Are modals good or bad for SEO

I have a website called growremotely.io where I show modals from the side for the jobs that are posted. Is this a good practice? Does this help with our SEO?

If not should we be opening each of these as a separate page?

Looking for some help from experts.

  1. 5

    Very interesting website, let's first define "good" and "bad".

    What is bad for SEO is anything that prevents content on your website from being crawled and indexed, or negatively affects your site (poor content, slows your site down, etc).

    What is good for SEO is anything that makes it easy for Google to crawl and index your site, as well as creates a stellar experience for folks visiting your website - fast page speeds, easy to navigate, etc.

    It looks like the content on this website is loaded with Javascript - I notice that when you click the buttons to filter the jobs nothing changes in the URL, and that when inspecting the source code the job content is not there.

    This means it's pretty shaky as to whether Google is going to actually see this content - not just the modals, but the jobs themselves. And Google for sure will not differentiate between "Programming" jobs and "Frontend" when clicked on the main page.

    Google has been getting better at executing JavaScript, which means there is a chance they will see content generated by JS, but "better" is not "they aways see it".

    You can know for sure what Google sees though with Google Search Console. You can test this by submitting a sitemap, and then test the individual URLs to see what Google renders - this shows you the rendered HTML and a screenshot of what Google sees, which can help confirm if they can properly execute the JS or not.

    1. 1

      Would changing the URL and using that to trigger the drawer / modal (I.e example.com/profile/?drawer=settings&id=1) help with SEO? I usually do that so you can deep-link straight to a modal or drawer but I’m not too familiar with how it would effect SEO

      1. 3

        Good question!

        OP's site does that as well - when you open up the modal for a job there is a query string in the URL, like this one https://growremotely.io/?id=614289313ed94694f2b5908e

        Like I said above, having unique URLs certainly helps but what really matters is whether Google can index the content. The content on OP's site, and inside these modals, is rendered with JavaScript; Google has been getting better at rendering JS, but "better" does not mean "sees it every time".

        To know for sure, OP (and you!) will have to set up Google Search Console and test these urls to see whether Google can render the content.

        "Good for SEO" can be boiled down to 2 things:

        1. Can Google see the content?
        2. Is the content worth seeing? - Does it demonstrate my expertise and authority in this area?
        1. 1

          Super helpful. Thank you!

    2. 1

      Thanks, this is helpful

    3. 1

      Not OP, but I definitely appreciate the answer!

      1. 1

        Glad it's helpful!

  2. 2

    Just create a fallback page for the ajax loaded content; E.g let the <a> links lead to a the specific content on a sub page. But, for those who has javascript enabled; Show the modal'ed content.

    I think this is a good practice in general - have the content always available for those w/o js enabled (search engines) and reward those with js enabled. (Probably 99.99% of your visitors)

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