React: Great for Development, Bad for SEO?

by / ⠀Blog / June 15, 2023
React

Every business needs a JavaScript library. If you are unsure what that is, a JavaScript library contains lines of code to make it easier for you to make your own coding for your own user interfaces. Basically, it is a library to assist you in making your websites and apps more manageable.

There are all sorts of different libraries out there. So, how do you know which is the best? That can be a hard question to answer because that depends on your business, you, and what you want for your business. This can take time to learn and understand, therefore, it is best to keep an open mind and keep your eye out for these sorts of things.

This article talks about the UI development library known as React. You will get a brief rundown of what React is all about and whether or not it is SEO-friendly. So, let’s start!

What is React?

React is a JavaScript library dedicated to storing lines of code to help you code easier. What’s great about React is that it is free and open-sourced. It was created by Meta (formerly known as Facebook) back in 2013 for an initial release. Since then, React has had its final tests done and had a stable release in the summer of 2022.

Software engineer Jordan Walke at Meta created React. Another Meta creation inspired him to do so, an HTML library called XHP. Two years later after React’s release, Meta put out React Native. This allowed the library to work coincide with Android, iOS, and UWP. Followed by another two years of development and work and Meta announces React Fiber in April 2017.

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With React Fiber, a brand new set of algorithms existed for rendering purposes. It was also replacing React’s former algorithm renderer known as Stack. React Fiber was then the base for any and all development for the React library. So, why use React Fiber over Stack? Because with Stack, that particular software was quite slow with its rendering because it tried to do it all at once. Fiber divides the animation into pieces to spread out. At the same time, a page could also be segmented, maintained, and rejuvenated when needed. With JavaScript, its functions, known as “fibers”, operate and update independently. This allows for smoother rendering.

React Licensing

React released in 2013 and used Apache License 2.0. Apache is a software license that is also free. Meta (Facebook at the time) replaced it a year later with a BSD license containing three clauses. They also created a separate file for patents, allowing any Facebook patents relating to use it. Facebook put in their contract that:

  • The license granted hereunder will terminate, automatically and without notice, for anyone that makes any claim (including by filing any lawsuit, assertion, or other action) alleging (a) direct, indirect, or contributory infringement or inducement to infringe any patent: (i) by Facebook or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, whether or not such claim is related to the Software, (ii) by any party if such claim arises in whole or in part from any software, product or service of Facebook or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, whether or not such claim is related to the Software, or (iii) by any party relating to the Software; or (b) that any right in any patent claim of Facebook is invalid or unenforceable.
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This caused controversy among React users because it gave Facebook the means to revoke the license for a large number of reasons. Because of the React community’s thoughts on it, Facebook made it more permissible and less vague.

Is React Good for SEO?

A key takeaway of React is that websites that have to pre-render to static content tend to have more traffic to them. Meanwhile, those with hydration or client-side rendering will have slower traffic to their websites.

There is also the idea to have multiple methods for various segments of the website. But, the important thing to know is that React is focused on UI framework, not SEO.

However, those who use React can use it to their advantage. Users with React can be optimized for better ranking in SEO. In fact, not all React apps are required to be SEO-optimized. Content-heavy websites will benefit from optimization. However, that comes from you.

Conclusion

In all React is not built for SEO optimization. But, don’t let that stop you! It still serves a purpose. Everything has a purpose to it and while it may not be used for SEO, you can use it to make excellent, content-filled websites that your customers and consumers will be flocking to!

About The Author

Tristan Anderson

Hello! My name is Tristan Anderson and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I enjoy being in nature and animals. I am also a huge geek who loves Star Wars and has a growing collection.

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