Official: Google recommends ‘progressive enhancement’ for your web pages

Google is discontinuing its supports for its previous proposal to make AJAX web pages crawlable by Googlebot. In the official Google blog post, Google’s Kazushi Nagayama said that they are “no longer recommending the AJAX crawling proposal we made back in 2009.”

progressive enhancement

Does this mean that Google no longer indexes AJAX pages?

Google continues to index AJAX pages. As long as you do not block Googlebot from crawling your JavaScript or CSS files, Google can index the AJAX pages on your website. Google is able to render and understand your web pages like modern browsers.

Google now recommends ‘progressive enhancement’ for your web pages

Although the old method for AJAX pages won’t cause problems, Google now recommends that you use ‘progressive enhancement‘ for your web pages.

Progressive enhancement is a strategy for web design that emphasizes accessibility, semantic HTML markup, and external stylesheet and scripting technologies.

What is progressive enhancement?

Progressive enhancement uses web technologies in a layered fashion that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing an enhanced version of the page to those with more advanced browser software or greater bandwidth.

Progressive Enhancement consists of the following core principles:

  • basic content should be accessible to all web browsers
  • basic functionality should be accessible to all web browsers
  • sparse, semantic markup contains all content
  • enhanced layout is provided by externally linked CSS
  • enhanced behavior is provided by unobtrusive, externally linked JavaScript
  • end-user web browser preferences are respected

Does this mean that you have to adjust your web pages?

As long as search engine robots can index your web pages, you do not have to adjust them. In general, it is highly recommendable that the most important contents of your web pages are accessible to all web browsers.

If advanced technologies are necessary to view the contents of your pages, chances are that many visitors won’t be able to view them.

The website audit tool in our Internet marketing tool SEOprofiler analyzes all pages of your website. It discovers problems on your website that can lead to bad rankings on Google and other search engines. If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "".

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