[thelist] Are search engine spiders JavaScript-enabled?

Ben Gustafson cbg3 at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 9 10:08:52 CST 2001

I am updating my employer's ASP-generated site so that the URLs don't use query strings and so search engine spiders will slurp 'em down, and this question came to mind:

The home page of the site has one version with a lot of JavaScript, and another pared-down version for browsers without JavaScript. I don't send all that JavaScript code to non-JavaScript-enabled browsers, and do client-side JavaScript detection and send the info to the server, like so:

	<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.2"><!--

If the browser doesn't have JavaScript, no redirection takes place, which has the added benefit of there being a version of the page with a URL without a query string. The rest of the default.asp script builds the page based on whether or not js==true.

Now, when a search engine spider visits default.asp, which version of the page is it going to crawl: The version built with js==true, the other version, or both? Is it going to ignore the js==true version since calling that version involves a URL with a query string and a browser redirect (to the same page)? Or are the questions not even relevant?

Ben Gustafson
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc.

More information about the thelist mailing list