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Google's Proposal To Make Ajax Crawlable


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Jill

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:08 PM

For you AJAXy techies, what do you think of Google's proposal to make AJAX crawlable?

Here are the proposed changes:
  • Slightly modify the URL fragments for stateful AJAX pages
  • Use a headless browser that outputs an HTML snapshot on your web server
  • Allow search engine crawlers to access these URLs by escaping the state
  • Show the original URL to users in the search results


QUOTE(snippet)
Some of the goals that we wanted to achieve with this proposal were:

* Minimal changes are required as the website grows

* Users and search engines see the same content (no cloaking)

* Search engines can send users directly to the AJAX URL (not to a static copy)

* Site owners have a way of verifying that their AJAX website is rendered correctly and thus that the crawler has access to all the content


#2 Randy

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:27 PM

I don't care for it, for several reasons.

Beginning with the fact that they're proposing introducing yet another illegal character into url strings and ending with it sounds like a lot more work than simply creating accessible Ajax from the get go.

My bottom line is simple. If it's important that a site or an application use Ajax and if it's also important that the site be accessible by bots and real users alike who suffer from a disability, then it should be important enough to build your Ajax app to be accessible. If not, don't.

As one of the comments pointed out, to me it looks like a complex, very questionable solution in search of a problem.

#3 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:32 AM

I agree, it seems like google are going down the Microsoft route of wanting the rest of the world to fit in with their standards rather than the proper accepted standards.

It's tough at the top!

#4 1dmf

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 05:53 AM

They want me to do what, nah i'm with you guys.

I like the ability to hide stuff with AJAX, stops those pesky bots submitting forms , if they can't see them, they can't submit them wink1.gif

I'm certainly not going to spend valuable time having to use non standard methods just so G! can index my AJAX.

I'm also confused over some of this, not all my AJAX is for indexing, it's functionality / application, how can you create a stateless page for crawling, if the point of the AJAX is creating dynamic content relative to a particulate state, which is relative to what the user is doing!

Randy -> how do you make AJAX accessible? dynamically updating the DOM leaves even a real browser unable to see the changes, so how can a bot do this?

hmm I think I might need to get ready for the science bit lol.gif

Edited by 1dmf, 08 October 2009 - 05:58 AM.


#5 Randy

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:07 AM

QUOTE
Randy -> how do you make AJAX accessible? dynamically updating the DOM leaves even a real browser unable to see the changes, so how can a bot do this?


Well, technically it's not Ajax anymore for those users 1dmf. The idea is to utilize progressive enhancement techniques, or its buzz word in the Ajax development world Hijax. I believe Jeremy Keith came up with that term and he's written about it and its concepts more than anybody. With code snippets. If you search on the term Hijax you should come up with all sorts of references to Jeremy's writings, as well as entire books he's written on the subject.

What it comes down to from the code design side of things is you plan for Ajax from the beginning, but only implement Ajax at the end. So you end up with a site that is Web 2.0 for users who can do that, while the same site is also Web 1.0 for those users who cannot do the deep javascript/ajax stuff.

#6 1dmf

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

so you write it to work with JS and without. *shudder*

I can't help but keep thinking if you have to write it to work the old fashioned way anyway, why bother with the extra stuff to work the new way.

It seems like double the work, I guess if you plan correctly and keep the overall objective in mind, enabling both isn't so bad, but I still like to write where either I use the technology or I don't not both.

Does that make me a bad man ?

diablo.gif Whip.gif naughty.gif

#7 Randy

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:45 AM

It's just a difference in approach 1dmf.

One is making Ajax the application. Meaning JS is required.

The other is to make the application using Web 1.0, then lay Ajax over the top to enhance the user experience so that it's also Web 2.0.

#8 1dmf

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:27 AM

That makes us both naughty boys then -> GRE wink1.gif

#9 Randy

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:03 PM

hysterical.gif Yeah, I didn't want to over complicate that. I thought about it, but it would be a royal pain.




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