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Google no longer recommends using dynamic rendering for Google Search

Google has updated the dynamic rendering help documentation to now say Google no longer recommends using dynamic rendering, that this is a workaround and not a long-term solution to your Google Search crawling and indexing problems with JavaScript.

Truth is, Google always said this was a workaround but now with advancements in web and crawling technology, Google is pushing harder for developers, webmasters, and SEOs to avoid using dynamic rendering.

What is dynamic rendering? Google said that dynamic rendering means “switching between client-side rendered and pre-rendered content for specific user agents.” You would be able to serve Google an HTML version of the page while serving the user the JavaScript version if you wanted to. Google said that currently “it’s difficult to process JavaScript and not all search engine crawlers are able to process it successfully or immediately.” The company said it hopes the problem eventually can be fixed, “but in the meantime, we recommend dynamic rendering as a workaround solution to this problem,” so this solution may go away as the AJAX crawling schema went away after no longer being needed.

What changed. Google has updated the dynamic rendering help documentation to add a red warning bar that reads “Dynamic rendering is a workaround and not a long-term solution for problems with JavaScript-generated content in search engines. Instead, we recommend that you use server-side renderingstatic rendering, or hydration as a solution.”

Google also added and updated these sections to the top of the page:

On some websites, JavaScript generates additional content on a page when it’s executed in the browser. This is called client-side rendering. While Google Search executes JavaScript, there are JavaScript features with limitations in Google Search and some pages may encounter problems with content not showing up in the rendered HTML. Other search engines may choose to ignore JavaScript and won’t see JavaScript-generated content.

Dynamic rendering is a workaround for websites where JavaScript-generated content is not available to search engines. A dynamic rendering server detects bots that may have problems with JavaScript-generated content and serves a server-rendered version without JavaScript to these bots while showing the client-side rendered version of the content to users.

Dynamic rendering is a workaround and not a recommended solution, because it creates additional complexities and resource requirements.

Before screenshot. Here is a screenshot of the page before:

After screenshot. Here is a screenshot of the page after:

Why we care. If you have been using dynamic rendering or considering using it in the future, maybe try server-side rendering or static rendering, or hydration as an alternative going forward. It is not always common for Google to outright say they do not recommend a specific technique and here Google is saying that.

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About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.