/webmasters/community?hl=en
This content is likely not relevant anymore. Try searching or browse recent questions.
Site navigation not working with JavaScript turned off on mobile. Does it matter for SEO?
0
During an SEO audit we were told that with JavaScript turned off the desktop site can site be navigated but the responsive mobile site cannot. See a few notes below:

  •  ideally the navigation should be accessible across devices and browsers consistently and despite the leaps search engine have made with JavaScript we would still prefer non Java Script menus

  • The site is still navigable on desktop with JavaScript switched off, however on mobile it is not, giving users no way to explore the site should they need/want to

  • We would recommend investigating whether a HTML simple nav can be made available should JavaScript not be accessible for users

I trying to gauge pros and cons of this and the impact on SEO.
Is this "nice to have" or rather a major factor suppressing our rankings?

You help and opinion on the above would be appreciated

Many thanks
Details
Pinned
Locked
Latest Update Latest Updates (0)
Relevant Answer Relevant Answers (0)
All Replies (12)
Relevant Answer
deally the navigation should be accessible across devices and browsers consistently and despite the leaps search engine have made with JavaScript we would still prefer non Java Script menus
 
Exactly, while Google CAN render sites using Javascript (ie will render with a headless browser that executes javascript) 
 
... its still 'new' technology, and not 100% reliable. 
 
 
Difficult to 'quantify' the risk of relying on client side rendering. Some sites get away with it just fine, otehrs have problems. The factors that affect it are complex. 
 
 
Looking at the screenshot in the Mobile tester
https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
can be a way to 'asses' the risk. 
 
That is showing the result of rendering the site in a Google made headless browser (similar but not same!) as the one used during crawling/indexing. 
 
... so if it renders ok in mobile test, there is a fair CHANCE it would work ok for organic crawling. But its not a direct corrleation!
 
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Thanks Barry

Mobile test doesn't really show me the navigation/mega menu functions but the page renders ok.
Is there any other ways to say - this is worth fixing as it will have meaningful impact on SEO.

So far, its nice to have to me?

Hope you can advise
Thanks
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Googel dont provide any tool explicitly to see if it can extract links from the page (ie after rendering) 
 
BUT, the Mobile tester (as does URL Inspection) does provide the rendered HTML source. Ie the HTML recreated from the DOM, AFTER rendering process. 
 
ie the menu should be the HTML, even if not vsible in the screenshot. 
 
... so look in this HTML source, see if has the menu been rendered as HTML, with nice 'accessible' <a href=> tags.
 
In theory its this rendered source that the Google indexer is 'using' to index the page. Its also the source used to discover links. 
 
 
... if these <a> tags not visible in the rendered source, that a red flag you have an issue! 
 
 
 
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Thanks.

Interesting.

There are 3 "Layers" of mega menu links, I can only see 2 top ones.
Essentially the lowest level of links is not in Html

I guess this is an issue on the site, rather than googlebot error with JS?

Also 

will google crawl relative links

<li class="has-menu">
<a href="/category/shoes" title="Shoes">
<span>Shoes</span>

as opposed to absolute?

<a href="https://www.mydomain/category/shoes" title="Shoes">
<span>Shoes</span>

Our CRM produces relative links.

Thanks a lot for help
Wonder does it matter to google?
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
I guess this is an issue on the site, rather than googlebot error with JS?
 
Dont know enough to say for sure. 
 
 
will google crawl relative links
 
Yes!
 
(unless there is a <base> tag confusing it!) 
 
 
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Hi Barry

I see that we made a change to the way we execute the mega menu.
The 3 level links will be only available to the user upon a hover.
This is why the 3rd level of the menu is not in the HTML 


1. is in the html
2. is in html
3 is not and can be accessible to the user upon a hover

Is this a problem to the crawlers?
Will googlebot be able to follow 3 level links in this case?

Hope you can advise

marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Will googlebot be able to follow 3 level links in this case?
 
No. 
 
If the DOM is only created ON hover, then bots wont see it. THey don't trigger any 'hover' events. 
 
 
For bots to 'discover' the links in the page, would have to be rendered in the DOM on page load (even if ultimately then 'hidden' from user view. eg attaching display:none to the elements, will prevent user seeing the menu initially, won't prevent URL discovery! Then the 'hover' event just (in effect!) removes the display:none
 
 
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Hi Barry

That makes sense.

So it seems like we came to decide if the loss of crawl into 3 level links on the mega menu is a good SEO  trade-off for a super fast website?

What do you think?
We did shave off a good bit on the load times. The homepage is instant
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Well in general generating the DOM for that menu at load time is unlikely to take *that* long. 
... particular as seems already running some javascript at load time. 
 
Going to add a few ms, not 10's or even 100s. 
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Thanks Barry

Developers claim, the site map should be sufficient to accommodate crawling hence the lazy load on these links was ok.
Would you agree?
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Well a sitemap might be ok for 'discovery' - ie Googel finding the pages . But the page links can help with ranking. 
 
... ie a page prominent enough be be included in global menu, is a relatively important page. 
 
Sitemaps contribute zero page rank. A page with no known inlinks doesnt rank very well. 
marked this as an answer
Relevant Answer
Thanks
This helps a lot.
Will try to gauge this somehow.
We learn something every day.
marked this as an answer
This question is locked and replying has been disabled.
Discard post? You will lose what you have written so far.
Write a reply
10 characters required
Failed to attach file, click here to try again.
Discard post?
You will lose what you have written so far.
Personal information found

We found the following personal information in your message:

This information will be visible to anyone who visits or subscribes to notifications for this post. Are you sure you want to continue?

A problem occurred. Please try again.
Create Reply
Edit Reply
This will remove the reply from the Answers section.
Notifications are off
Your notifications are currently off and you won't receive subscription updates. To turn them on, go to Notifications preferences on your Profile page.
Report abuse
Google takes abuse of its services very seriously. We're committed to dealing with such abuse according to the laws in your country of residence. When you submit a report, we'll investigate it and take the appropriate action. We'll get back to you only if we require additional details or have more information to share.

Go to the Legal Help page to request content changes for legal reasons.

Reported post for abuse
Unable to send report.
Report post
What type of post are you reporting?
Google takes abuse of its services very seriously. We're committed to dealing with such abuse according to the laws in your country of residence. When you submit a report, we'll investigate it and take the appropriate action. We'll get back to you only if we require additional details or have more information to share.

Go to the Legal Help page to request content changes for legal reasons.

Reported post for abuse
Unable to send report.
This reply is no longer available.
/webmasters/threads
//accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin
You'll receive email notifications for new posts at
Unable to delete question.
Unable to update vote.
Unable to update subscription.
You have been unsubscribed
Deleted
Unable to delete reply.
Removed from Answers
Removed from Updates
Marked as Recommended Answer
Marked as Update
Removed recommendation
Undo
Unable to update reply.
Unable to update vote.
Thank you. Your response was recorded.
Unable to undo vote.
Thank you. This reply will now display in the answers section.
Link copied
Locked
Unlocked
Unable to lock
Unable to unlock
Pinned
Unpinned
Unable to pin
Unable to unpin
Marked
Unmarked
Unable to mark
Reported as off topic
Known Issue
Fixed
Marked Fixed
Unmarked Fixed
Unable to mark fixed
Unable to unmark fixed
/profile/0
false
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center
true
83844
false