AJAX is the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s going to change the way we surf the web if you believe the hype.
I personally love it. The problem is search engines don’t and when I say search engines, I mean search engine. If you actually take a step back and look at the landscape, you will see it is Google who is in charge of deciding how we develop our websites. They tell us what other ads we can use if we want to run adsense. They dictate what links we must place nofollow tags on to stay within their guidelines. Their algorithm determines how we should link our sites if we want proper link weight distribution to obtain rankings. Google for the most part controls the flow of traffic and revenue on the web.
The boss is really excited about the new AJAX enabled site he is having developed. After all, it has all the hip web 2.0 features that he is sure are going to be part of making it a huge success. It won’t take too long before the 2.0 intoxication wears off and Google reality sets in. The new site isn’t obtaining the traffic it needs to make a profit. He could decide to cloak but that is a no-no to Google. He could create a mirror site for the search engines to index, but then none of those subpages on the mirror will have deep links and with Google’s current algorithm it will be dead in the water. In the end, it will be back to a good old HTML/CSS website which search spiders love.
AJAX isn’t going anywhere but it isn’t going to change the face of the net either. After the web 2.0 party is over, AJAX will find a proper balance on Internet as something used for backend interfaces and search results where search spiders have no business anyways.
The good news is many SEOs are going to make a killing cleaning up overzealous AJAX websites.