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We would like to serve up SEO-friendly Ajax-driven content. We are following this documentation. Has anyone ever tried to write a 302 redirect into the .htaccess file, that takes the ?_escaped_fragment= string and send that to a static page?, for example /snapshot/yourfilename/.

How will Google react to this? I've gone through the documentation and it's not very clear. The below quote is from Google's documentation this is what I find. I'm not sure if they are saying that you can redirect the _escaped_fragment_ URL to a different static page, or if this is to redirect the hashtag URL to static content? Thoughts?

From Google's site:

Question: Can I use redirects to point the crawler at my static content?

Redirects are okay to use, as long as they eventually get you to a page that's equivalent to what the user would see on the #! version of the page. This may be more convenient for some webmasters than serving up the content directly. If you choose this approach, please keep the following in mind:

  1. Compared to serving the content directly, using redirects will result in extra traffic because the crawler has to follow redirects to get the content. This will result in a somewhat higher number of fetches/second in crawl activity.
  2. Note that if you use a permanent (301) redirect, the url shown in our search results will typically be the target of the redirect, whereas if a temporary (302) redirect is used, we'll typically show the #! url in search results.
  3. Depending on how your site is set up, showing #! may produce a better user experience, because the user will be taken straight into the AJAX experience from the Google search results page. Clicking on a static page will take them to the static content, and they may experience avoidable extra page load time if the site later wants to switch them to the AJAX experience.
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1 Answer 1

As far as I can tell from Google's relevant documentation, as long as the content served up is in fact static and does not re-direct based on whether it's a robot or a human being that's viewing the page, there shouldn't be a problem with the /snapshot/yourfilename/ thing.

On the other hand, I don't see why you cannot use URL-rewrite in .htaccess or the Apache conf (if you're using Apache...)?

I think it's also necessary to think about page reloads. If the URL changes based on an AJAX request, will it not flash the page? I have no idea how your implementation works.

If you're still unsure of what route to take, post a question (as detailed as possible) to the Google Webmasters forums.

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Hey Patrick, it has been a minute since I wrote this. But we did use the 302 method to redirect to the static versions of these pages and it worked great. All of the pages got indexed in google and there were no issues with getting banned or anything like that. The reason these were not written in .htaccess is they were all dynamic pages generated from wordpress CMS, so we needed a method that could talk to google without affecting the js pages. No worries about flashing pages because these pages (_escaped_fragment=) are only seen by google, and never by viewers –  Starfs Oct 10 '12 at 16:34
    
It's odd that the Google Juice got transferred, since Google has been very specific regarding the use of 301 vs. 302, 302 being a temporary re-direct and should not transfer any ranking. Perhaps they changed things. Again... :) –  Patrik Alienus Oct 12 '12 at 12:00

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