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Google can now run Javascript

It appears that the first step in making flash content spiderable Google has added the ability for googlebot to execute javascript. I’m not sure how robust it is but I do know that it can. I’m working with a client that had a very large amount of content that was previously not in Google because the content required javascript to be seen. Out of nowhere this site has over 600,000 pages of new content in Google that was previously not there.

I was very confused at first. I knew that those pages were not there before and that Google should not be able to see them. I put one of the url’s in a spider simulator and the text was being shown. I put it firefox and IE with javascript turned off and content would not show up. I put in in lynx and the content did not show up either. I wonder why and how the top spider simulators are running javascript.

[tags]firefox, flash, googlebot, internet explorer, javascript, lynx[/tags]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jim Moran September 4, 2008, 6:54 pm

    Very interesting indeed. I wonder the limitations. Are any of your client’s pages AJAX driven?

  • Christoph C. Cemper September 16, 2008, 9:28 am

    Now this is a VERY VERY interesting finding.
    I wonder what all those sneaky javascript redirecting spammers do
    once this works perfect from Google’s view.


  • Dion Almaer September 17, 2008, 5:37 am

    Hi guys,

    I work with the Ajax Libraries API at Google, which is where we host the popular libraries such as Dojo, Prototype, Scriptaculous jQuery, Mootools, and more.

    That project is purely about hosting JavaScript files…. and doesn’t do anything else :)


    Dion Almaer

    Open Web Advocate at Google

  • Search Engine Marketing - headland September 22, 2008, 7:51 am

    This is interesting and all the major search engines including Google are working hard to crawl JavaScript and Flash. As mentioned in the start of post, important thing is how robust this will be.

    We need to consider this as a first step and I hope this will open new horizons for the world of internet marketing.

  • Somik Ranjan Roy September 24, 2008, 4:36 am

    If that is the case then surely contents obtained in the form of RSS Feed in Java Script will be crawled by Google. In that case we surely do not have to convert contents obtained as JavaScript to HTML on websites for fresh contents to rank well with Google search engines. But has this facility to bot JavaScript been officially declared by Google?

  • ogletree October 2, 2008, 8:53 am

    The site uses javascript as an include. When I go to the google cache it shows the content that can only be viewed if you run javascript. The content is saved in a database and the only way to pull it out is by running javascript.

  • charlie October 3, 2008, 12:44 pm

    I recently realised Google must be executing javascript when I found I could google email addresses on my web pages that were cloaked using js.

  • Internet Marketing Strategy November 13, 2008, 5:31 pm

    They’ve been working on decoding Javascript and Flash for their browsers for some time. It will be interesting to see how this impacts code that was thought to be hidden. It seems that more and more search engine spiders are scanning sites and making public information that the website owners wished would remain private.

  • Polat Alemdar November 30, 2008, 5:25 am

    I read about Google can crawl Flash sites better but I’ve heard now Google can execute JavaScript files. It’s very interesting.

  • Alec January 9, 2009, 4:34 am

    Evenif Googlebot started to execute Javascrpit, I dont think it can do it perfectly. There must be lots of flows in it, Google might have started it for experiements. One day Google will find a right way to handle Javascript, I am sure about it.

  • marion from st albans January 20, 2009, 2:03 am

    @Charlie: recently realised Google must be executing javascript when I found I could google email addresses on my web pages that were cloaked using js.

    Oh no. Does that mean the spam email harvesters will be close behind …?

  • Sales Training March 9, 2009, 11:21 am

    I know it’s been a while with this original post, but now after reading this, I wonder if you can put in live links in Javascript for the sake of SEM. So much to learn on an ongoing basis…it makes you want to just walk away from it all. Oh well, I guess you alsways have to be learning and training. That’s life.

  • Freeiphoneblogs April 8, 2009, 5:32 am

    Good invention about Google spider, I thought Google only related to AJAX technology. But now i’m finding relation between Javascript and Google search engine. Hope to test some codes with firefox with advanced features.

  • Daily horoscope April 8, 2009, 5:36 am

    Usually google uses javascripts in Google Analytic and Google Adsense services, so they are using it. But i wonder about this post. I’m not sure about the relationship with Google search engine and Javascript. Anyway this is a good topic to discuss.

  • organic gifts April 9, 2009, 9:59 am

    javascript is not a latest technology with AJAX, because we can see many unsecured items in codes. Probably Google may test something.

  • Real Estate Investing April 12, 2009, 12:09 am

    @ organic gifts
    Yes, security is the main reason.

  • warrior custom golf April 14, 2009, 11:21 am

    Very interesting topic to discuss. Normally Google try to work with AJAX related technologies from many years. I think Googlebot have started to execute java scripts. But this will impact to low down security!

  • Korcula island April 15, 2009, 11:47 am

    Hard to believe that Google still depend on javascripts. nowadays javascript is not good when we consider about security and other facts. But Google use javascript in Adsense and Analytics. That means they can manage it well.

  • las vegas personal trainer April 16, 2009, 9:54 am

    Generally Goggle bot not supporting javascript even they use it in Analytics, this is a cool news to hear.

  • gift hampers April 17, 2009, 2:16 pm

    Nice found about Google and javascripts.

  • ArticleSpan April 23, 2009, 8:28 pm

    Very interesting indeed. If this is true, it will change the way people do their website.

  • Florida Davis Travel April 24, 2009, 12:51 pm

    Another nice invention about Google and javascripts.

  • Freelance telesales agents May 4, 2009, 11:56 am

    Running javascript is not good when we are considering security, I can’t understand why Google allow it???

  • Young Composers May 5, 2009, 7:40 am

    I think this is good news for Ajax driven sites. Ajax increases visitor satisfaction and usability in my opinion, and Google is supposed to increase their searcher’s satisfaction. So it only makes sense that Google is now indexing javascript and flash sites. Google also has to stay ahead of competition, and they are just doing what they need to do, in order to compete.

  • racheter nom domaine May 13, 2009, 9:54 am

    Google remains a mystery to us all! You raised a good problem, is there an engineer google lying in the corner ?