AJAX – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

Updated On: 2021-11-12 by Trevor Stolber

Referred to as AJAX

Category: Script / On-Page / Technical SEO

Description: Asynchronous Javascript And XML (AJAX) is often considered a specific technology in its own right however it really isn’t.

 AJAX came to prominence with the advent of Web 2.0 which enabled much more dynamic content and interactions on a web page. 

This is really the use of two technologies together Javascript and XML, and using them in a new way – asynchronous such that more interactivity was possible.

AJAX - Asynchronous Ajax and XML

Our take: The utilization of AJAX and more specifically the A – asynchronous part made websites much more dynamic and interactive.

AJAX content had and still has to some extent some challenges with SEO.

Do: Use it for useful additional page functionality.

Don’t: Use it just to make fancy elements and load content that otherwise wouldn’t be loaded.

Tip: Google can handle some types of AJAX content but it is still best practice to make sure your content is deliverable directly. If you use AJAX for content loading make sure there are static URLs where the content is accessible and the appropriate canonical URLs are chosen.

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AJAX was introduced as early as 1999 but not really widely available until 2005 in most browsers.

AJAX https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_(programming)

What Google Says:

Google has specific advice on how to handle and control the crawling of AJAX content. It’s still generally considered best to avoid it but if there is important site functionality that uses it then there is a way to manage it for SEO.

Google Developer Info on reading AJAX and the AJAX crawling scheme https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2017/12/rendering-ajax-crawling-pages

What experts say: