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So I've read several posts here regarding SEO and lazy loading as well as the Google page for lazy loading your site's content. Since setting up HTML snapshots for an AJAX website is a large amount of work after the learning curve, I propose the following alternative to serving static content to a crawler.

  1. I have prepopulated my content divs with SEO optimized, bare HTML content.
  2. My asynchronous content is loaded in replacing the original static content (per scrolling trigger of course).

I cannot think of a reason why this isn't a smooth way to serve up the static HTML for crawlers. I mean if they really can't index asynchronous content then they shouldn't even recognize that the above process is happening after seeing the original content.

Am I missing something here?

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Please comment why you would down vote please. –  Ben Racicot Mar 29 at 19:30

1 Answer 1

You can solve this by using rel=canonical and then on the canonical page not lazy loading your content. The only catch with this approach is if someone visits you from a search indexed page they miss out on all the lazy loading goodness. You could also LazyLoad based on UserAgent (MSIE, Chrome, FireFox) and then Googlebot will just see the content without the lazy load.

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Yes this is in essence my question though. What does Google bot crawl? The static content on initial load or the ajax loaded content? If it can grab the initial content why is there even an issue with AJAX and SEO? And my concept should be a safe and possibly best practice. –  Ben Racicot Sep 19 at 13:09
    
Google bot will grab both. It will usually just crawl the static site, but after a while it starts to run a full browser (with javascript) and acts a lot more like a typical browser. So in essence, you cant get away with cloaking, but not if the content is different. Your best bet if you are using heavy ajax to load content is to build your site for users first, googlebot next, as googlebot is getting smarter by the year. –  Frank Sep 21 at 7:27
    
Whoa do you have references for that info? Google's current stand on AJAX is very specific and doesn't say anything about that. (Did you read the link in my question by chance?) –  Ben Racicot Sep 21 at 19:06
    
Its mainly by watching the websmater tutorials from google (matt cutts) and experience. If you put up an ajax site, usually the html version of the site gets indexed quickly, and after a few days - weeks the ajax stuff starts popping up. –  Frank Sep 22 at 4:33

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