I have a client who has website with multiple pages. Now, each page has tabbed content which is accessible through #. For example:


Now, when search engines index they are indexing only example.com/page1/ and example.com/page2/. This creates a problem where we cannot have search engines point directly to the content within a given tab. What we want is for search engines to show links that takes users directly to (say) example.com/page1#content3.

Now, I don't think Google can index such #-based content on its own. So, I have two ideas in my mind:

  1. Add these # based URLs in the sitemap - But I have heard that search engines drop anything after the #. So this might not work.
  2. Add vanity URLs in the sitemap and do a 301 redirect to the hashed URLs. For example, I can add example.com/page1/content3/ in the sitemap and then have it redirected is to example.com/page1#content3.

What do you recommend how should I solve this problem? We don't want to re-architect the site pages.

  • Search engines don't index redirect URLs, so that idea won't work. Feb 9 '18 at 10:36
  • You say you don't want to re-architect, but it is usually a pretty simple change to switch from hashes to real URLs that are updated with pushState. Have you looked into that technology? Feb 9 '18 at 10:37
  • @StephenOstermiller: Can you please elaborate a little more?
    – Blueboye
    Feb 9 '18 at 13:15
  • Note: I am not making any calls for the # content. They are just tabs on a page that we can select by passing the tab name after # in the URL.
    – Blueboye
    Feb 9 '18 at 13:42

As it was mentioned in comments, the simplest possibility to address tabs with urls, is to address them with parameters instead of hashes, like http://www.example.com/page-1?tab=2.

While you correctly said, hashes will not be passed through the server to Google, parameters will.

A kind of solution is described under https://css-tricks.com/better-linkable-tabs/


You can manually define them in the sitemap or use google webmaster tools to flag them as such or you can request reindexing of the tabbed content you mentioned in your post.

  • 2
    That article is about sitelinks and doesn't say anything about URLs with hashes. Feb 9 '18 at 10:39
  • It did talk about tabbed URLs. As such it has been changed to be more clear
    – sau226
    Feb 9 '18 at 10:44
  • I don't see where that article talks about tabbed URLs either. Feb 9 '18 at 11:06
  • 2
    The question here asks about tabs and hashes, but the article you link to has nothing to do with hashes or tabs. Did you link to the wrong thing, or am I just missing it entirely? Feb 9 '18 at 11:32
  • 1
    Stephen is right. I read the article and it talks about how to put URLs in a sitemap to submit to search engines for processing. Nothing about hashes. Feb 9 '18 at 23:05

I think this is the issue of Hashbang. Check this article of the usage of "#" with "!" in the urls. I hope It will help.

  • 1
    You should add the important contents of that link to your answer as link only answers are generally not considered quality answers here..
    – John Conde
    Feb 9 '18 at 13:35
  • @JohnConde, I have been trying to implement the same but I do not have the descriptive idea about the same, So I'd prefer to share knowledge without confusing. If I would be explaining, It might be the possibility I could confuse others, So I shared the link. I think That source sums up the solution in case the website has been built on AJAX.
    – Rajat
    Feb 9 '18 at 14:57
  • 1
    What I am trying to tell you is to take the content contained from the page you linked to and add it to your answer. You can even copy and paste it since you already cite is as your source. Without that content in your answer this answer is too low quality and will ultimately be removed.
    – John Conde
    Feb 9 '18 at 16:38
  • ...or convert to a comment?
    – MrWhite
    Feb 9 '18 at 18:28
  • I looked at that link and its suggesting that users should also have the converted version of the URL available (one with escaped_fragment in it) for processing should google ever seek it. In any event, this answer doesn't seem helpful to the question at hand. Feb 9 '18 at 23:03

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