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Two Easy Ways To Optimize Your JavaScript

By Steve Shaw
Posted Sunday, November 28, 2004

Did you know that JavaScript can damage search engine rankings? This article gives you two easy ways to make the JavaScript on your web site more search engine friendly, improve your search engine position, and give your traffic levels a nice boost. Many web sites, even those owned by people we all think of as gurus in the Internet marketing business, have large blocks of JavaScript at the top of their web pages, sometimes running to dozens of lines of code.

But did you know that this common practice can have a negative effect on your search engine listings, by pushing your major keywords down the page?

In terms of search engine ranking, it's generally accepted that the higher your keywords are on the page, the better.

This easy-to-follow article will give you two easy ways to make the JavaScript on your web site more search engine friendly, improve your search engine position, and give your traffic levels a nice boost.

1. Move the script to the bottom of the page

This is the easiest method. A lot of JavaScript code can be moved to just above the closing body tag on your web page, without affecting the functionality of your web site.

The best way to do this is simply to test it out and see if it works - if you don't experience any adverse effects and your site appears to continue to perform normally, stick with it.

Your keywords will suddenly be much higher up the page, and your site may even load quicker too with all the code at the bottom.

If you wish, you can also combine this method with the second method as described below.

2. Externalize the script into a .js file

This method has the added advantage that the external .js file containing your JavaScript is often cached in your web visitor's browser, meaning that on subsequent visits your web page will load faster.

It also means you can have the same code on a number of different pages, yet only have a single file to modify and maintain when you want to adjust the script.

Here's how you do it:

Your JavaScript will look something like the following:
Ignoring the opening and closing script tags, and the comment tags if you have them, copy the code in the middle into a brand new plain text file - for example, paste the code into a plain text editor like Notepad (don't be tempted to use something like MS Word).

Save this file with a .js extension, for example, 'mycode.js', and upload this page to your server to the same directory as the web page.

To make your web page reference this new .js file, replace the existing JavaScript as shown in the example above, with a single line in the following format: Just replace 'mycode.js' with the name of your own .js file.

Upload your modified web page to your server and test.

And there you have it - a smaller page, improved keyword positioning, quicker load times for your visitors, and easier script maintenance.

As stated above, both these methods can easily be combined if you wish, too.

About the Author
Technical e-marketer Steve Shaw reveals the technology behind e-marketing, the stuff the techies don't tell you. Find out more information at (http://takanomi.com/newsletter)