Google Has Discontinued Its Support For Its AJAX Crawling Scheme

Google has finally made it official it is discontinuing its support for its 2009 proposal to make AJAX crawlable by GoogleBot.

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In March 2015, we reported that Google will discontinue the AJAX crawling proposal, and several months later, Google has made it so.

Kazushi Nagayama from Google’s Search Quality Analyst said Google is “no longer recommending the AJAX crawling proposal we made back in 2009.” Adding that “as long as you’re not blocking Googlebot from crawling your JavaScript or CSS files,” Google should be able to discover your AJAX website and render the pages fine.

This does not mean Google is not going to crawl sites built in AJAX. Google will crawl AJAX sites, but it will no longer support the proposal it made to crawl them. So now, Google suggests you build the sites using the principles of progressive enhancement.

What if you already implemented the Google AJAX proposal? Google says it will still be indexed, but the company recommends that you change your website to support the new best practices over time.

Google posted a FAQs on this. Here it is:

Q: My site currently follows your recommendation and supports _escaped_fragment_. Would my site stop getting indexed now that you’ve deprecated your recommendation?
A: No, the site would still be indexed. In general, however, we recommend you implement industry best practices when you’re making the next update for your site. Instead of the _escaped_fragment_ URLs, we’ll generally crawl, render, and index the #! URLs.

Q: Is moving away from the AJAX crawling proposal to industry best practices considered a site move? Do I need to implement redirects?
A: If your current setup is working fine, you should not have to immediately change anything. If you’re building a new site or restructuring an already existing site, simply avoid introducing _escaped_fragment_ urls.

Q: I use a JavaScript framework, and my Web server serves a pre-rendered page. Is that still ok?
A: In general, websites shouldn’t pre-render pages only for Google — we expect that you might pre-render pages for performance benefits for users and that you would follow progressive enhancement guidelines. If you pre-render pages, make sure that the content served to Googlebot matches the user’s experience, both how it looks and how it interacts. Serving Googlebot different content than a normal user would see is considered cloaking, and would be against our Webmaster Guidelines.

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