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According to new data, up to 80% of popular US-based e-commerce stores use JavaScript on crucial content such as product descriptions.

That’s an alarming number considering any time JavaScript is used to generate important content it runs the risk of not being indexed in search results. Google is getting better at crawling and rendering JavaScript, but it’s not perfect. The company still recommends using static HTML as much as possible.

The study, from software company Onely, found that 25% of web pages analyzed contained crucial JavaScript content that was unindexed by Google. For some sites, over half of their indexed pages have unindexed JavaScript content.

For example, it was found that 55% of Sephora’s indexed pages have unindexed JavaScript content, and for H&M that number is 65%. That’s a considerable amount of content that’s not getting indexed.

How Many Others Are Affected?

If so many major retailers have crucial, unindexed, JavaScript content it makes you wonder how many smaller retailers may have the same problem. Smaller retailers who are more reliant on search engine traffic are likely to be hurt even more by having unindexed JS content.

This data should come as a wake-up call to e-commerce stores to check whether JavaScript is preventing any of their crucial content from being indexed. That can be accomplished by using the URL Inspection tool in Search Console.

The URL Inspection tool will render a page as Googlebot sees it when crawling it for indexing. From there, you can determine if Google is able to index all crucial content on a page.

For more details, see the full study here.

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