Google recently updated one of its developer documents to clarify that dynamic rendering is not cloaking.
As Google’s Martin Splitt says, this may not come as a surprise, but it does get asked often enough to warrant official clarification.
Yay! @LizziHarvey and I updated the dynamic rendering docs to clarify a very frequent question: Is dynamic rendering considered cloaking? The answer shouldn't surprise you 😂 https://t.co/l4s3JkOLcx pic.twitter.com/IH4MY8firS
— Martin Splitt @ 🇨🇭🏡 (@g33konaut) August 22, 2019
The updated documentation reads:
“Googlebot generally doesn’t consider dynamic rendering as cloaking. As long as your dynamic rendering produces similar content, Googlebot won’t view dynamic rendering as cloaking.”
Google also clarifies that error pages produced as a result of implementing dynamic rendering are not considered cloaking either.
The only instance in which dynamic rendering could be considered cloaking is if it’s used to serve different content to users and crawlers.
“Using dynamic rendering to serve completely different content to users and crawlers can be considered cloaking. For example, a website that serves a page about cats to users and a page about dogs to crawlers can be considered cloaking.”
This is an important clarification for Google to make because cloaking is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. That means it could impact rankings and even result in penalties.
However, if you’re using dynamic rendering as it’s intended to be used, then you won’t have to worry about violating Google’s guidelines.
For more information about dynamic rendering, see these resources: