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How To Do Seo With Backbone.js?

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#1 webinfinite


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Posted 06 June 2014 - 12:10 PM

Hi, Friends, 


I am a newbie on SEO and website development, please excuse me if this topic has been asked before.


I am having a toy website I developed to provide shopping suggestions to a small group of users. The architecture of my website is like this:


1. Backend: all ruby on rails. 

2. Frontend: backbone.js, it get data from backend through ajax format. But user has to log in first. 



I would like search engine to be able to find my site. I have following questions: 



1. Since our site needs user log in, how search engine to get data from us without login? 


2. I have checked online, there are ruby gems like: phantomjs and google ajax crawler. But I don't know how to use them. For example, the URL: www.mywebiste.com/123, this URL is actually answered by backbone.js because it already has all the data it needs sent by backend through ajax. How can I use phantomjs or google ajax crawler to render a static HTML? I didn't find any good examples on these two gems. Maybe you gurus have more suggestion? 







#2 chrishirst


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Posted 06 June 2014 - 02:22 PM

1. Since our site needs user log in, how search engine to get data from us without login?


It can't.



Maybe you gurus have more suggestion?

Yes, if you want your URLs to be indexed by search engines;


A:  Do NOT create all the content with javascript.


B:  Do NOT make it "members only"

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:09 PM

Google will do its best to interpret and execute the Javascript but they offer no guarantees.

#4 qwerty


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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:41 PM

There are services that will crawl your pages, render them, and save the rendered HTML, serving it to search engine spiders when they request the page. My company is looking into using this for one of our sites, but we haven't tried it out yet, so I can't tell you if it works (and I'm a little concerned that it could be viewed as cloaking, even though the page that's shown to bots is identical to what a user sees).


Even if that does work (and doesn't get you in trouble), there's still the matter of your registration gate. If users can't see your content without logging in, neither can Googlebot. You might want to consider doing some research into a program called "first click free," which will allow users to access a full page of content the first time they request it, but for a log in to be required afterward. But I've never tried that one either :)

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#5 torka


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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:00 AM

So, you want people to log in to view your content, but you also want it to be indexed by the search engines.


What exactly do you expect to happen when someone clicks on that search listing to view content that would/should be protected by a registration gate?


Somehow allowing the search engines to index  your content, but then preventing people from actually viewing the content displayed in the search results (unless they've logged in) is TERRIBLE usability, and pretty much designed to annoy people. I have run into that situation with some news sites, and it is a huge turn-off. It certainly does NOT inspire me to sign up for membership to the news site.


On the other hand, if you allow them to see the content when they click the search listing, then you've essentially made that content available to the general public WITHOUT a log in. So the question then becomes, what's the value of having the log in access, if one can get access to all your content simply by searching on Google?


If you want people to be able to find your site via search, THEN log in to get to the "good stuff," maybe try creating some promotional materials that will let them know what the site is about and entice them to sign up so they can log in. Maybe even a small sample of the wonders available behind the registration gate. Put those materials outside the gate so the search engines (and people) can find the information. Get your non-logged-in visitors excited about all the wonders they will behold once they sign up, without actually allowing them to behold the full panorama of wonders until after they've logged in. :)


My :02:


--Torka :oldfogey:

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