Back in September I wrote about SEO considerations for single page websites, including AJAX-driven web applications and long scroll (aka parallax) sites. Most designers of long scroll websites don’t have the skills required to implement the
_escaped_fragment_ method described in that post, so real life examples can be hard to find. Recently we found an excellent example of long scroll SEO done right. Not surprisingly, it’s an SEO training website. Take a look athttp://www.technicalseocourse.com/ (no relation to Wakefly).
The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s (mostly) all in one huge page. This would normally be bad for SEO because it means we can’t target specific sections (what would traditionally be pages) with a unique set of keywords.
In the navigation, you see links like this: http://www.technicalseocourse.com/#!quick-course-summary/c65r
Note the hashbang (#!). Normally, everything after a # in a URL is for the browser only – crawlers can’t use that information because a web server simply ignores the # and anything after in the URL when a request is made. As such, clicking that link in a browser doesn’t get a new page from the server. Instead, it changes the content on the page, pulling in just that section using AJAX. The #! combination is a tip to Google and other search engines to use the _escaped_fragment_ trick.
When crawling, Google temporarily replaces that
#! in the URL with
?_escaped_fragment_. Unlike #, everything after the
? in a URL does go to the server and so can be used by crawlers. The developer of this site had to code behavior to respond to this type of URL, and you can see it here:
That’s the same content served up directly from the server for a search engine crawler. Depending on the technology used to build the site, doing this for every page may not be trivial. Ask your web developer, or give Wakefly a call if you don’t have one.
When Google indexes that page, it’s listed in the search results using the browser-friendly #! URL, as you can see in these search results: https://www.google.com/webhp?q=%22eligible%20for%20this%20class%20so%20that%20the%20content%22
I can’t speak to the quality of the training, but kudos for the developers of this site for eating their own dog food.