There would be a workaround to this kind of issue, by just serving different content for JS-aware clients, so that a spider could see the whole resource without the need of executing JS code: a workaround that would cost in terms of development time, but still an acceptable workaround.

The problem, here, is that tis tecnique, known as cloacking is part of the black hat SEO list, so you basically can’t take advantage of it as malicious web developers would use cloacking to serve keyword-stuffed contents to bots and “normal” webpages to humans, and this is something you really want to avoid, since SERPs’ relevance is an important part of a user’s eb experience.

But, at least, we don’t know how search engines would react to the workaround I just explained.

What do we need?

We should have clarifications from SE vendors, to know whether they are able or not to let us take advantage of great JS-based technologies able to make our applications scale better, or – better – have fully JS-aware spiders and crawlers, able to elaborate resources like real-world browsers.

It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about the web: a faster, and definitely better, web.

  1. Mainly because of the NodeJS hype

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