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Ajax Crawling with Static Homepage... best practice for SEO?

2:21 pm on Mar 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 12, 2005
votes: 14


I've just implemented the ajax cralwing standard for a new project.

Now I have one minor problem:

The homepage itself does not load content by ajax. Therefor I don't need the <meta name="fragment" content="1"> part.

But now all subpages have the homepage content loaded first, than rebuild by ajax.

It first looked as if google & bing has no problem with this, but when I search for a term that should only be found on the homepage, SERPs show all ajaxed subpages as well. (Because the subpages in ajaxed form - like www.example.com/#!ajax-call - first load the static homepage content and than replace that content by content retrieved from the ajax call)

The HTML snapshot (that is the ugly urls with ?_escaped_fragment_ )doesn't show the homepage content but just the subpage content that is loaded by ajax.

It's best to not show any static content and use the ajax loading on the homepage as well (via meta fragment option) or does this not pose any problems?
3:51 pm on Mar 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whoisgregg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 9, 2003
votes: 0

Hi :)

I know it's 2013 and all, but I think that a 100% AJAX site with hashbang URLs is still "playing with fire" from an SEO perspective. It *needs* to be perfectly implemented to be successful, which may lead to it being brittle [en.wikipedia.org].

That said, if you are going to do it, then do it all the way. Even your home page should use the same AJAX loading method for it's content. This will keep that static content from being indexed on every page of your site.

*Btw, and this may just be a typo from your post, but if you are using an exclamation mark "#!" then the meta tag should have an exclamation mark in the content attribute, not a "1"
9:39 am on Mar 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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votes: 14

Hi whoisgregg,

thanks a lot for your answer, and yes, I like playing with fire :-) (at least while we're talking about exploring new technical seo frontiers)

I've changed the homepage from static to ajax driven now, hoping for Google to treat me nicely.

The "1" is a typo (actually there are lot of typos and "funny english" in the starting post :( - sorry for that)

The ajax subpages fare well so far in Google SERPs, but the homepage had a lot of problems being indexed properly.

I'll see if that changes now that the homepage uses ajax and the meta fragment as well.

What is actually nice it that Bing is playing along quite well - even better than Google - in understanding the site and displaying it (and the subpages) in Bing SERPs. Not even using the Bing WMT.

The need for perfect implementation was what got my going in the first place.

As an advice for anyone willing to play with fire (e.g. ajax site) as well:

Use only ASCII characters in your ajax urls. Otherwise the differences between browser implementations regarding encoding as well as search engines will drive you nuts.

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