But it seems like those days are numbered.
In a Google Webmasters Hangout conversation, Bartosz had with John Mueller (Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google) and Martin Splitt (developer advocate at Google), Splitt noted, “And I wouldn’t say that two waves of indexing are dead, but it’s definitely something that . . . I expect, eventually, rendering, crawling, and indexing will come closer together. We’re not there yet, but I know the teams are looking into it.”
“It’s gonna get much more technical,” said Bartosz.
This is the relevant transcript from the Google Webmaster Central Office-hours Hangout, as recorded on August 23, 2019. This hangout was hosted by Googlers John Mueller and Martin Splitt from Google Zürich. Onely’s CEO Bartosz Goralewicz was the invited guest.
Martin Splitt: And it keeps changing, right? It’s new stuff coming in. With every new bit on the web platform, you’re like, does this work with Googlebot?
JM: I mean, it’s –
BG: In two years or three years, you still think it’s gonna be a thing? Because I had this concept, it’s gonna dissolve.
JM: I mean, it’s gonna be a thing in that, uh, like, we will be better at it, but there’s still, there’s always technical details that you can get working well, or get working kind of –
MS: Less well.
JM: Kind of terribly –
BG: But my logic was that you guys are using the latest version of Chrome –
BG: So with new frameworks, they actually work in the latest version of Chrome, so eventually it’s gonna be one to one…?
MS: There are still – Yes and no –
BG: Is it naive thinking here?
MS: It’s a little naive to think that, because the thing is that you’re in the end still not, it’s not that there is a human being sitting in front of it looking at your website going like, “Oh, okay!” It’s a technical infrastructure –
BG: It’s not?!
MS: No! I know! There is technical infrastructure, and there are so many interesting implementation details that can interact with the web platform in interesting ways. To give you a very simple example: what we are doing with web components. I’m writing the guidance now, so excuse me if I’m not having like a very polished answer right now, you get the raw answer from me.
BG: I’ll take that.
MS: Web components work fine in Chrome, we have the latest version of Chrome, Chrome 76, as of today (actually, a couple of days ago) in Googlebot. That’s fine.
The thing there is, we have to make a decision what to index, so as the user, depending – let’s say I go to a website that has a web component, and there’s something in the shadow DOM, then I see the shadow DOM content. [But] if I would run Internet Explorer 10, I see the light DOM content which gets overwritten.
BG: It’s gonna get much more technical –
JM: Oh, yeah.
MS: That on the one hand and then, the thing is like –
BG: And more experiments.
And in the future, it’s gonna be more like, this is what can go wrong. It works out of the box, but these are the things that can still go wrong, and these are the things we need to do to debug them.
JM: I think that’s one thing, but also all of the troubleshooting stuff kind of comes in that.
That’s something where we can provide some tools to help, but things like shadow DOM and light DOM, it’s like, how are you gonna figure that out unless you already know that this is a thing or things like, you’re using <canvas> to put content out there, and we think, oh, <canvas> is an image, so we index it as an image.
That’s one of the reasons why I want developers and SEOs to sit at the same freaking table. Because developers are like, “Okay, so this is really hard for us, this is making everything slower,” and they are not necessarily thinking about, “Can Google index this, or can, can search index –
BG: Because –
MS: – can search engine see this?”
JM: That was –
BG: I was, I was waking up at night crying when I –
JM: I mean, I think that was, like, a good first step.
BG: Because this is actually – actually what’s happening.
MS: I think that was a good first step, but –
BG: 3 years ago, maybe. I’m not a huge fan of prerendering.
JM: I mean, it’s also one of those things, where in the first step, you have to know what the limitations are and when you know the limitations, you can kind of work around them, and if you have a website and you need to get it indexed, like, you can say, well, Google will figure it out in a couple of years. Like, that’s not a good business model. Like, you have to do what you have to do.
BG: I was actually, completely – looking at how quickly you catch up to technologies, how well you are doing compared to, like, experiments from a year ago – I had this vision in my head like, okay, in one or two years –
MS: It warms my heart because you are one of the few people who say we quickly catch up.
MS: It’s gonna be technical, yeah, for sure.
Here is the whole video: