Can we have a conversation about SEO?

I recently realized that Discourse serves Googlebot a completely different version of the site.

… and rightfully so, I just tried to see if google can render the JS version of the site - and apparently not (the screenshot render you see in Google search console showed a blank page)

Although we’re making some nice progress, I thought I’d mention some other critical SEO issues…

  1. “Powered by discourse” in footer- Google is not so hot about widget links - it also doesn’t show up in the JS version which may be perceived as “cloaking”

  2. No “suggested topics” in the non-JS version

  3. User account pages are blank when you click on them, no post or topic history. Info like their “website” also doesnt show up. Users with “trust” level 3 will have their links turn into follow links with the rel=“nofollow” removed - but whats the point if google can’t see the link? ( Im referring to the link in the users profile)

Keep in mind, google doesn’t mind you serving them a NON-JS version as long as its “exactly” the same content as the user’s version ( Which its not )

Your claim isn’t true and your link doesn’t say that. Question of accessibility and what is forbidden are two totally dfferent things.

Plus around millions sites, including practically every WordPress installations, proves your wrong.

And there is more :wink: Do you know what googlebot does with JS AND non-js content? It sometimes index both, but is using JS-version and serving that content as search result.

Google is just warning that users who can’t see JavaScript can’t get that content and that is not nice. But it has never punished because of that.

So, this topic is not about SEO. It is stronly about basics.


Please try and keep each idea in its own topic - it’s very hard to manage ‘kitchen sink’ topics like this.

Here are a few topics which provide some context on the items you mentioned: