NoScript Tags

For web developers, the NoScript tag is an invaluable tool because it permits users whose browsers do not support dynamic content to view pages that include JavaScript, Java, Flash, or AJAX. The NoScript tag causes a browser to not load a website if it cannot read JavaScript: The message “Your browser does not support JavaScript” is an example.

In addition, some sites provide direct textual descriptions of the content contained within a non-HTML based program within the NoScript tag. Users are informed about the contents of the video, while search engines are provided with the same information, giving them the chance to add relevant keywords in a prime search spider position.

The search engines are becoming better at crawling content contained in multimedia content, which raises the risk that they will consider NoScript tags to be a new black hat SEO technique, with the same keywords (or even the same content) appearing both in the multimedia and NoScript components of a page. The use of a NoScript tag in this scenario could lead to serious penalties and significant ranking drops; in fact, a Google employee advised users to only use the tag if their site did not have “important content.”

Your site may also be misinterpreted by search engines if you use NoScript tags to display messages like “JavaScript needs to be enabled” on every page that uses that programming language. The automatic message will include at least one instance of the word “Javascript” on each page. So, in order to avoid duplicate content penalties, each page must contain unique content.

Noscript tags: how to use them correctly?
These rules should be followed:

  • Use different noscript tags on each subpage.
  • Provide the message in the form of an image each time you want the same element to appear. The same text will not appear on every subpage, thus preventing Google from indexing repetitive copy.
  • You should ensure that noscript tags correspond to JS elements.

By following the above rules, noscript tags won’t negatively affect your visibility on Google.
SEO vs. noscript tags
As Google’s algorithms become more adept at indexing JavaScript, it is difficult to predict whether they will be able to perform as well as they do with HTML. According to theory, adding a noscript tag to content will help algorithms better understand it. But does this actually happen? Is the content indexed by Google?

Currently, Google analyzes noscript tags as described by Maile Ohye, a former Google support engineer. However, they should accurately capture JS script content, otherwise, a bot might consider them cloaking.
On what parts of your website should you place the noscript tag?
Noscript tags are beneficial in the following situations:

  • Sliders – a carousel displaying images on a page;
  • An accordion section is usually found in FAQs, where answers can be unfolded;
  • Pagination, in which content is complemented by “see more” sections.

Generally, you use noscript tags whenever you want a website element to be displayed correctly or not displayed at all without JavaScript.
If your page contains many elements that use JS and you are worried that users won’t see them, you should apply noscript tags.

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