Ever wondered what your website looks like through the eyes of Google?

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You’ve built an amazing website. It looks the part, has all the bells and whistles and gives your customers a fantastic source of information on the products & services you offer. From your perspective, it looks great. But what about how Google sees your website?

What you see on the front end of your site - the colours, pictures, information and layout - is not how Google sees your site. This is critical information to know as Google can be one of the largest sources of traffic to your website - as such it’s important to ensure Google sees exactly what it needs to see in order to index your website correctly and send the right traffic your way.

That’s where Google’s Fetch and Render tool comes in.

What is Fetch & Render?

Fetch & Render is a tool within the Google Search Console - a web service provided by Google for webmasters. When you run Fetch & Render within the console for a certain page on your website, it will imitate a crawl of that page and attempt to fetch all necessary resources so it can accurately render a page, including images, CSS and JavaScript.

You’ll then see a preview of what Google sees vs what you would typically see on your end.

Why is this important?

The main reason why this is such an important activity is that your website could be inadvertently blocking resources, which could impact how much content gets rendered by Google.

You can’t fix an issue which you don’t know your website has. With Fetch and Render, webmasters can make sure Google is able to fetch all necessary resources for an accurate render.

What could Fetch and Render Find?

Some examples of issues which are reported on by the Fetch and Render feature include:

  1. Complete SEO whiteouts. As hard as it is to believe, it’s possible for some pages to appear completely blank to Google. No content, whatsoever. Although rare, it is possible for this to happen. Pages such as this will not rank within Google.

  2. Missing Content. It’s possible for chunks of content to be blocked from Google’s view - leaving out critical information Google needs to crawl your site correctly. 

  3. Blocked pages: Sometimes your websites robots.txt file has blocked Google from reaching the page. 

  4. In some cases, Google can be completely prevented from fetching the page.

Mobile First Ranking

Google will soon be looking to be the mobile version of your website first and foremost to determine the ranking of both the mobile and desktop version.

Now is a great time to utilise Fetch and Render to ensure all of the content on your mobile site is being rendered properly. It’s possible that if there are rendering issues with your mobile site, then moving forward from this latest update your rankings could be based on less content (or no content), depending on how bad the render situation is.

For more information on Google’s Fetch and Render, or to have your website tested by one of our SEO professionals - call us today on 0800 400 736.

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