It appears as though Google are testing alternate ways to load its results pages. The question is; are Google doing this to improve user experience, or is there some more sinister reason?
The links below show both variations on the search results, one escaped with the traditional query parameter “?” and the other using the hashtag “#”
In my experience the reason behind these type of updates can be seen as a combination of improving performance whilst also accomplishing other goals
Yes, using AJAX will likely improve user experience by ensuring content is dynamic and page load speeds are quicker. However, this also seems like Googles next step in the fight against SEOs.
It has been against Google’s terms of service to scrape their results pages for keyword rankings for a long time, however despite this, when scrapping in moderation, Google have not blocked the behavior as they have understood the need for it.
More recently, Google have been releasing algorithm updates that have clamped down on artificial SEO activities, primarily in relation to link building. Because of this you have to ask; is this another step by Google to try and make artificial behavior more difficult and if so, how are reputable SEOs meant to feedback on the impact of their reputable practices?
I believe it is important to note that using AJAX will not necessarily make it impossible to get the data that we need, but it will make it a lot more difficult unless you purchase software to get around the algorithm updates.