Does Google index links inside a NOSCRIPT tag?

There is no doubt that the NOSCRIPT tag is a very tempting but useful tag for Lazy loading techniques, image loading, pagination and Javascript fail-safes but if you’re like me who has been scratching their head wondering if it has any influence over how links and content might be indexed and crawled by Google then please make your thoughts heard!

I’d certainly like to know the answer to this one!  Are they Indexed, Crawled, Followed, Page Rank distributed, etc

So, I’ve been testing on my own website and gave the following scenarios:

TEST 1 – Page with Just simply a NOSCRIPT block with a sentence and hyperlink in it.

TEST 2 – Same as Test 1 but as well as the sentence with a hyperlink being inside the NOSCRIPT tag, it is outside of the NOSCRIPT tag

TEST 3 – NOSCRIPT tag with a sentence and hyperlink Link contained.  There is also a piece of javascript that generates a Link and places it outside of the NOSCRIPT

Why?

The idea of my tests was to see if Google would show any unwillingness to crawl any of the hyperlinks and prove a point that links inside a NOSCRIPT tag are not indexed.

Result

Googlebot crawled and indexed all links…

Google indexing links inside anoscript

Conclusion

Google must give some consideration to links inside a NOSCRIPT tag, I’d be curious to know what the conditions are despite their recommendations on the Web Master Blog. Maybe my tests are flawed or I’ve messed them up ?

Why is this important to know?

Firstly, it’s bugging me to know and I’m sure many other SEO’s what to recommend to developers when they ask (well some Developers!!) about these issues.  If I was to tell a developer that they could NOT use a NOSCRIPT tag, then they would have to spend time developing a complex work around solution I’m sure, before I do that, I want to be damn sure.

So does this mean Page Rank is passed or distributed with a NOSCRIPT tag?

On this round of tests, I have not tested this but this is still open to debate, I’d certainly be interested to know the answer to this question since this means that a majority of e-commerce engines use front-end code using pagination and lazy loading based on NOSCRIPT tags.

If Google is unable to process the Javascript or it’s blocked then and Googlebot relies on the NOSCRIPT implementation to crawl content.  In this case, I’d then request that developers implement solutions that allow Page Rank to flow from product categories to products themselves and it is down to debate whether a NOSCRIPT tag allows this.

I’m certainly open to discussion guys, welcome! 🙂

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