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Are Google SERPs moving to Ajax, will it affect analytics?

Are Google SERPs moving to Ajax, will it affect analytics? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Here’s a question from over the Atlantic, Owen in London asks: Can you confirm if the Google SERPs (search engine result pages) are moving to AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript), if so, how do you think it will affect analytics which rely on the keyword information being in the URL? So, Google did roll out a change a few weeks ago which – for a very small percentage of users very small, like under 1% right now – doing almost what you might call JavaScript enhanced search results. So, you show up on Google’s page and as you’re typing you can do neat things with JavaScript. So, you can try make things faster, you can try to make things smoother for users. There’s a lot of really smart stuff that you can do. The team didn’t really think about referrers and how that might break analytics packages and stuff downstream. So, you know, it’s a very small percentage of people that this has been sort of trialed on, and people are thinking about, are there ways to have referrers? Anything that you can do is very useful if you can have referrers, so, if ten years from now referrers are now where the conventional browser stands, then browsers can maybe return everything after the pound sign. For example, that would, even though after the hash mark or after the pound sign isn’t officially part of the URL or URI, if browsers were to pass that along, then that would help all sorts of referrers and analytic packages. So, the way that I think about it right now is, we have to try experiments with how to make the search results better and faster and cleaner. And it’s not the intent to break referrers, but we have to keep trying out new things. And we do want to have the ability where analytics packages can still continue to work.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: