Can Yandex Process & Render Javascript Websites?

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In a recent interview that I conducted with the Yandex search team, they revealed that they had been testing the crawling and parsing of JavaScript and CSS files since 2015, with efforts increased since.

In 2015, this improved process only happened for small parts of websites, and not all websites known in the index, but this has since increased in terms of coverage.

When it comes to rankings, in the original 2015 blog post, Yandex said that:

If this data allows us to provide users of our search with the best answer for any query, then in the ranking we will use the version obtained using JavaScripts and CSS.

Taking into account the user interface, how information is displayed, and how it is served.

Yandex also recommends not blocking JavaScript and CSS files via the robots.txt file.

In 2018 Irstlena Pershina, an active Yandex public spokesperson on their webmaster blog recommended that the best-practice is for sites to use server-side-rendering (SSR) if they’re built on JS platforms.

You can read the support article here.

A general rule: there must be static content for the robot.

Irstlena Pershina, May 7 2018, 18:18hrs

Rendering JavaScript For Yandex

It is recommended that you render your website for Yandex to allow the search engine to crawl and index content properly. This is even more important given that from 2022 all internet-enabled devices in Russia will have YaBrowser and Yandex installed by default, as the default browser and search engine.

For this, you can use a service like Prerender.io to pre-render your JavaScript so that the content (plain text, links, etc) is available to the Yandex bot, and search engine for indexing and ranking consideration.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at HreflangChecker.com and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of RussianSearchNews.com.