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Is google spidering/indexing Ajax content

Whether or not Google is now capable of seeing Ajax content on a page

1:39 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I know it's really just a buzz word, but it has been decided by many that Ajax is a good way of reducing page weight and of course providing the user with a more responsive website interface. But it seems to me that using JavaScript to add in additional content after the initial page has loaded is bascially cloaking content. Now I know that Googlebot uses the Mozilla rendering engine when analysing pages, the question is - is it capable of reading this content? And if not you can bet your bottom dollar that they will and soon! I just thought it would be an interesting topic to bring up on this forum.
7:35 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't think AJAX is good at all for SEO purpose.
7:38 pm on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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AJAX is good for usability, if done right, there are no page refreshes.

Anything with Javascript is poor for SEO.

AJAX is also good to clean your bathtub, I'm sure there will be a few people who agree with me on this.It's also a brand name and I wonder how they feel about this.

AJAX makes really clean code - hehe

<edit>I seem to use to many ... now when writing...</edit>

[edited by: Pico_Train at 7:40 pm (utc) on Jan. 25, 2007]

12:12 am on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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By itself Ajax is not SEO friendly. If you properly layer a decent DHTML version of your content you will be in good shape.
1:41 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can see how javascript/ajax is not good SEO but is it harmful?

We're all suppose to develop sites and content with the visitor's experience in mind, but I get cold feet doing anything with Ajax that might get confused as spam attempts, such as show hide panels with content within them.

Is gaceful degradation, where non js clients get delivered all the content that would otherwise be hidden an SEO friendly option?

So with the exception of forms, I don't have any experience with delivery user content through ajax.

1:46 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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While I have no idea what google "thinks" of XML/Ajax/RSS content in terms of indexing it, I have been visited by the googlebot (v2.1) doing what appears to be "sampling" of the content in the <enclosure> tag of one of my RSS 2.0/podcast feeds.

This sampling appears organized as the bot reads exactly around 1.5 Mbytes of audio/mpeg content, then exits, waits around 15 secs. then reads again -- it repeats this as many times as necessary until it reaches the content-length of the enclosure.

This seemed to start once I added the feed to my personalized Google page -- this caused the bot to refresh the feed around every three or so hours -- the feed has a <TTL> tag of 10 mins. so this is ignored by the googlebot.

I guess that means that the googlebot can read and understand XML -- what it does or is doing with the content is probably up in the air now.

* I use JavaScript to hide stuff from search engine bots -- it's especially useful for affiliate stuff that is specifically intended for site visitors, and negatively seen by search logic.

2:53 pm on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If it isn't in the original HTML source code for the page, then "it isn't there" to be indexed.
8:15 pm on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Good discussion and I think this answers my question.

We're thinking about hosting multiple topic-organized RSS feeds on an html page. The feeds will be pulled with JavaScript and the only real reference to the content will be in the html via .js.

My concern is that Google will not see anything on this page. It will not be googleable at all.

It sounds like this is the case. But many sites (including Google homepage) are creating content similarly. Will Google be able to evolve? Or is there a workaround on our end that will make the content spiderable?


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