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I have a traditional HTML website that loads pages/sections of the site when people click on menu items. Pretty standard. Currently, I'm working on relaunching my website with a brand new HTML5 code & jquery that loads the whole thing, and just slides from one section to the next, sort of like this website: http://www.mino.pl/

My concern is that this will affect my ranking with google and websiteoutlook.com because it may seem like the website only has one page now instead of 8, making it look like I have less pageviews and making my site less relevant for search engine rankings.

Are my concerns legit? If so, do you have suggestions on how to avoid it? I really like the idea of working with a page that 'slides' to different sections better than having pages load all the time.

Any suggestions/thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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See how Google views your site by using their Webmaster tools –  Alex Angas Mar 3 '11 at 0:40
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This has nothing to do with HTML5. –  delete Mar 3 '11 at 13:46
    
@Master Of Disaster: The question, or the issue? He built his web site with HTML5, and was wondering if that, in addition to other factors, would affect his SEO, so I think it's relevant to the question... –  Jacob Hume Mar 4 '11 at 12:43
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3 Answers

If your site is powered by JavaScript, that means it won't work and/or you can't get to all of the content without JavaScript enabled in a user's browser, it will kill your SEO. JavaScript is very un-search engine-friendly. And very inaccessible. Doing this is a very bad idea. Yes, Google is working on crawlable Ajax but not only does it only make Google happy it's being universally panned.

Update

If you want to have your site do this, as I mentioned here, you should follow the principle of progressive enhancement. First, build your site so it works without JavaScript. That way search engines and anyone else without JavaScript can access your content normally. Then enhance the site by using JavaScript to load the content dynamically through Ajax. This will enhance the experience of users with JavaScript enabled without harming the users who do not have JavaScript enabled.

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Also when loading the content with JS change the URL in the address bar to the URL that the content is directly reachable through. This can be done with the new history API. –  Bart van Heukelom Nov 5 '11 at 23:17
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Looking at mino.pl it appears to be a bog standard html5 web page using jquery to provide the bouncing effect.

I don't think it is "powered" by Javascript - John Conde's point about SEO and javascript are absolutely correct, but in this case I don't think google would have any problem indexing mino.pl

If javascript was disabled the links at the top would still work as they are anchors pointing to parts of the webpage.

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I do know that Websiteoutlook.com and Alexa rank by pageviews to see popularity. So I guess I'm wondering if on the website like the example I gave you every visit would count as one pageview no matter how many sections you visit. –  user5788 Mar 3 '11 at 17:20
    
I honestly didn't know that, thanks for sharing. Do people actually use or look at websiteoutlook.com? I always thought google was king so that gets 90% of my attention, anything else is an afterthough. –  MrG Mar 4 '11 at 8:46
    
Pageviews is one factor that helps determine content value and relevance, yeah ;) –  user5788 Mar 4 '11 at 16:28
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I would say that it depends. If all of your content is accessible without Javascript enabled, I think you should be safe - with some caveats.

Javascript use, in itself, doesn't kill SEO. It can add some interesting behaviors, and even improve the user experience quite a bit for people whose browsers support it. But it must be applied correctly.

If you design your site with progressive enhancement in mind, it should not be penalized in search engines. Make sure that someone with Javascript disabled still gets a usable experience. Their pages don't have to bounce back and forth, but they have to be able to navigate around to everywhere a user with Javascript enabled would be.

A good way to go about this is to build your website in HTML5 first, without Javascript, and make sure it's functional. Then use Javascript to manipulate that HTML and provide the effects you're looking for.

Oh yeah, that caveat: you mentioned that this transition reduces your site from eight pages to one. This could cause a problem for indexing if there is too much disparate information on that one page, or that single page takes too long to load.

If search engine spiders can't determine the purpose of the page they're on - if your 'services' page content is mashed in with your 'related links', then it will have a harder time indexing you for the right keywords.

You might want to look into keeping your original 8-page layout, and using AJAX to load the pages when the user "slides". It's dead simple in jQuery, and you may even be able to do it in a way that won't kill the back button in user's browsers.

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I do know that Websiteoutlook.com and Alexa rank by pageviews to see popularity. So I guess I'm wondering if on the website like the example I gave you every visit would count as one pageview no matter how many sections you visit. –  user5788 Mar 3 '11 at 17:22
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