Pages on many of my websites load additional page content via AJAX calls. The page shell will load quickly for UX reasons. Then the page shell will make secondary AJAX calls to load additional content (to fill various <div>'s) that might require longer time to load. This way, the user is not waiting for the one slowest section to complete before the page finally appears.

I saw that Google scores based on page load speed. But I also had someone tell me that Google is not going to execute the javascript to load the secondary AJAX content, which will severely limit the content that Google sees and indexes. Is this correct that Google will not execute the javascipt to make AJAX calls for content?

It seems like I'm stuck satisfying Google by using monolithic page loads that take forever, or satisfying my users with a better UX but to the detriment of SEO.

Am I understanding this correctly? Recommendations?

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