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Google Says That “Googlebot Doesn’t Use ‘View More’ Buttons”

Do you have ‘View More’ buttons on your site? If so, some of your content may not be indexed. Here are your options.

As part of an effort to communicate with webmasters, entrepreneurs, and digital agencies, Google often holds live Q&A-style sessions where people can submit questions. They can also ask them live. 

Currently, the English versions of the SEO sessions are usually hosted by Google Search Advocate John Mueller. The sessions are usually recorded and posted onto the Google Search Central YouTube channel

During the session, John paraphrased and addressed a question that was submitted. Whoever submitted this question gave some background pertaining to their individual site and their current situation. 

One thing that applied to this site, and which would apply to almost any site that uses ‘View More’ JavaScript, is that Googlebot doesn’t use ‘View More.’

(The video below is queued to the appropriate part of the session.)

At this point in the video, John continued his response: “I took a quick look at how you have this implemented and essentially, you load a small subset of your collection, and then the JavaScript ‘View More’ button would load more of these items onto the page…”

Okay…so far, so good. 

But then came the eye-opener: “…and Googlebot doesn’t use ‘View More’ buttons, so we would not be able to see kind of the additional content that you’re loading there. 

“So instead of using ‘View More,’ usually we recommend using some form of pagination.

“… we have, I think, a whole article on pagination…”

3 Pagination Options (Plus a 4th) 

I’m pretty sure that the article John was referring to is Pagination, Incremental Page Loading, and Their Impact on Google Search

That page discusses 3 page load options: pagination, load more (which I think is a term interchangeable with ‘View More’) and infinite scroll. 

The thing with ‘View More’ and infinite scroll is that they both, usually, are implemented using JavaScript. The potential issue with that, as the title of this news item suggests, is that Googlebot doesn’t use JavaScript. 

In other words, Googlebot isn’t going to ‘click’ on the ‘View More’ button, so it might not see your content that’s behind that button.

If you do use ‘View More’ or infinite scroll, maybe your webmaster is already following the basics of JavaScript SEO.

I think there’s a 4th option which, for some reason, isn’t discussed in the article above, and that’s HTML5 Show More Content Without JS.

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel