The role of dynamic rendering in search engine optimization is an often overlooked factor that can have a significant impact on the search engine visibility for your websites.
In this article we will discuss what dynamic rendering is, how it impacts your website's organic search visibility on Google, and some tips to make sure you're using it correctly!
Dynamic rendering is a technique that involves dynamically generating the HTML and CSS code based on user interaction with the website, rather than pre-rendering everything beforehand.
The benefits of dynamic rendering include faster page loading times and increased scalability.
Dynamic rendering is great for websites that are large and have crawlability issues. This type of rendering is much less resource intensive and cheaper to run than rendering server-side.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you're considering if dynamic rendering is right for you:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it may benefit from dynamic rendering. Dynamic rendering is also great for those who want their websites ready as quickly as possible because they can get up and running in no time at all.
Dynamic rendering is a feature that allows your web server to detect crawlers, so requests from crawlers are routed to a renderer. For example, with Googlebot’s user agent as an identifier, requests from this spider will be fed to the dynamic rendering engine and all other requests will be propagated over HTTP.
Google recommends dynamic rendering because it improves the experience for both crawlers and search engine users. This is especially useful when you have a limited engineering bandwidth, or are looking to create your website as quickly possible.
It's important that web developers know about dynamic rendering so they can make the best decision based on their needs and constraints.
The main benefit of using this feature comes in the form of improved SEO visibility, especially with Googlebot spiders. With static websites, all requests from these spiders go through an indexing pipeline before being served by Apache servers which will delay serving time for other crawler requests such as Bingbot or YandexBot (based on user agent).
Dynamic sites allow only those specific spider’s requests to be served, so they're provided a fully rendered version of your web page to crawl and properly index without eating up a lot of resources in the crawl budget.
Rendering is a process where Google takes your webpages, runs the page code, and assesses your content to rank its quality. This information is used when people search on Google to determine which sites are the most relevant for their query.
How does dynamic rendering impact SEO? Dynamic web pages are rendered on the server side, so all Googlebot spider's requests go through this pipeline before being served by Apache servers. This approach delays serving time for crawler requests such as BingBot and YandexBot (based on user agent). When a static website is crawled, it sends a request to the indexing pipeline which loads files from disk and prepares them for crawling.
This helps promote both crawlability (serving Google easier resources to crawl, thus preserving crawl budget and encouraging its search spiders to crawl and index more of your site pages) and indexation of your web pages so they can rank effectively on Google.
When Google crawls your website, it drills down into the content of each page to get a comprehensive understanding. Dynamic rendering helps you deliver an important part of that dynamic experience without sacrificing SEO and with barely any extra development work.
They then use their structured data and knowledge about the document's content to figure out how it should be indexed.
The rendered data is not always consistent with what you see in your personal view on your screen, but there is a reason for that – something we refer to as 'render budget.'
Render budget is similar to crawl budget in that details of your page might be missed by search engines, like if you have frequently changing inventory on your site, or are publishing a bunch of articles daily.
You may be wondering what the difference is between dynamic rendering vs. server side rendering. Dynamic rendering is a largely client-side technology that relies on the browser to do all of the computation, and server side rendering is one where your web pages are rendered by servers before being delivered to users in their browsers.
For these reasons and more, most SEO experts recommend server side rendering, but the main downside is the cost. It can be incredibly expensive to implement server side rendering on a website, as well as time intensive to ensure it's running smoothly, so if you aren't a large business with millions of dollars or manpower to dedicate to implementation of server side rendering for your site pages, then your next best solution is dynamic rendering.
In short, no, Google doesn’t consider dynamic rendering to be cloaking. As long as you’re serving Google similar data about a page that helps them to crawl and index it more quickly, they don’t deem it to be a blackhat cloaking tactic, and it won’t get you penalized.