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JS content hidden to SEO

     
11:47 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)



Hi, I have had our dev agancy build a mobile/smartphone/app version of our website but all of the content is pulled in by javascript, hence it is invisible to search engines (not happy). Instead of looking back I need to find a way to fix this. What suggestions could I make to them to get the content visible without rebuilding the entire site? I really appreciate any help.
11:52 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Perhaps try the <noscript> tag.

Here's an older thread [webmasterworld.com] on the subject covering some of the issues.
12:03 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)



Hi, Thanks for that. This is an eccommerce site and the content is pulled dynamically with JSON. The html pages don't know the content to put in the noscript tags until after the page has loaded. Would it not still be invisible ?
12:07 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Yes, although modern search engines are known to be able to read content from some javascript, you will need your content served directly (without javascript) in order to guarantee the content getting seen.

To be honest I don't see how your developer saw it made sense to have the page loaded and then a further AJAX/JS request having to be made. It kind of defeats the advantages of AJAX and obviously the content not being immediately visible is a drawback.
12:13 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)



Yes, I'm not happy. I believe they did this to make formatting it for various smart phones easier. Now I'm trying to find a while to fix it without rebuilding the entire site.
12:13 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



To be honest I don't see how your developer saw it made sense to have the page loaded and then a further AJAX/JS request having to be made. It kind of defeats the advantages of AJAX and obviously the content not being immediately visible is a drawback.

By the way, this is how all of Facebook functions. ;)

The advantage of a purely AJAX driven site is that all subsequent clicks don't have to reload the header, footer, navigation, etc. -- just replace the main content area. This can massively impact the perceived load time of the entire site.

However, it's a major mistake to not have any "real" URLs for search engines and non-javascript enabled users to access. Even ignoring SEO and accessibility, users are going to want URLs that point to specific content "pages" even if the site doesn't have a file-system based architecture.

This can be accomplished by modifying the browser URL state (either with pushState/onPopState, which is only supported on bleeding edge browsers) or with hash-style URLs. Google has a document for one way to implement this that they will support:

Making AJAX Applications Crawlable [developers.google.com]

Oh and if I had a developer make a site that way for me without clearly explaining they were going to implement a very unusual method, I would also be Not Happy.
12:23 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>Facebook

True, but only if you have javascript enabled. When it's disabled Facebook the content is loaded into HTML, so any bots would still see the base content of the page. fwiw I don't think FB's really interested in letting spiders see content anyway.

When JS is enabled the actual served content of the "page" (before any interaction) is still 'there' (within commented out HTML), but their JS puts it into the DOM. From what I understand of the OP's post is that the page content is not available on the page load, so can't be put into a <noscript>, or anywhere for that matter.... without an extra HTTP request.
2:00 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



welcome to WebmasterWorld, warby12!

that google reference provided by whoisgregg is where you will find your answers.
3:56 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)



Hi all and thank you for your welcome.

Also thank you all very much for the information. I have just now read the google information and forwarded it to the developers. It is perfect! I look forward to solving our problems.

Best wishes to you all.
7:02 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



a mobile/smartphone/app version of our website


Assuming the original website contains much the same information, it may be better if the new version is not separately indexed.

The users finds your blue widget page url (singular?) in the serps, how to best display on device is separate issue ?
10:52 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)



Hi Dave, yes the content is very similar as it is pulled from the same database but I guess what I'm after is search engines "knowing" we have a viable mobile option and sending traffic our way. Duplicate content is the next issue to fix.
11:09 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'm by far no specialist in the SEO field. But
I'm after is search engines "knowing" we have a viable mobile option and sending traffic our way. Duplicate content is the next issue to fix.
isn't that a contradiction ?
11:29 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)



Yes it is almost :) (in my opinion). My guess is google, knowing a searcher is using a smart phone, will favour a website if it is available in smart phone format, even if a full screen version with identical content exists elsewhere.
3:32 am on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



My guess is google, knowing a searcher is using a smart phone, will favour a website if it is available in smart phone format, even if a full screen version with identical content exists elsewhere

I would not bet my business on google being so smart. Is there something that declares the site "smart phone format".
5:20 am on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



I agree Dave and all of these things will now need to be reviewed, my knowledge is limited and I feel guilty for not taking closer interest. Thanks to this forum I am catching up slowly. I am pretty sure there are "viewstate" parameters or something. I have a lot of projects on the go and will push this one forward one step at time.
 

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