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I'm planning for an e-commerce website based on ajax load and hash instead of query. I wonder how this effects search engins crawler and if it would, what is the best way to do it?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Ajax and JavaScript in general is not crawlable by search engines so using it to power your website would be very bad for SEO. Google does offer crawlable Ajax but this only works for Google and does not include any other search engine. Plus users with JavaScript turned off can't use your site.

Since this is an ecommerce website you shouldn't want to be turning any users away, especially search engines. Plus a properly built website will use progressive enhancement which means you build it to work without JavaScript and then go back and enhance your site by using JavaScript. That way everyone can access your content but JavaScript users just get a better experience.

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Great explanation. How about my website works with both query and hash? I mean, when javascript is disabled it works with query and if its not it works with hash. Is this way helps search engin to cache the links? – Jay Apr 11 '12 at 18:46
As long as you can get to the content without the javascript you're in great shape. Both is ideal as it means everyone can get to your content and most people will get the enhanced version since most people will have javascript enabled. – John Conde Apr 11 '12 at 18:50
The way it works is for example if javascript is disabled I will have this link site.com/?q=query but if it enabled I will have site.com/#/q=query. My question is do search engins cache my links? If yes which one? and does it matter which of them get cached? Does search engines consider javascript while crawling? Thanks for your help. – Jay Apr 11 '12 at 19:47
site.com/?q=query will work for all search engines and users and that's what they'll use in the search results. After someone clicks on a search result you can then use JavaScript to redirect them to the ajax version of your site so they get the better user experience. – John Conde Apr 11 '12 at 19:58
Soooo, If I have both version of query and hash, I'll be safe for SEO? – Jay Apr 11 '12 at 20:21

Try not to use Ajax. You will find a lot of inconvenients later: SEO problems, users having troubles bookmarking your pages and send them to their friends or post the link to social networks, and so on.

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Adrian, Thanks for your response. I will try to utilize both query and hash. – Jay Apr 11 '12 at 20:23

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