Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Sagara Paranagama on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, 09/18/2013).

Sagara needs to know if what he has been doing is considered as cloaking?

I`m doing SEO for a single page application (SPA). Currently, dynamic data is loaded using AJAX for some modal popups. The popups work by loading the data into a div in the main page. I`m using the hashbang URL scheme to direct the crawler and it`s presented only the dynamic content, not dynamic content + main Page (as the user would see). Is that considered cloaking?
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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Facebook & G+ community.

  • Sagara Paranagama: The crawler is presented only with a static version of the dynamic content to be exact...
  • Omar Mossadek: I wouldn't go so far as to say cloaking, but depending on the extent and relevance of the text that is not included, it may cause an issue if eye-balled. It depends on the desired or undesired intent that is therefore interpreted by the web spam team who may one day examine it.
  • Sagara Paranagama: I'm presenting the same dynamic content to both the crawler and user.... ;
  • Omar Mossadek: Yes +Sagara Paranagama , but the intent behind hiding the rest of the content is subjective. 
  • Omar Mossadek: Bottom line is, if you can avoid it, then do and show the same content to both bot and human. Google is good at identifying 'boiler plate' (template driven) static frameworks. 
  • Sagara Paranagama: I see... thanks +Omar Mossadek ;
  • Omar Mossadek: Pleasure. Good luck.
  • W.E. Jonk: Basically you are presenting a "static" version (html snapshot) to users that cannot execute javascript/AJAX applications like Googlebot/Bingbot or anyone else. This not cloaking in contrast it is good practise.

    Cloaking is when you serve something different to search engines then to users and in this case you are serving the same content to both users with javascript, users without javascript and Googlebot/Bingbot.
  • Tony McCreath: As you are following Googles advice on using the hashbang technique you don't need to worry, even if it is a form of "white hat" cloaking.

    You should be fine unless you try and game things and provide google with different content to what your visitors will see.

    You may also want to look into pushstate(). It's a cleaner solution than using the hashbang now browsers let you change the address bar url without causing a reload.
  • Jason Squardo: I see no issues with what you are doing from a Google standpoint
  • Sagara Paranagama: Thanks a lot for the replies +W.E. Jonk ;+Tony McCreath ; & +Jason Squardo. I did have a look at pushstate(), but unfortunately it isn't supported by older browsers so I can't use it. But thanks again!

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, 09/18/2013).