Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Indexing AJAX content

Search Engines

One of the more compelling reasons to stay server-side and avoid putting all business logic on the client is the matter of search engines.   Google and the other search engines have not traditionally indexed dynamic content, as they don't run the client side JavaScript necessary to realize the dynamic content.

We now support the search engine indexing of AJAX pages, so this reason is now not so compelling.

Ajax Indexing

A year or so ago, Google introduced the Ajax crawling specification, which described a cooperative method where the site can enable indexing of dynamic content by Google.  Basically, Google interprets hash-bang '#!' hash fragments, where it finds them while scanning html, as a request for special treatment; the special treatment is to rephrase the URL replacing the fragment with a specially named GET parameter carrying the fragment value.  The site can then generate, server-side, a version of the page containing the content, for Google to index.  In Google's search listings, the fragment is again a hash fragment.

Rdbhost now provides the server-side component of the Ajax indexing process, for any site hosted on Rdbhost.  Use the '#!' prefix for your internal links, Google will request them with the special '_escaped_fragment_' parameter, and Rdbhost will use a server-side 'headless' browser to generate a content-full version of your page for Google.

Ease of Implementation

Rdbhost intends to make easy web-sites as easy as possible; now we make Ajax-content index able with no effort to you.  The only requirement of you is that you use the '#!' notation for your internal links.

See for Yourself

You can verify this yourself, by entering such a URL in the browser.  If the link is '', the special request URL would be '', and requesting that URL with your browser will provide a pre-rendered page.  Use 'show source' with each version of the URL will show the difference.

  Ajax Client-Side Version
  Server-Side Version

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