Google Webmaster Tools To Add JavaScript Debugging Tool

Google-Webmaster-toolsGoogle has announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog that in the “coming days” they will be releasing a new tool to help debug your site’s JavaScript issues.

Specifically, Google is going to show you if they have issues crawling and indexing your site because of JavaScript implementation mistakes.

Google said:

We have been gradually improving how we do this for some time. In the past few months, our indexing system has been rendering a substantial number of web pages more like an average user’s browser with JavaScript turned on.

During this process, they’ve run into several frequent problems that may “negatively impact” your pages from ranking in the search results. Google has listed out some of those problems, so one would assume the new tool that Google is working on would highlight these issues to webmasters.

These are the highlighted issues:

  • If resources like JavaScript or CSS in separate files are blocked (say, with robots.txt) so that Googlebot can’t retrieve them, our indexing systems won’t be able to see your site like an average user. We recommend allowing Googlebot to retrieve JavaScript and CSS so that your content can be indexed better. This is especially important for mobile websites, where external resources like CSS and JavaScript help our algorithms understand that the pages are optimized for mobile.
  • If your web server is unable to handle the volume of crawl requests for resources, it may have a negative impact on our capability to render your pages. If you’d like to ensure that your pages can be rendered by Google, make sure your servers are able to handle crawl requests for resources.
  • It’s always a good idea to have your site degrade gracefully. This will help users enjoy your content even if their browser doesn’t have compatible JavaScript implementations. It will also help visitors with JavaScript disabled or off, as well as search engines that can’t execute JavaScript yet.
  • Sometimes the JavaScript may be too complex or arcane for us to execute, in which case we can’t render the page fully and accurately.
  • Some JavaScript removes content from the page rather than adding, which prevents us from indexing the content.

Google says the new tool is coming to Google Webmaster Tools “in the coming days.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Webmaster Central

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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