Search Engines and JS Tutorials: Still Appalling

About a year ago, I observed that ancient HTML and JS tutorials were choking the web like kudzu. Fast-forward to the present day, and… nothing has changed.

Focusing on Google results for JS tutorials (Bing is equally bad):

  1. On the first page of results for “javascript tutorial”, every single result ranges from bad to truly awful. My proxy for “bad” is, the first example A) uses fallback comments for Netscape Navigator 1.0 and B) uses alert() or document.write(). Most tutorials go rapidly downhill from there.

  2. The 1% of users who somehow manage to click through to the second page of results will finally stumble into the first good link in position #14 — Eloquent JavaScript by Marijn Haverbeke. This is an excellent JavaScript resource, well-written and modern. I own the dead-tree book and recommend it highly. Haverbeke bills Eloquent JavaScript as an “introduction to the JavaScript programming language and programming in general,” but I think that aside from the first chapter on variables and control flow, the book is too sophisticated to be an introductory tutorial.

  3. The third page of results includes the Mozilla Developer Network JavaScript docs, which are excellent but in no way a tutorial. It also includes a JS tutorial written by jQuery inventor John Resig, targeted at experienced programmers. Finally, in position #29, an actually useful JS tutorial site appears, is well-organized and comprehensive. It’s not hideously ugly and slathered with ads. The early lessons ignore legacy nonsense from 1995. It’s pitched at the right audience. We have a winner!

This state of affairs has made me angry. So angry in fact, that in a fit of pique I ran out and registered That’s like making someone mad enough to take a $10 out of their wallet and tear it up right in front of you. That’s angry.

After the YUI 3 Cookbook draft is done, I’m going to check one last time to see if anything has changed. I’ve registered a domain name, people. Don’t make me use it.

2 thoughts on “Search Engines and JS Tutorials: Still Appalling

  1. As a half measure, you could make a simple static site with a few links to good resources. I know nothing about SEO though, so maybe that wouldn’t be enough to make a difference.

  2. Echo — you’re right. As a temporary measure, just curating some decent links might do someone a little good. I’ll get on that.

    If anyone has suggestions for more JS tutorials that are modern and newbie-friendly, please feel free to suggest them here.

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