Monday, September 19, 2005

Can AJAX and SEO coexist? They must.

If you haven't heard about AJAX yet, you at least have used it. In just a year or two, AJAX has become the talk of the town thanks to snazzy new web implementations by folks like Google, Oddpost and Microsoft. For the non-techies among us, AJAX is a method of displaying dynamic content on-the-fly, that is, without a page refresh.

Obviously the emergence of this type of technology has huge implications for search engine marketers everywhere. So far, AJAX is mainly limited to specialty applications (mapping and email, most notably), which do not present a problem. As this technology continues to inspire and grow popular, though, how long until Mike's Electronics website wants an AJAXed navigation? While we would like to offer users an interface that is more "desktop" like, the thought of not having content crawled an indexed just doesn't fly.

This brings me to my point. With Google, Microsoft and others playing a large role in the escalation of this technology, shouldn't we expect them to support it from a search standpoint? I'm looking for one of these companies to step up and pioneer a method for new technologies like AJAX to be search compatible. I don't know if that's a new markup tag with special instructions for spiders, a new document similar to the sitemap.xml file, or something completely different.

With the contiguous maturation of the Internet and Search, I think it would be a shame if either one was held back unnecessarily. I see that happening with AJAX...but I hope I'm wrong.


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