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Background:

We currently use a View to allow users to browse/search among the several hundred guidance pages on our website.

The current UX of the View is not ideal - using the exposed filters causes the whole page to reload, meaning that users have to:

a). Wait for full page reload b). Scroll back down to the results grid

Question:

I was wondering if anyone had any experience using the 'Use Ajax' setting on a View - specifically in terms of any effect on their SEO?

All our guidance pages are listed on our sitemap, and most are linked to from other pages, but this View is the main, most trafficked area pointing towards them.

How likely is it that the switch would mean that search engines aren't able to/are less able to find/index them?

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It will only have an effect if there is content that you want to be visible to the search engine crawlers that is only accessible after having run any JavaScript (aka an ajax call).

For example maybe you want to be optimising for the key word carrot, and there is lots of content about carrots that only appears on page 2 of your view. To get to page two you have to do an ajax request so crawlers will never get there and it will in this instance negatively impact your SEO.

This is quite specific though, and could easily be mitigated against by ensuring your important content on carrots appears on the first page of the view.

So I guess it could have an impact, but it's unlikely that it will be a very big one. But certainly something to consider.

Google has a tool that allows you to fetch a page of your website and preview how it looks to the crawler. This could be useful for testing exactly what impact enabling ajax on your view will have.

  • Yeah - we're thinking that the potential impact might be mitigated by the fact that they pages listed in the View are ordered by publication date, so most of them would have at least have appeared on the main page for a few weeks or so - long enough to be picked up and indexed before they are pushed back onto page 2 or more. From some more testing it also looks like the 'Use Ajax' setting for Views reverts to the standard HTML/method when users have JS disabled, so maybe that'll provide a measure of back-up for both users and spiders? – Ollie M Oct 26 '17 at 9:28
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    @OllieM, yes, good point, I forgot about the no js fallback. To be sure just disable JS in your browser and try it out or use the google tool I linked to above. – Felix Eve Oct 26 '17 at 20:49
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    If that doesn't work, Views still accept URL arguments with Ajax switched on, so you could create the views urls manually and upload them in your sitemap. – Niall Murphy Oct 31 '17 at 10:16

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