Google Warns Against NOSCRIPT Element

Jun 21, 2010 • 8:51 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

The NOSCRIPT element is often used to provide users that have browsers that don't read JavaScript and alternative method of accessing the web site. I actually used it on my old web site when the home page was very JavaScript dependent.

Today, I saw a thread where Google warned against using the NOSCRIPT tag.

Googler, JohnMu, said in a thread, "the problems with noscript is that it's been abused quite a bit by spammers, so search engines might treat it with some suspicion." In fact, in 2006 Brett Tabke said links in noscript tags didn't pass PageRank.

JohnMu actually offered it as an alternative for one webmaster, saying, "I imagine the use of a noscript element in the way you are using it might be a fairly safe compromise." But then went on to say that search engines are suspicious when it is used. Let me quote John fully:

Failing that, I imagine the use of a noscript element in the way you are using it might be a fairly safe compromise. One of the problems with noscript is - as others have mentioned - that it's been abused quite a bit by spammers, so search engines might treat it with some suspicion. So if this is really important content, then I wouldn't rely on all search engines treating your noscript elements in the same way as normal, visible, static content on your pages. If this is "just" for comments, then that might be worth considering regardless, especially if the alternatives are much more complicated.

So be careful when using this and try everything you can do avoid it.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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06/21/2010 02:07 pm

I think it is not really fair from the search engines. U cant have a bad boy free world, i think it can tend to some perceive as truly fair, but a little thing will be in place. So under this Cicumstances and of the time you can became an all illicit situation because a bad boy is testing all the things to be unfair. In opposite i think all other people should work with Guidelines and against such bad boy´s to show such "people" that this isnt a thing to be worthwhile. be proactive instead to take action.

Pablo Almeida

06/21/2010 02:34 pm

Google is adopting a general policy in recent times. Instead of declaring war only to spammers, they want to delay the side of good SEOs. Sometimes it seems they are losing control on the eternal battle against spam.


06/21/2010 05:56 pm

Google is protecting their brand. And I'm sure it is now common knowledge that Google will always say "If you don't prefer how we handle our index, feel free to use the other engines" :)

Michael Martinez

06/21/2010 09:15 pm

I think if you're embedding only one link in NOSCIPT you're probably safe. I've been doing that for years and don't intend to change it just because of John's comments. NOSCIPT is a legitimate element and they don't have to penalize sites for using it -- they have the option of simply ignoring it.


06/22/2010 05:51 am

Thanks for the heads up. I haven't read this news and I appreciate you sharing this. I have some website using the noscript element.

Bill Kruse

06/22/2010 08:28 am

The problem with Google is that they let so many of their manual checkers go that they don't have the resources to determine, especially with their useless algos, what's legitimate and what isn't. Rather than risk getting gamed, they just try to put a blanket ban on the noscript element which can be and often is used perfectly legitimately by general consent. This is Google obfuscating to hide their own inadequacy. BB


06/22/2010 10:01 am

RE: BB - if they are that inadequate why do they have so much market share? They have every right to ban elements that are abused by so many. Although I must admit in the early noughties when I owned a black hat (now preistine white), we used this element all the time with great effect. Google seem a little late off the mark!

John Britsios

06/27/2010 01:26 am

I think what John Mu is spreading around is seriously ridiculous. Like Michael Martinez stated above, "NOSCIPT is a legitimate element" and is a requirement for web content accessibility. Google began building an "Accessible Search" and the same time they advise us to work against accessibility? Come on people. If Google has a problem with the noscript element being abused, they should try to solve their problem themselves. I am not going to remove the Noscript elements from my sites and screw up their accessibility, just because Google is incapable to fight spamdexers. I do support every action against spam, but I do not support actions against the web standards and furthermore against my site visitors with disabilities. No go Google. End of story!

Paul J

07/05/2010 09:08 am

I don't ever tend to use noscript anyway, most people use JavaScript, if people aren't then they are living in the past to be honest.

Garry Pintch

09/15/2010 12:34 pm

Completely agree with John in this regard ( Is Google showing their true colors here, trying to assume the position of the world internet police, discriminating against web user with disabilities?


10/12/2013 12:57 am

Google says :"Place the same content from the JavaScript in a tag. If you use this method, ensure the contents are exactly the same as what’s contained in the JavaScript"

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