Imarc has been using Single Page App (SPAs) techniques to build websites for some time, and has been experimenting with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as well. Although these patterns aren’t ideal for all websites, with them you can achieve a very “app-like” experience with standard web technologies. SPAs let you create super fast, highly usable, and far more interactive experiences than a traditional website architecture.
To understand how to generate search-friendly content, though, you should know a bit of the history of how search engines and dynamic web content have interacted.
The Mesozoic of the Web
As a web developer, this feels like a waste of effort. Frustrating. If you wanted to deliver the richest experience possible to the visitor, while still appearing in Google results, you had to build your web page twice. Once for Google, and then build the site you actually wanted to build for your users! (It was called “progressive enhancement,” and was nominally about supporting all users. But really, it was about supporting Google.)
Thank heavens, things change.
Google put some performance disclaimers on it, but over the following year SEOs found that Google was actually pretty good about running on-site scripts. Content not appearing in Google appeared to be a non-issue.
By 2017 it was determined that Single Page Apps were not just search-safe but Google friendly. Today, if you want to build an SPA, Google is just fine with it. So long as you observe a few guidelines and perform some testing, building your site as an SPA shouldn’t hurt your search rankings.
In Part 2, we’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of SEO for SPAs and PWAs, offering concrete guidance for ensuring great search engine optimization for your modern web site architecture.