Netlify pre-rendering and 5xx errors

Hi,

We use Netlify pre-rendering on our single page app (www.goodpairdays.com) to improve the crawling of our app by Google crawlers.

We’ve noticed an increase in the number of 5xx errors reported in the Google Search console for our website since enabling pre-rendering and we suspect it’s caused by pre-rendering (there are other thread that mention the same issue such as Server error (5xx) - #6 by PatN123).

My question is: does Netlify have a recommendation on what’s the best thing to do in term of SEO:

  • Enabling pre-rendering, even though it causes the Google crawler to report some 5xx errors
  • Disabling pre-rendering to avoid having the Google crawler report some 5xx errors, even though it might penalize our website SEO crawling since it’s a single page app.

Thanks,
Arthur

Is there a specific page with the 500 error?

I tried to check your home page with the Googlebot UA and it works fine.

Hi,

For example this page Good Pair Days | Discover Wines Paired To Your Tastes reported a 5xx error when it was last crawled (May 16th).

Cheers,
Arthur

Hi Arthur , very sorry for the late reply!

There are a few things you can try:

Let us know if that helps or not.

Hi Audrey,

Thanks for the reply. I’ve tried the Facebook debugger on some of the URLs that reported a 5xx error on the Google console and the Facebook bot got a 200 status code for those URLs.

Before I have a look at external pre-rendering services, is there anything we could do on our end to avoid those isolated errors with netlify pre-rendering?

Thanks,
Arthur

Hi @arthur-gpd,

We would recommend looking into an external pre-rendering service; there are unfortunately no additional changes on Netlify’s side which would completely eliminate this behavior.

That said, we did have a look into our logs to see how often this is happening, and it is approximately 1% of the time for your specific site over the past 24 hours. While this percentage is small, we know that this is not the ideal behavior and that’s why we recommend looking into something like prerender.io or another external pre-rendering service.

Let us know if you have any additional questions or if you need help with anything else!