When Google cannot fully render a website,

this has a negative effect on the ranking and findability. The company offers a range of tools to check this. Users can obtain more reliable results if they also carry out a manual check with the browser version that Google is using for rendering in the specific case. The problem is that Google’s web rendering is still based on the now outdated Chrome 41. But Chrome version 71 will be released shortly.

An old browser version may mean that not all website content or features (e.g. custom CSS properties) are displayed correctly or completely for the crawler. In the worst case, elements are not recorded at all. The use of JavaScript is also unfavorable from this perspective, although Google can now interpret and render this scripting language. However, we cannot guarantee that this will be done correctly and completely.

A range of tools deliver reliable results

Websites based on new technologies and browser features as well as JavaScript should be reliably checked for correct display by Googlebot in order to obtain meaningful results. The following tools are available for this purpose:

  • Google Lighthouse
  • Inspection tool in the new Google Search Console
  • Rich Media Testing Tool
  • “Retrieval as by Google” in the old Google Search Console
  • Mobile Friendly Test

Google Lighthouse / web.dev

This tool provides a wealth of useful information on possible optimizations. Specific examples of this are

  • Information on best practices in the area of on-page optimization
  • Information on accessibility

This makes Google Lighthouse the standard among SEO tools. It can be used via the command line or alternatively via the browser extension, whereby the tool is operated locally on the user’s computer. Since this week, Google has been offering the option of carrying out lighthouse tests. Among other things, the results can be used to determine whether Google can crawl a page correctly and completely. Google Lighthouse calculates a score for the individual categories and lists suggestions for improvement.

URL Inspection Tool

This tool is included in the new Google Search Console. All website URLs that have been registered in the Search Console can thus be checked. URL Inspection Tool provides the user with information about whether a page is mobile-friendly or whether its URL is even indexed. It is also possible to display the source code of the page as it is delivered to the Googlebot.

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