Watch What You Say: Google Now Indexing AJAX/JavaScript

By Erin Harrison November 03, 2011

Google has changed its index capabilities and AJAX/JavaScript programming – such as those in third-party commenting systems – can show up in Google search results. What this means, according to a Digital Trends report, is that you may need to be more cautious about what you write in public forums.

“Websites that use a third-party commenting system, such as Intense Debate or Facebook Comments implemented using AJAX/ JavaScript programming, will now show up in Google search results,” the report said, noting that the index development changes the SEO (search engine optimization) game.

A Nov. 1 Google Webmaster blog post explains that Google only crawls third-party systems “where it makes sense.”

“As the Web evolves, Google’s crawling and indexing capabilities also need to progress. We improved our indexing of Flash, built a more robust infrastructure called Caffeine, and we even started crawling forms where it makes sense,” blogged Pawel Aleksander Fedorynski, software engineer, indexing team, and Maile Ohye, developer programs tech lead at Google.

“Now, especially with the growing popularity of JavaScript and, with it, AJAX, we’re finding more web pages requiring POST requests – either for the entire content of the page or because the pages are missing information and/or look completely broken without the resources returned from POST. For Google Search this is less than ideal, because when we’re not properly discovering and indexing content, searchers may not have access to the most comprehensive and relevant results.”

The index change was realized by Matt Cutts, Digital Trends said, who tweeted: “Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/JS to index some dynamic comments.”

Although the index change doesn’t mean that Googlebot can read or index your personal comments on your Facebook wall, it does mean that if you use the social networks to login to certain websites, the comment can be traced to you in a Google search.

“Besides Facebook Comments, services such as Intense Debate, Disqus and Livefyre can be indexed,” Digital Trends said.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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