1. Glossary
  2. Crawlers
  3. NoScript Tags

NoScript Tags

The NoScript tag is an invaluable tool for web developers, providing content on pages enriched with JavaScript, Java, Flash or AJAX for users whose browsers do not support dynamic content hosted in these forms. You may have seen notices such as “Your browser is unable to read JavaScript” when trying to load a website: This is a NoScript tag in action.

Sites also use text within a NoScript tag to give an accurate description or transcript of the contents contained inside the non-HTML based program. This not only informs the user of the contents of the video, but gives the same information to search engines, offering a valuable opportunity to place relevant keywords in a prime search spider location.

However, search engines are getting better at crawling content within multimedia content, which raises the risk of them considering NoScript tags as being used as a new black hat SEO technique, with the same keywords (or even the same content) being used in both the multimedia and NoScript elements of a page. This could lead to your site incurring severe penalties and considerable drops in rankings; indeed, one Google employee has recommended only making use of a NoScript tag if it does not contain “important content”.

By using NoScript tags to display messages along the lines of “Javascript should be enabled in your browser” on every page of your site which uses that programming language, you may also be giving search engines the wrong impression about the contents of your site. Think of it this way—the word “Javascript” will appear at least once on each page as part of this automatic message. Consequently, it is important to use unique content on each page so as not to risk being penalised for duplicate content.