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I'm trying to make my Webapp SEO friendly. I read that I can redirect Google's bot to another URL with escaped_fragments. I'd like to use Phantom.js to serve Google my pages. Unfortunately, I can't run Node with my hosting solution.

Can I redirect Google bot to another domain? Will it hurt?

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2 Answers 2

You can serve different content to search bots but typically, if you are serving different content (or at least handling search bots differently) to human visitors, then you need to be wary of cloaking which can produce negative effects in how your site performs.

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good point, however if this is for escaped_fragments it may not hurt as the content served by this is to do with supplying google with html snapshots of the ajax pages that will be loaded to make "crawlable ajax" so aslong as the content is the same as the ajax that would have been served i'm not sure this would be a massive issue –  Liam Sorsby Feb 6 at 9:13
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This is true and also valid. The OP may also find this useful on the subject. –  zigojacko Feb 6 at 9:26
    
Does providing crawlers with a "simplified version" of the ajax equivalent pages is enough ? I was thinking of providing pages with marked up content only (no css or js). –  Giann Feb 6 at 9:31
    
As long as the visible content is essentially the same, then this won't cause an issue no. Any effects or styling with CSS or JQuery won't matter. –  zigojacko Feb 6 at 9:35
    
Does the DOM structure needs to be the same ? –  Giann Feb 6 at 9:37

Google addresses redirects from _escaped_fragment URLs in their FAQ:

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.

Given that redirects are fine as long as they get to the same content that the user would see, I don't see any reason that cross-site redirects wouldn't be fine as long as they get to the correct content.

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