If Only AJAX Were SEO Friendly, Or Is It?

- January 8, 2007

AJAX allows a developer to query a local or remote data source and render that content right to the browser without refreshing or reloading the page. This gives the user a much more responsive experience, if you have ever used Google Maps or the new web apps like Google’s Docs & Spreadsheets beta, you will no doubt understand the power of this wonderful technology. Now with all the new AJAX toolkits out there it is easier then ever to dive in and use this technology in your web projects. Expect to see it in use very often in the coming years.

Recently I tried to find any information I could regarding SEO and AJAX. I have had much fun playing with it in the past and wanted get back into it, but this time I am questioning it from a SEO perspective. I have yet to find a good reliable solution to get AJAX content indexed.

Even though I love AJAX, It has one MAJOR downfall. In a typical AJAX application the “meat” of the content is in javascript which means that search engines will never get to see that content you have put so much time into making. One way around this that I know of would be to create a plain HTML version of your content just for the search engines or those without browsers that support javascript, but this is not ideal by any means.

Until search engines are able to parse content out of javascript I would stay away from using AJAX for anything that involves content you would want indexed. For now I guess AJAX is still in the same boat as Flash. I will continue to look more into this topic, If anyone has any ideas please comment.

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