Since this adds even more complexity to the creation of your website, it’s recommended to implement hydration, static rendering, or server-side rendering instead.
This means web development teams and the technical SEO community need to understand the dynamic rendering process and why it should only be viewed as a temporary setup.
What is dynamic rendering?
Fully rendered content (a static HTML version of the pages) is submitted to search engines, while regular website visitors are served with normal (client-side rendered) content.
By providing relevant websites to users and search engine bots, dynamic rendering helps minimize the crawl time required for each of your pages.
Not all websites need dynamic rendering, but how exactly does it work?
This is how dynamic rendering works
Implementing dynamic rendering can be challenging, resource-intensive, and time-consuming.
- An external dynamic renderer like Prerender.io is installed on the server to identify search crawlers.
- Requests from crawlers are forwarded to the renderer, which serves as a translation of the content suitable for the crawler (e.g. a static HTML version). This page is then cached for later use.
- A human user request is treated normally and forwarded to the website. You can also use this part of the dynamic rendering process to determine whether desktop or mobile content is required.
What problems can dynamic rendering solve?
This means that search engines get pages faster, which means they can crawl more pages of your site – making more of your pages visible in search engine results pages (SERPs).
This makes the technique ideal for large websites that generate lots of content that is updated frequently (e.g. an e-commerce store with a rotating inventory).
More content indexed in Google will support your content marketing efforts and investments in organic search channels.
Should you still be using dynamic rendering?
This is also beneficial for businesses that need to make the most of their crawling budget and have little technical resources.
Because it’s faster and less resource-intensive than server-side rendering, it’s also easier to deploy.
There are three cases where web developers should consider using dynamic rendering temporarily:
- If you have a large website with rapidly changing content that requires rapid indexing – This helps with rankings and increases traffic and sales.
- If your website relies on social media sharing and chatting applications that require access to page content – embeddable social media walls, widgets, etc.
Is dynamic rendering cloaking?
Google describes cloaking as “sending different content or URLs to human users and search engines with the intention of manipulating search rankings and misleading users.”
It’s considered a black hat SEO tactic – for example, showing a page about dogs to users and a page about cats to crawlers.
Although dynamic rendering sends different content to both parties, its sole purpose is to pre-render your content for bots.
When you implement dynamic rendering, you minimize the differences between the version of the page you send to search bots and the version that is sent to users.
By providing the same end content to crawlers and human users, Google makes indexing easy, fast, and inexpensive.
How to use dynamic rendering as a workaround
On the other hand, dynamic rendering creates additional unnecessary complexities and resources for Google. Since many prerendering requests are generated, this can slow down your server significantly.
Dynamic rendering is not a viable option in the long run since it requires you to maintain two separate versions of your website.
You need to separately check if your website is well optimized for users and search bots. This costs your SEO and development teams valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.
- Is your website indexable?
- Does your content change regularly?
- Are you facing budget constraints?
- Is your engineering team too busy to implement server-side rendering?
There is dynamic rendering to fix web pages that don’t show up in search engine results pages. However, we always recommend server-side rendering.
Finally, maintaining only one version of a website is easier and more time-efficient because you don’t have to check that the versions for users and Googlebot are the same.
After you’ve balanced your development resources and technology capabilities, look for ways to move to server-side rendering so that all user-agents get the same content.
Featured image: stegworkz/Shutterstock