Q and A: Is it ok to use the noscript tag to add relevant keywords to a site?

QuestionDear Kalena…

On another site I ran into the use of noscript tag for SEO.

What do you think of the use of this if used to add keywords relevant to the site?



Hi Jena,

For those who aren’t familiar with the noscript tag – despite great advancements in search technology over the years, search bots still have trouble reading content contained within scripted sections of web content (such as JavaScript, Flash etc.). To remedy this, the noscript tag was introduced so that web developers could display relevant content that the search bots and browsers that didn’t support scripting could see.

As you could imagine, it didn’t take long before the tag was exploited and used for keyword stuffing which resulted in penalties.

There are still a lot of positive ways to use this tag that will not result in penalties – such as embedding links if you have a script-based navigation structure and there’s certainly no harm in using it to include relevant content or keywords (as long as it matches the content contained within the scripted version of the page). But if you try and exploit this, you’ll end-up running into troubles.

However, if you’re looking to use this tag to improve the on-site SEO aspects of a website – my advice would be to create a script-free architecture (through the use of CSS) and work on creating content that will be visible to bots and users without the requirement of such tags. This will not only have a better impact on the SEO of your site, but also improve the functionality of your site across a wider variety of browsers and mobile devices (which commonly also have issues displaying scripted content).

Hope this helps

Peter Newsome
SiteMost Search Engine Optimisation

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