Matt Cutts: How Google Handles AJAX Loaded Content

08 Apr Matt Cutts: How Google Handles AJAX Loaded Content

In a recent video from Google, Matt Cutts discussed the way the Googlebots handle AJAX loaded content such as Javascript and CSS. Many web masters wonder about these website design options, because the code can be beneficial to improve the usability of the site and enhance the content that is displayed to the viewer. But, the webmaster doesn’t want to build a website that is difficult to index in the search engines or will have a negative effect on their website rankings. Is it possible to use Javascript and have the content easily indexed by the Googlebots?

To start with, Matt points out that Google is pretty good at indexing and rendering Javascript to include it in the search results. They have taken specific steps to make sure that all relevant information is included in the search results, including information published on a Javascript website.

In order to index these results, several steps are happening along the way:

First, Google fetches all of the CSS and Javascript from the site to determine which parts should be indexed. The Javascript is rendered to see how the site responds when someone visits the website. Basically, they want to see how the page loads and the experience that the viewer has when they visit the site.

The next step is that certain words are extracted which Google thinks should be indexed, so the information can be included correctly in the search results. The information is sorted through and some of the content is indexed, based on the keywords and relevant content. Google has been working to pull in Javascript that is included through iFrames and other methods, and hopes to have these processes solidified soon.

One note of caution that Matt pointed out was the fact that there are different search engines, so you need to consider the way the site is structured for other search engines as well. Just because the site can be loaded and indexed by Google, doesn’t necessarily mean that it can be read by the other search engines.

Also, keep in mind that overall website indexing is important, and page indexing might be more important. If you have a specific page that should be included in the search engine rankings, then it is a good idea to include HTML as well. For best indexing results in all of the search engines, you might consider the option of static HTML pages that are also available in addition to the Javascript.