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Martin Splitt Explains The Effect Of Rendering On SEO

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Google’s Martin Splitt recently took part in a Duda Webinar on web page rendering. He discussed how the process of rendering a website contributes to website SEO scores, particularly in Core Web Vitals (CWV). He also explained how rendering affects website SEO and helped the community understand the Core Web Vitals in simple terms.

Web Page Rendering

Rendering is essentially the process of creating a web page. High scores for CWV are obtained by having an efficient rendering procedure. Poor rendering may impact advertising earnings, sales, and even website crawling in some situations.

Splitt was asked to explain rendering, and he compared web development to cooking a meal. He also mentioned HTML or “HyperText Markup Language” in his explanation. This is a process for document creation that can be viewed in a browser using the rendering procedure.

Splitt said that with a recipe, one would have all the ingredients listed: some text, images, and other stuff. But if they don’t have ingredients, the recipe essentially becomes a list of instructions on how to prepare something.

HTML, according to him, is like the directions in a recipe. The images and content are the ingredients used to make the finished product – the website’s page.

Splitt continued the metaphor by comparing a website’s resources to actual ingredients. The ingredients are the website’s assets, such as JavaScript files, CSS, videos, pictures, and everything else that needs to be loaded. The site that users visit and interact with is basically the final result.

Rendering Is Similar To Cooking

Next, Splitt made an analogy between rendering and cooking the ingredients (things such as pictures, CSS, and so on). He also explained what the process means for Googlebot.

According to his explanation, crawling is like going into a huge cookbook and taking out a recipe page. It’s like Google is standing in the kitchen, ready to begin cooking while waiting for the crawler to give it the recipe.

Then there’s the cooking procedure, which is where the food gets cooked. During the rendering process, the crawler is asked to acquire certain ingredients in the recipe. Once the ingredients are ready, the cooking process begins.

Parsing The HTML For Web Page Assembly

The term “parse” is introduced in the next section of the discussion. Parsing is simply the process of taking all of the HTML document’s components (CSS, JavaScript, and HTML elements) and following the instructions for creating a page.

Splitt elaborated on the subject of rendering, saying that rendering parses the HTML. Essentially, when it comes from crawling, HTML is just neatly formatted text.

To transform this into a visual representation, Google must interpret the text. The search engine must get all the necessary components to grasp the meaning of the text. Doing so allows Google to know where the header is, what the text surrounding a piece of video content means, and so on.

All of this, from understanding the text to putting everything together and adding interactive elements, is rendering.

JavaScript’s Role In Rendering

According to Splitt, JavaScript is important for rendering as it is required to create a web page. The scripts associated with contact forms, for example, are not necessary for the initial development of an interactive web page where users can read, scroll, and click. Therefore, some non-essential JavaScript may be excluded or delayed if the page doesn’t require them.

However, some JavaScript is necessary for the page to be interactive and visible. This is why people should always try to identify which JavaScript is essential and which ones aren’t.

How User Experience Is Affected By Costly Rendering

Next, Splitt explains how JavaScript may have an impact on energy usage. He used the word “costly” to describe how time-consuming and energy-inefficient some JavaScript can be.

He likened JavaScript to carbon dioxide and explained how it affects users and the bottom line of ecommerce shops and publishers.

Splitt explained the significance of using costly rendering, saying that in this situation, Google Search faces the same problems as a real-world user. Because, even if a real-world user has a high-end phone, more execution entails greater power consumption. The more costly you make it, the worse an experience it is for customers.

Insights Into Importance Of Rendering

Much what we hear about is code, which can be intimidating to non-techies. When web developers talk about rendering, Document Object Models, and DOM trees, for example, it’s easy to get lost in the details. Splitt’s analogies helped take some of the mystery out of rendering, which is one crucial aspect of comprehending Core Web Vitals scores.

His conversation also helped raise public awareness about the notion of costly rendering and how visitors with old cell phones may struggle to render certain web pages. Even modern smartphones can face difficulties loading a web page if they’ve been on for days and the RAM is exhausted across many open browser windows.

Finally, Splitt demystified the concept of rendering. There are so many things like technical jargon that make it difficult to understand important ideas. Therefore, explaining things using simple terms helps the discussion on enhancing web page speed and improving Core Web Vitals performance move forward.

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