I have a site that I 'm trying to index and I am a bit confused by what I should expect to see in the result of the Fetch as Googlebot tool. The site uses hashbangs, so according to Google it should be crawlable by substituting hashbangs with ?_escaped_fragment_. However, the results of the fetch don't show the actual content. Is this normal?

2 Answers 2


I don't think the "fetch as Googlebot" tool really uses the same programs that run its search engine spider. It's more likely a standard web page fetch using their user agent string.

So all it will do is fetch the page as you supply it. If you're having indexing problems then make sure you have genuine links to you hashbang URLs. If the entire site including home page is Javascript then you may have issues.


Actually, I found the answer, and it turns out that Fetch as Googlebot works as it should. My problem was that whenever I detected an _escaped_fragment_ url, I redirected to static content. The thing is, the tool does not understand redirections (possibly with good reason). When I fixed the problem Ajax crawling worked like a charm.

  • How did you fetch the corresponding HTML? I'm currently trying to make an AJAX site with #! indexable with escaped_fragment, but I'm lost as to how I'm supposed to detect the urls with escaped_fragment and provide the corresponding HTML.
    – Eric
    May 30, 2014 at 21:22
  • I used phantomjs to produce the static pages, and a simple controller action to serve them from a folder 'static' in my app. Jun 2, 2014 at 10:28

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