How do you use React.js for SEO?

How do you use React.js for SEO?

Articles on React.js like to point out, that React.js is great for SEO purposes. Unfortunately, I’ve never read, how you actually do it.
Do you simply implement _escaped_fragment_ as in https://developers.google.com/webmasters/ajax-crawling/docs/getting-started and let React render the page on the server, when the url contains _escaped_fragment_, or is there more to it?
Being able not to rely on _escaped_fragment_ would be great, as probably not all potentially crawling sites (e.g. in sharing functionalities) implement _escaped_fragment_.

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

I’m pretty sure anything you’ve seen promoting React as being good for SEO has to do with being able to render the requested page on the server, before sending it to the client. So it will be indexed just like any other static page, as far as search engines are concerned.

Server rendering made possible via ReactDOMServer.renderToString. The visitor will receive the already rendered page of markup, which the React application will detect once it has downloaded and run. Instead of replacing the content when ReactDOM.render is called, it will just add the event bindings. For the rest of the visit, the React application will take over and further pages will be rendered on the client.

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If you are interested in learning more about this, I suggest searching for “Universal JavaScript” or “Universal React” (formerly known as “isomorphic react”), as this is becoming the term for JavaScript applications that use a single code base to render on both the server and client.

Solution 2:

As the other responder said, what you are looking for is an Isomorphic approach. This allows the page to come from the server with the rendered content that will be parsed by search engines. As another commenter mentioned, this might make it seem like you are stuck using node.js as your server-side language. While it is true that have javascript run on the server is needed to make this work, you do not have to do everything in node. For example, this article discusses how to achieve an isomorphic page using Scala and react:

https://thebhwgroup.com/blog/isomorphic-web-design-react-scala

That article also outlines the UX and SEO benefits of this sort of isomorphic approach.

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Solution 3:

Two nice example implementations:

Try visiting https://react-redux.herokuapp.com/ with javascript turned on and off, and watch the network in the browser dev tools to see the difference…

Solution 4:

It is also possible via ReactDOMServer.renderToStaticMarkup:

Similar to renderToString, except this doesn’t create extra DOM
attributes such as data-react-id, that React uses internally. This is
useful if you want to use React as a simple static page generator, as
stripping away the extra attributes can save lots of bytes.

Solution 5:

Going to have to disagree with a lot of the answers here since I managed to get my client-side React App working with googlebot with absolutely no SSR.

Have a look at the SO answer here. I only managed to get it working recently but I can confirm that there are no problems so far and googlebot can actually perform the API calls and index the returned content.

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Solution 6:

There is nothing you need to do if you care about your site’s rank on Google, because Google’s crawler could handle JavaScript very well! You can check your site’s SEO result by search site:your-site-url.

If you also care about your site’s rank such as Baidu, and your sever side implemented by PHP, maybe you need this: react-php-v8js.

References