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I am creating a new website for a client, and I think a single page website / layout will be pretty neat. There is not that much detailed content, it is a company that imports a lot of products from different companies. So it will be a bit of a showcase of the different types of products / equipment you can order. Of the whole catalog only maybe 10 products are actually shown.

Now I have the basic structure with sections and links like:

#home / #products / #equipment / #services / #contact.

Now from what I understand is that Google does not index links containing #, so there will be no problem of duplicate content, everything will be indexed as the frontpage.

Now what I want to optimize is searching. This company is agent of some product in the country, meaning only they have the permission to import and sell that product. This means that when somebody searches for product x, this website pops up as the first hit.

Now can I make it that they will be automatically brought to the #products part of the website directly from google.

I was thinking of something like having google index the different sections as different pages. Is something like that possible?

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Single page websites are bad for SEO. Period.

Since search engines rank web pages and not websites you need to make sure each web page is tailored towards a specific topic so it optimized to rank well for that topic. Putting more then one topic on a page dilutes that page's value for each topic and thus hurts its chances of ranking for both topics. It gets worse as you add more topics to that page. It also isn't useful for users since they have to sift through content they're not interested in to find the content they are looking for.

Additonally, internal links are valuable tools for SEO. They're almost as good incoming links from external sites and their anchor text does have value. Having a single page website means you are missing out on them.

I was thinking of something like having google index the different sections as different pages. Is something like that possible?

No.

  • Thank for pointing that out. I was thinking almost the same thing. While developing I see that I do miss a lot of options that come with a multi-page website. I thought maybe I could get away with it using some smart optimization, guess not. Have to rethink the whole project. Thanks for the help. – Saif Bechan Dec 9 '11 at 14:24
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    @Saif: While Google won't show internal anchors as separate results in their SERP, Google is known to sometimes display them as a sort of mini-sitemap under the original anchorless page. I believe they do this with large Wikipedia articles that have a clearly defined document structure and contents menu. – Lèse majesté Dec 9 '11 at 14:30
  • Google will show different anchors as seperate pages if you use the ajax crawling scheme, known as HanshBang #! urls with meta tag for escaped fragments. developers.google.com/webmasters/ajax-crawling/docs/… – Frank Aug 13 '14 at 3:13
  • I agree with John with one small caveat. Simple single page sites can perform well, however, will get lost with competition. In otherwords, a single page site will compete well in low-competition markets. I have a single page site, nothing fancy, but performs well within the antiques market in a small mountain community. I get people from all over the U.S. coming to see me because they found my site using a local search and liked it. However, in a large and competitive market, this would never work. It sounds like a single page site is not best for your needs. Cheers!! – closetnoc Oct 19 '16 at 18:43
  • Things have changed. See Google blog: Deprecating our AJAX crawling scheme – Franklin Yu Oct 25 '17 at 2:09
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Google has changed, now you can be #1 in google with one page very well. Now are many articles about that, I found one that I liked very much , but are many more.

You kinda need to do little things that will count.

  1. Paginate the content
  2. Make a good css for spiders
  3. Seek authority - BUILD STRONG LINKS !!!
  4. H1 tags !
  5. Be best on readability
  6. Keep it fresh

More on http://www.awwwards.com/seo-tricks-for-one-page-websites.html

The google algorithm is updated alot and we can't find the secret key.

https://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/

  • Any thoughts on pushstate, crawlable ajax, or other technologies that could help? – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 19 '16 at 13:28
  • For pushstate-popstate I've used the documentation from developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/History_API I had problems with ajax crawling because they discontinued the support for their AJAX Crawling Scheme . Even they don't support it anymore I know that the google stil index the site. developers.google.com/webmasters/ajax-crawling/docs/… I've read that we should simply avoid introducing escaped_fragment urls in code if we build new sites. – Cristian Mergea Oct 19 '16 at 13:36
  • This answer doesn't specifically address "one page" websites, apart from saying that "one page" sites can be indexed by Google "very well" and providing a link. The numbered points are things that should be applied to any kind of website. "1. Paginate the content" - Using "paginate" here without more explanation is confusing, since the whole point of a "one page" website is that it's not "paginated". – MrWhite Oct 19 '16 at 14:33
  • ' the whole point of a "one page" website is that it's not "paginated" ' If you have a portfolio for example you can't put 50 mockups with description on a one page site without pagination in that section. I had something like "One tought a day" and I had to "paginate" them, I couldn't show all toughts like on a facebook timeline. I put them on "pages" (that were hidden till you clicked 1,2,3,4,5). – Cristian Mergea Oct 20 '16 at 10:43
  • There is a development concept of "Single Page Websites" where there are indeed many screens of content, but the header and footer are loaded once. Then the middle of the page is replaced with via AJAX. Popular frameworks such as AngularJS use this concept. We get a lot of questions about how SEO works for them. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 25 '16 at 12:34
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You can have accesible/indexable pages of each section as an alternative version of your webapp. In your situation you need to have this pages: Home, Products, Equipment, Services, Contact

When javascript isn't enabled you need to have 5 pages. Each page need to have specific title and show specific section to user (not the others). When javascript is enabled you can load your webapp.

Fot big projects you should look this project: http://www.asual.com/swfaddress/ (seo example includes datasource.php to do what i have told)

Example:

Home: /

<nav><stong>Home</strong> <a href="/products">Products</a>...</nav><div id="webapp">Home static content</div><script>window.onload=function(){ /*load webapp*/ }</script>

Products: /products

<nav><a href="/">Home</a> <stong>Products</strong>...</nav> <div id="webapp">Products static content</div><script>window.onload=function(){ /*load webapp*/ }</script>

etc

  • @Saif: I think he means using AJAX to show different "subpages" but also associating those subpages to different URLs if the user wants to navigate to them directly or doesn't have JavaScript. You should use HTML5's history state API to allow these subpages to be bookmarked. The StackExchange user profile page is a good example of this technique. – Lèse majesté Dec 11 '11 at 21:32
  • @Lèsemajesté yes I understand what he is saying now, he edited it in. I didn;t understand the previous answer he gave. – Saif Bechan Dec 11 '11 at 21:39
  • @jrosell I was thinking of this technique before, but I do not think it is will be great for important content. Maybe for a portfolio page, or a profile page you can get away with it, but I do not think it would be good for a business. I think it is a good practice to not have a webapp specially for SEO. If there were build in techniques is would be ok, but this looks like a hack for SEO. – Saif Bechan Dec 11 '11 at 21:40
  • Look at this site with/without flash enabled as example santperedelboschotel.com – jrosell Dec 14 '11 at 19:48
  • Have you target users with javascript disabled? Google bot is one of these. – jrosell Dec 14 '11 at 19:52
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While a single page site may improve relevancy for primary keywords you're more likely to dilute relevancy for sub topics and terms that might rank easier on individual pages. Consider Hummingbird - If one page contains diluted information the page will become less relevant and will be impossible to optimise for any one section. I would not recommend optimising for a single site but to instead build out the 5 pages separately.

If you're going to optimise for a single page site I'd recommend the following:

  • Make sure the content sections are defined and H tags are well optimised
  • Place each section of content inside it's own DIV
  • Make sure DIV IDs are keyword optimised
  • Create Anchor links for each section of the site
  • Make sure each main title is wrapped in a H1 tag.
  • These days a single page website may be interactive and load additional data into the page using AJAX as the user clicks around. Several frameworks take the single page approach even though they allow one to build very large web applications. Can you add to your answer to address AJAX? – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 20 '16 at 12:34

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