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The /home and /home/search pages render fine, but /home/product/ID_XYZ pages appear as just a loading icon when doing a "Live Test" in Google Search Console.

There has been some flux recently in the URL of product pages. I thought this may be related and found the sitemap was broken. I fixed this but rendering issues persist. In GSC the new sitemap URLs are "Excluded" with errors: "Crawled - currently not indexed" and "Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical" (but the duplicate URL is completely unrelated, like /about basically).

When testing in Google Lighthouse I see the following latency metrics:

/home

FCP: 0.7s - Speed Index 2.5s - LCP 3.6s - Time to Interactive 5.1s - Total blocking time 1.02 s - Cumulative Layout Shift 0.254

/home/product/ID_XYS

FCP: 0.7s - Speed Index 4.5s - LCP 5.2s - Time to Interactive 6.1s - Total blocking time 1.32 s - Cumulative Layout Shift 0.008

Obviously this would be fixed with SSR or prerendering, but I am trying to find faster/easier solutions first. Would this be purely a latency issue? I cannot find data on how long Google waits for a page to render, and I hoped fixing the sitemap would give it another signal that the link is valid and it should wait longer, but that didn't work. Is there anything I can do besides strictly targeting latency improvements? What would be a realistic target to hit?

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    Sitemaps have very limited effect on SEO. They can get Googlebot to crawl URLs and give you extra stats in GSC. But I wouldn't expect Google to give URLs contained in a sitemap special treatment like longer render times. Feb 22 at 20:00

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It's unlikely the latency issue. I mean, I haven't seen how fast it works and whether lighthouse was able to fully render the page.

Given that, yes, a prerenderer would be the simplest solution here.

But you still can do a bit of debugging in here (in no particular order):

  1. Record client-side JS errors and warnings and then check what errors Google has when you're asking it to preview the page through GSC (Google Search Console). Debug from there.
  2. Make sure none of your scripts are blocked based on user-agent. Change your user-agent to Google bot's and make sure the site responds adequately to that. I saw modern designs making mistakes by not rendering stuff properly for unrecognized/unlisted useragents.
  3. Don't use Lighthouse, use your devtools profiling abilities and debug your load times there, while doing so, use VPN and try different locations to make sure it's not a geo issue.
  4. Finally, although this may be one of the first things to do, check your access and error logs of your web server, see what server-side errors may happen to the googlebot useragents.
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  • Both just have 404 errors in the JS console. Network tab shows HOMEPAGE: 4.1MB transferred, 16MB resources, Finish 1.7min, DOM content load 1.01s, Load 1.79s PRODUCT: 5.5MB transferred, 23.6MB resources, Finish 3.4min, DOM load 1.16s, Load 2.4s. DOM load looks very close for both and acceptable. Putting Googlebot as the user agent doesnt seem to change anything on the site, and I don't see error logs on the server.
    – James L.
    Feb 23 at 23:04
  • Just 404? For what? what endpoint returned the 404? Go debug this 404, go to the web-server logs, find the 404 and debug why YOUR backend returns a 404. As I said, doesn't look like a latency issue.
    – BNazaruk
    Feb 23 at 23:19

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