Isomorphic JavaScript & It’s Role in the Future

By January 30, 2017 Marketing, SEO No Comments

SEO is already complicated on its own. Especially when you’re dealing with JavaScript-based websites. They require a lot of knowledge, development, testing, and are extremely difficult to get right. But unfortunately, JavaScript is here to stay. After all, it does let you create fast, dynamic, and beautiful websites that are focused on delivering a great user experience. And since we have seen a significant trend in Google’s search engine to support user experience and performance, having a website that strong in JavaScript is a good thing.

However, Google is far from perfect when it comes to crawling and indexing JavaScript. Which is why SEOs tend to want to lean towards a mix of traditional server-side rendering and small pieces of JavaScript added to the browser, as the universal solution. This just helps to make applications more searchable and indexable, by search engines. Again, unfortunately, this isn’t perfect and it’s often difficult to maintain, and not all applications can be implemented. Also, the user experience doesn’t tend to be great, because it takes time to load all the JavaScript libraries and bootstrap application.

So, what’s the solution? Enter isomorphic Applications. Isomorphic applications, or universal applications, can solve the problem of crawling and indexing by performing an initial render on the service and then using that HTML as a base for bootstrapping the JavaScript application in the browser. This approach truly is the best of both worlds and it provides fully indexable, fast, and user-friendly websites.

Essentially, how an isomorphic application works is that it uses the very same JavaScript code used by our application to help run it on both the server and the client. Thus, allowing you to feed your application with some data coming from the database on the server, running it, and capturing the resulting HTML output that would normally require a browser to assemble. This can also solve the problem of crawling because isomorphic applications execute code on the server to render static pages and then leave all the JavaScript responsible for user interactions to be run by the browser. As a result, the crawler sees the very exact same output that the browser does, which in turn solves that SEO indexing problem. Plus, online JavaScript heavy-code takes time to download, and isomorphic application speeds up your downloading time. Which helps to improve user usability. Making your visitors to your page, much happier.

But, with like everything else, this will come at a price. For instance, your server will need to support running NodeJS applications. Basically, what this means is that this approach is not very well suited for existing projects, and it’s not a plug-and-play solution. Also, it requires a lot of knowledge and expertise. Which means you may need to hire a developer who’s familiar with isometric applications in order to best implement it within your SEO strategy.

However, overall isomorphic applications are a very promising way of solving SEO indexing problems that have been bugging the community for years. And, if you’re building a new, large application that requires a fair amount of SEO compatibility, then this is something you should definitely consider. To know for sure, we recommend doing research and talking to a developer about whether or not the isomorphic application is the way to go for you and your company.