When building a website, there is often conflict between the SEO consultant, developer and the designer.
The designer wants the site to look pretty, which is of course what we all want, but it sometimes affects SEO. For example, a site designed in flash may look good, but it cannot be read by spiders and can therefore not be indexed. This means it is harder for the site to appear high up in the search results.
There are a few issues with AJAX.
– the spider is unable to crawl the site
– cannot use the back/next/reload buttons properly
– all the pages load under the same URL
AJAX can be SEO friendly by following these best practice guidelines:
– Make the majority part of the site based in HTML, including the important navigation links.
– Put all the rich content and keywords in this part of the site – not on a dynamic page.
– Put a URL for each page you want to get crawled and indexed
– Make sure you cache dynamic pages and serve them as static ones
Google is also proposing a new standard for making AJAX based websites search engine friendly. Google says:
“We’re excited to propose a new standard for making AJAX-based Web sites crawlable. This will benefit Webmasters and users by making content from rich and interactive AJAX-based Web sites universally accessible through search results on any search engine that chooses to take part. We believe that making this content available for crawling and indexing could significantly improve the Web”
When this is expected to happen is not yet known, but it does mean that if it is adopted, developers no longer have to choose between site optimization and dynamic pages.
If you have experience in optimising sites for SEO which use AJAX, then let me know.
For more information about AJAX and SEO, please refer to searchenginejournal