There are quite a few SEMs that are aware that Google is parsing JavaScript and processing content within the DOM.  Not only is this because Google told us, but also because it has been tested.

Despite the fact that this is known information, there are tools that provide backlink data that only sees classically formatted <a href> HTML elements listed within the source code of a given page.  They don’t capture link referrals from JavaScript redirects, dynamically inserted (<a> tag links or URLS associated with JavaScript onclick events.

With the exception of Google Search Console (GSC), whose backlink data is limited, top backlink data providers like Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, Moz Open Site Explorer and SEMrush are not currently reporting on JavaScript-based link referrals.

The folks at set up a test pointing JavaScript-based links.  Links to these target pages didn’t exist previously exist on the referring site.

Even though the URL “strings” are found in the source code of the page, they’re associated with onclick events and not within the href attribute of the <a> element.  The three links above have been picked up and reported on within GSC appropriately.  With this info, we know as a fact that Google has a larger understanding of what qualifies as a “link referral” in the current digital ecosystem.

[Read he full article here at Search Engine Land]

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