NoScript and SEO
Recently, I've had a few discussions with co-workers about what role, if any, the noscript tag currently plays when it comes to SEO. My opinion is that using the tags won't automatically lead to a penalty unless the copy within the tags is completely different than the rest of the page. At the same time, I think there's likely not going to be any benefit either. If the only optimization I can come up with for a page is to include noscript tags, then it's probably a good sign that the page is as good as its going to get.
Still, if you're inclined to use the tags, the way I would approach them is by asking yourself these two questions:
- Would the page in question fail a manual audit by a search engineer at Google?
- Would you be embarrassed if all of your customers saw the copy within the tags?
If you answer yes to any of those questions, you're likely treading in to search engine spam territory. Proceed at your own risk.
Note that I'm also using this post as a little test. I've got a noscript tag embedded in the page. The blurb between the tags currently returns 0 results in Google. In a few days I should be able to answer whether such text is included in Google's search results.
Update: June 21, 2007
I've confirmed one of my readers comments. The text within the noscript tag is indeed indexed and it is considered when determining what results to show on Google.
Update: February 27, 2009
Had to replace the text in the noscript tags because one of the commenters included it in his comments. Ugh. No results in Google for the updated text.