At the bottom of this blog, I was linking to on site pages with nonsense words.  These were completely made up words that have no rankings whatsoever.  I was only using javascript to link to these pages.

callicamally
sporgieborgi
blankimankorati

As an SEO we’re bred to think that javascript is bad. More than 2 years ago Google came out and said they were starting to follow these javascript links. Google knows that to better serve their users, they’re going to have to learn to understand this integrated language. They know not all webmasters are SEOs; in all honesty, I’m sure they don’t want them to be! Since many sites were heavily developed in javascript, especially for dynamic navigations, Google had to overcome.

And they did. The tests in the footer of this site showed it. Not only could Google index my pages that had the anchor text in them, but they could also index the thin destination pages. And they did so within 3 hours! Hey, they did say they’re obsessed with speed this year.

________________________

The Simple Experiment

I tried:

<a href=”javascript:var handle=window.open(‘http://www.greenlaneseo.com/temp/test.html’)”>callicamally</a>

Success!

I also tried:

<script type=”text/javascript”>document.write(“<a href=’http://www.greenlaneseo.com/temp/test2.html’>sporgieborgi</a>”);</script>

Success!

Finally I tried:

<script type=”text/javascript”>var str = “blankimankorati”;document.write(str.link(“http://www.greenlaneseo.com/temp/test3.html”));</script>

Again, Success! I’m pretty satisfied with Google here. Bing and Yahoo? Not so much – they were only able to index the page with the anchor text. And even then, not every time.  But they never claimed to be able to (that I’m aware of).

Now this isn’t surprising to some groups of SEOs, but it really is interesting how often I still hear old SEO recommendations as being critical today.  Granted, this test isn’t exhaustive (the actual PageRank associated through JS links wasn’t tested – just crawlability), but it’s valid.  I think some SEOs really need to get caught up to Google, and start implementing what really matters – user value, context, authority, recommendation, and community.  Whatever you want to call it (SEO 2.0 or not), the wave is starting to build right now – get in front of it, and down shift on the old school SEO tactics.

Bill Sebald
Bill Sebald
Follow me on Twitter - @billsebald

I've been doing SEO since 1996. Blogger, speaker, and teacher at Philadelphia University. I started Greenlane in 2005 to help clients leverage search marketing to hit business goals. I love this stuff.

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