Martin Splitt of Google warns website owners of the challenges associated with using third-party JavaScript content, such as: B. Blog comment areas.

This issue was raised on August 3 in Google's "Search Off The Record" episode, in which John Mueller and Gary Illyes from the Search Relations team are also represented.

Third-party content issues

Splitt fixed an issue that occurred last month that Google did not index Disqus blog comments.

Disqus is an example of third-party content that is embedded using JavaScript and rendered on the client side.

Although the content belongs to the website on which it is displayed, it is still a "third party" in the sense that it is hosted on the Disqus server.

Any number of things can go wrong if a website owner relies on something other than their own server to render content.

Regarding the problem with Disqus, however, it was a bug on Google's side that caused the bug.


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According to Splitt, the indexing problem led to a more extensive discussion of how to deal with critical JavaScript content that was rendered by third parties.

After about 13 minutes in the podcast, Splitt explains the different things that can go wrong if you rely on content from another server:

“We found out what the bug was, fixed it, and basically within the day it worked again.

But I think this kind of has sparked a bigger discussion about how you should do things when it comes to JavaScript and critical third-party content.

Because the challenge is that you as the website owner don't really have control over third parties.

And if you use client-side JavaScript to get third-party content in the browser, errors can occur.

You could automate your JavaScript API and then we cannot make the request or your servers are really under load. And then we decide not to direct these inquiries to third parties, since situations with high utilization already occur in them. "


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Splitt goes on to explain how these problems can be avoided by doing everything on the server side.

If the third party has an API that can be used to interact on the client side, it is likely that this can also be done on the server side.

Of course that would require a developer's expertise, but it is possible.

Grit continues:

“And usually there are ways to do this on the server side.

If the third party provides an API that you can interact with from the client, and from the browser with JavaScript, you can most likely do so on the server side.

And then basically avoid these problems, because your server then controls what happens when and when the data comes in from third parties.

But I think not that many people do that and I would hope that people will warm up to the idea of ​​doing this instead of doing everything on the customer side. "

Bad idea to rely on third parties?

John Mueller of Google complements the discussion with the question: "Is it a bad idea to rely on third parties?"

It's not a bad idea, says Splitt, it's more of an "okay" idea to rely on third parties.

Although you need to be careful, he explains:

"It's okay to rely on third parties. You just need to be careful and understand that you have very little control over what happens and how it happens in the browser.

And if you rely on Googlebot to do the heavy lifting and figure out how to get third-party data, you'll have less control than if your server does, because your server is an environment you control, hopefully . "

From then on, the discussion developed into whether blog comments should be blocked for indexing and how links in comments should be dealt with.


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Before the Disqus problem was solved, each team member had a long discussion about the first day at Google.

Interesting if you always wanted to know more about how the company hires new employees.

Listen to the whole episode here.


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