SEO Tip #116: Will Google Improve its Crawling of AJAX?

Matt Cutts: There is a team of people who are working on being able to crawl and index AJAX and index JavaScript and parse and execute JavaScript as well as other types of rich content. The trend in 2011 is going to be the same as it was in 2010, which is improving our ability to understand JavaScript, improving our ability to index AJAX, improving our ability to index rich content and flash and all of those things.

In general we try to do well but if you’re using stuff that is really complex or idiomatic then we might not understand it. If you can stick to relatively standard libraries, you know JavaScript that is relatively well understood that’s going to be a little bit easier and probably faster for us to get to than custom coded stuff that does really weird esoteric things.

So those are a few factors to think about. There is an indexing standard for AJAX where rather than using hash you can use a hash and an exclamation point. That basically tells Google this is something we actually do want you to be able to index.

Both Twitter and FaceBook are now using that to get various amounts of AJAX indexed so that can work quite well. If you do a search for that information or we can hopefully leave a link in the description of the video, that’s one way you can try to get your AJAX indexed a little bit better.

We’ll keep working on it and then if you kind of meet us halfway we’ll find a reasonable middle ground.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.