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Ajax vs Full Page Load - do pageviews count for SEO?

     
5:22 pm on May 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We have a specific JSP page that is part of a quiz and reloads on each question.
The page is NOT indexed (not visible to Google) and the thin content changes with each question.

Back in the old days, we used a full page reload to get more ad impressions, but today we don't show ads anymore.

Today we want to move from full page reload to Ajax, because it will be a better user experience, obviously.

QUESTION:
Does the total amount of pageviews on a domain influence SEO ?

PS: We expect to have longer time on site, due to better user experience, but the number of pageviews will drop by 90%.
7:44 am on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google has stated many times that they do not take usage stats into consideration for ranking. And that should be no surprise because:

1) Not everyone (and very few big publishers) uses GA as a web analytics service (many small websites don't use a web analytics service at all).
2) Not everyone uses Chrome (supposing that Google collects user/website interaction metrics though it, something they denied many times)
3) Stats - especially page views, bounce rate and pages per session - can be easily manipulated. You made an example of how easy is to artificially inflate page views, for example.

I'm pretty sure they collect analytics data through AdSense, instead (especially CTR); but I bet they do that only for advertising-optimization purposes, not for their SERP.
12:42 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Today we want to move from full page reload to Ajax, because it will be a better user experience, obviously.


The benefit to the user will be the single biggest ranking factor. A satisfied user will stick around longer, not just time on page but full session duration, they will be more likely to return, and less likely to return to search to find an alternative.

Back in the old days, we used a full page reload to get more ad impressions, but today we don't show ads anymore.

Should you which to show ads in the future again, you can use Google AdManger (formerly DFP) to auto reload the ads after sometime or after a some user interaction.

Finally I recommend that you look into using the javascript Fetch API instead of AJAX specifically. In my opinion, it is simpler, easier, doesn't require jQuery and can be easily adapted for use with PWA.
7:09 am on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Nick, am I understanding correctly that Fetch API isn't recognized by any version of IE?

[caniuse.com...]

I found some tutorials and it sounded awesome, but I can't use it if IE doesn't support it at all :'-( I started using Ajax fragments and it's doing something similar, but I'm always looking for ways to speed things up.

@guggi2000, I had a similar debate when I began rebuilding my site to use infinite scroll: my "official" pageviews are going to take a nosedive! But (in theory) I should get more interaction from the user, they should stay on the site longer, and hopefully seeing more things to click on will result in them... well, clicking on more things. I haven't made it live yet, but so far my alpha testing seems promising :-)
12:33 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Here is more info about the fecth api, including the detailed browser compatibility information
[developer.mozilla.org...]

am I understanding correctly that Fetch API isn't recognized by any version of IE?

That is correct, but there is a polyfill (from the link above), that works with IE10+.
[github.github.io...]

Another important thing to consider is if content is added to a page after the initial page load, that content will not be seen by Googlebot. Unless:
- there is a new URL pointing to the content;
- typing that URL into the browser directly takes you to that content;
- links exist to that point to the URL.

To update the URL as result of a Fetch or AJAX call you can you the History API (specifically pushState()).