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AJAX and SEO

Is there any way of making AJAX search engine friendly?

     
10:16 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm just beginning to consider using AJAX on my site to make things a bit easier on the eye. For example, I'm thinking of an AJAX navigation bar, and also perhaps some tabs for loading different information on the page.

Will this have massive SEO repurcussions? Will Google be able to figure out the navigation links or tabbed content? Is there any particular method that can help Google work things out?

Any information would be very much appreciated...I know it's quite a newbie question :).

7:55 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Since AJAX is just started being deployed in more and more websites, I haven't much about SEO of AJAX sites but my feeling is that the big search engines all know which way the web is developing so I would be supprised if it would cause big problems.
10:39 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thing is, Google definitely has problems with JavaScript. I doubt they'd be able to find all the content of "tabbed" information very well...any thoughts guys?
10:51 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Will Google be able to figure out the navigation links or tabbed content?

The answer is a guarded 'yes'--provided that you do not use javascript to create or fetch the content on the fly. In other words, build the page in such a way that when the webserver delivers it to the browser, all of the content is already in the page. You can then use javascript to manipulate the content--e.g. javascript can be used to show, hide, rearrange or alter the content already in the page--but if you need to do database calls to output content that must be picked up by search engines, use a server-side scripting language instead. This general approach also ensures that your pages will be usable by visitors who surf with javascript disabled.

Try a search for unobtrusive javascript [google.com] for more information on safe approaches to the use of javascript.

-b