Exploring the Relevance of Dynamic Rendering in Today’s SEO

4 min read

Dynamic rendering effectively resolves JavaScript-related SEO challenges, yet Google recommends it as a temporary fix rather than a permanent solution. This approach introduces additional complexity during website development, leading to suggestions for adopting hydration, static rendering, or server-side rendering methods instead.

Both Google and Bing highlight the significance of dynamic rendering by presenting it as a swift resolution to JavaScript-related crawling and indexing issues encountered in Google Search.

As a result, it becomes crucial for web development teams and the technical SEO community to grasp the dynamic rendering process thoroughly and recognize its designation as a provisional configuration.


What Does Dynamic Rendering Entail?


Dynamic rendering merges two approaches, offering distinct versions of your JavaScript content.

Search engines receive fully-rendered content, essentially a static HTML version of your pages. Meanwhile, regular visitors access the typical client-side rendered content.

This method allows your website to dynamically identify crawlers like Googlebot, facilitating Google’s crawl and indexing process without the need to execute JavaScript.

By delivering pertinent content to users and search engine bots, dynamic rendering aids in reducing the crawl duration for each of your pages. While not all websites necessitate dynamic rendering, the question remains: How does it function precisely?


Enabling Dynamic Rendering


Incorporating dynamic rendering can pose challenges in terms of resources and time allocation.

The typical dynamic rendering process involves delivering the complete JavaScript experience to users while offering HTML files to search engine bots.

An external dynamic renderer, like Prerender.io, is installed on the server to recognize search crawlers. Upon identification, crawler requests are directed to the renderer, translating the content into a format suitable for the crawler (like a static HTML version). This rendered page is then cached for future use.

For human user requests, the handling remains standard, guiding them to the website. This dynamic rendering facet also determines whether the user requires desktop or mobile content.


What Challenges Does Dynamic Rendering Address?


Dynamic rendering expedites Google’s crawling and indexing of your website by singling out pertinent JavaScript-generated content. Consequently, search engines receive pages swiftly, enabling them to navigate more of your site’s pages and enhancing their visibility in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

By circumventing the need for search engines to interpret JavaScript, you can address speed-related issues and optimize crawl budget constraints, ensuring that search engines do not overlook your JavaScript-rendered content.

This method is particularly advantageous for expansive websites featuring numerous regularly updated content, such as e-commerce platforms with revolving inventories.

Enhanced content indexing in Google bolsters your marketing initiatives and investments in the organic search channel.


Is Dynamic Rendering Still a Viable Option?


Dynamic rendering remains optimal for expansive, constantly evolving websites heavily reliant on JavaScript—yet only as a short-term solution. Additionally, it proves advantageous for businesses aiming to maximize their crawl budget while having limited engineering resources.

Compared to server-side rendering, dynamic rendering offers swifter implementation and consumes fewer resources, making it a more accessible choice.

There are three scenarios in which web developers should contemplate employing dynamic rendering temporarily:

  1. For extensive websites featuring swiftly changing content necessitating rapid indexing, aiding in rankings, traffic influx, and revenue generation.
  2. When a website relies on modern JavaScript functionalities, dynamic rendering can overcome JavaScript processing limitations on a large scale while minimizing HTTP requests.
  3. If a website depends on social media sharing and chat applications, requiring access to page content—such as embeddable social media walls, widgets, and more.


Is Dynamic Rendering a Form of Cloaking?


As per Google’s definition, cloaking involves displaying distinct content or URLs to users and for search engines, aiming to manipulate search rankings and deceive users. It’s classified as a black hat SEO technique—like displaying a page on dogs to users and a page on cats to crawlers.

Although dynamic rendering presents different content to both parties, its purpose is solely to prerender content for bots.

When implementing dynamic rendering, minimizing disparities between the page version sent to search bots and the one visible to users is vital.

By serving identical end content to crawlers and users, you facilitate easy, rapid, and efficient indexing by Google. This practice ensures consistency and prevents issues related to cloaking.


Utilizing Dynamic Rendering as a Resolution


Google suggests that if your website features JavaScript-generated content that is inaccessible to search engines, dynamic rendering can serve as a workaround. When search bots encounter issues with JavaScript-generated content, dynamic rendering detects them and provides a server-rendered version without JavaScript, while users receive the client-side rendered content.

However, dynamic rendering introduces extra complexities and consumes excessive resources for Google. Its prerendering requests can notably slow down your server.

Despite its initial usefulness, dynamic rendering is only a short-term solution, necessitating the management of two distinct site versions. This approach demands separate optimization for users and search bots, consuming valuable time for your SEO and development teams that could be more beneficially allocated elsewhere.

Ultimately, dynamic rendering entails serving clients a client-side rendered version of your website. For users with older devices unequipped to manage extensive JavaScript, this can result in subpar page performance and a less-than-ideal user experience.


In Summary


Dynamic rendering serves as a temporary fix for addressing JavaScript-related SEO issues. Before opting for this approach, consider the following:

  1. Is your website accessible for indexing?
  2. Does your website rely on JavaScript for some or all content?
  3. Is your content subject to frequent updates?
  4. Do budget limitations constrain you?
  5. Is your engineering team overburdened to implement server-side rendering?

Dynamic rendering aims to resolve pages that are not appearing on search engine results pages. However, our recommendation leans toward server-side rendering. It simplifies maintenance with a singular website version and proves more time-efficient, negating the need to verify consistency between user and Googlebot versions.

After evaluating your development resources and technological capabilities, explore transitioning to server-side rendering for uniform content delivery across all user agents.

If you find everything challenging and perplexing, why not explore our monthly SEO packages? Let our experts assist you through the process.

Shilpi Mathur
[email protected]