17 / 03 / 2015

Does your site use AJAX? Google May Stop Crawling AJAX, but no need to Panic just yet

In a recent article on SearchEngineLand, Barry Schwartz writes that Google could stop crawling AJAX sites in the very near

In a recent article on SearchEngineLand, Barry Schwartz writes that Google could stop crawling AJAX sites in the very near future. At the time of writing, he alluded to the fact that the change could come as soon as this week.

This comes after Google has previously been offering advice on how to make AJAX, asynchronous JavaScript and XML crawlable for search engines. However, AJAX might soon be scrapped from that list according to Gary Illyes from Google who said during a panel at SMX West that since Google was able to render a full page, it may discontinue AJAX crawlability recommendations.

Illyes said that the Google Webmaster Blog might be updated sometime this week announcing the retiring of these guidelines. Obviously, because we don’t have 100% concrete facts just yet we can’t assume anything, particularly when you consider that we don’t know if Google will completely stop crawling AJAX or if it will rather be slowly phased out as the search giant improves its handling of more complex forms of JavaScript.

However, we do know that Google has improved the way in which they crawl websites over the years and since 2013 they have claimed to be rendering full pages and seeing them the way users do. Therefore, these guidelines become unnecessary as Google no longer needs webmasters to alter their code to be able to crawl it completely. We do, however, always advise that plain text and therefore easily crawlable content should make up a large proportion of your webpage, giving engines the best chance to index your website and therefore content.

Illyes also added that in his opinion, websites built solely on AJAX don’t provide the best user experience to their users. It could even be that Google shares this opinion, which would help explain the rumoured change.

On the whole, webmasters of AJAX sites shouldn’t panic just yet. Hopefully this is just an indication that Google is crawling fully rendered pages and not AJAX code. However, as a safety precaution and  for best practice, do make sure your site is utilising sufficient plain text to give your site the best advantage of getting your content indexed.

If you do have any queries or need help ensuring your site is optimised well for search, please do not hesitate to get in touch –info@sekari.com .

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