Home > smugmug > Google causing web stagnation?

Google causing web stagnation?

February 20, 2006

It’s not an intended consequence, I’m sure, but it’s true nonetheless – I can’t build the pages I want to build because I have to design with Google in mind.

I *want* to build pages that feel much faster and snappier, by using AJAX to populate some portions of the page. But Google’s crawler doesn’t grok Javascript, so I’m left with slower, less useful pages just so Googlebot can find all the links properly. Ugh.

The pages look no different to a normal person – but they feel much snappier. That’s a big win for my customers. Losing Google indexing, though, is too precious. Google wields enormous power.

I’ve heard tell of a new Google crawler based on Mozilla that *does* grok Javascript. Does anyone happen to know if that’s really the case, and if so, when it’s expected to replace the old and crusty crawler?

I’ve thought about sniffing the User-Agent and rendering the page “the old way” for crawlers and “the new way” for humans, but apparently this can get me big black points in Google’s index. Which is sorta silly, because if you compare the old way and the new way side-by-side in a browser – they look identical. It’s just that one was partially rendered via AJAX and the other was sent in HTML/CSS on the GET query. Apparently that’s enough to get me beat down, though. 😦

Anyone have any other ideas?

Categories: smugmug
  1. eas
    March 6, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Interesting comment. How relevant is search to your site traffic beyond the front page and a few landing pages?

    I’ve very rarely seen any photosharing site rank highly on google for a specific subject in a text search. Even the image searches seem to ignore the huge and often relevant sets of photos at places like SmugMug and Flickr.

  2. November 15, 2009 at 10:15 am

    LOL! these are great!

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