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    How does Google handle dynamic FAQs?


    A lot of FAQs today are "dynamic" where you only see the questions until you click a question and then page opens up to display the answer. There's an example here: http://www.centralvalleypet.com/faq.html.

    It seems like Google might think that the site is just listing a bunch of questions, like people used to do with Meta words, to draw traffic. Google might not realize, just looking at the FAQ page, that the site actually gives the visiter full, informative and interesting answers to each of those questions, and in an intuitive way that doesn't clutter the page with answers they don't care about.

    Does anyone know if Google will understand and appreciate this form of FAQ?

    Thanks for any information or thoughts.

    Steve
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    Originally Posted by SteveA
    A lot of FAQs today are "dynamic" where you only see the questions until you click a question and then page opens up to display the answer. There's an example here: http://www.centralvalleypet.com/faq.html.

    It seems like Google might think that the site is just listing a bunch of questions, like people used to do with Meta words, to draw traffic. Google might not realize, just looking at the FAQ page, that the site actually gives the visiter full, informative and interesting answers to each of those questions, and in an intuitive way that doesn't clutter the page with answers they don't care about.

    Does anyone know if Google will understand and appreciate this form of FAQ?

    Thanks for any information or thoughts.

    Steve
    Steve,

    This is not a concern. You have no reason to worry. Google scans code, not the design/interface.

    I've used this type of FAQ on 100's of clients sites with no issues what-so-ever.
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    It looks like this is done with jquery. In most cases, Google sees jquery just fine. Here is an article in which someone tested that fact and said,

    "Because the jQuery tab approach has the content on one page, Google was able to index all of that content."

    When Google tells us not to have hidden content on the page they're talking about content that is hidden in order to trick search engines (such as having white keywords on a white background or keywords that are hidden beyond the margins of the page.)
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    Thanks guys.

    Let me push this a bit farther. What if the answers are in a database? It doesn't seem likely that Google will click each question and index the answer pulled and displayed from the database. It seems that I'm going to have to write out all of the questions and answers on a page somewhere on the site just for Google's benefit, even if no visitor ever uses the page. (My plan is to provide a more elegant interface for visitors, where they enter their question into a field and I pull and display the closest answer from the database.)

    Thanks for your input.
    Steve
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    IMO I would be careful, I'm not positive but I think Google doesn't like things made just for the search engine for ranking..Google could consider it cloaking.
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    IMO I would be careful
    Yes, that's why I'm on the forum now.

    But I'm really not doing anything shady. It's not that I'm trying to appear to have information that I don't really have (like putting Britney Spears in a META tag when I have nothing on her). The site has rich, relevant information in its database and I just want to make sure that the Google bot sees and indexes it.

    Actually, it seems there may be a way to do this that Google will be fine with. Suppose each question is a link to a PHP page that pulls the answer from the database and displays it, with the question as a heading. Then all these links are put into the site map that is submitted to Google. It seems now like Google will go through and hit each link, pulling up a nice page with the question at the top and the answer - pulled from the database - below, which Google should have no problem indexing.

    How does that sound?

    Thanks
    Last edited by SteveA; Sep 20th, 2012 at 07:02 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    IMO I would be careful, I'm not positive but I think Google doesn't like things made just for the search engine for ranking..Google could consider it cloaking.
    If you're not positive then don't form an opinion that might cause the OP to panic or change his methods.

    THIS IS A NORMAL WEB DEVELOPMENT METHOD USED TO ADD INTERACTIVITY AND STYLE TO A PAGE.

    THIS IS A NORMAL WEB DEVELOPMENT METHOD USED TO ADD INTERACTIVITY AND STYLE TO A PAGE.

    THIS IS A NORMAL WEB DEVELOPMENT METHOD USED TO ADD INTERACTIVITY AND STYLE TO A PAGE.

    THIS IS A NORMAL WEB DEVELOPMENT METHOD USED TO ADD INTERACTIVITY AND STYLE TO A PAGE.

    THIS IS A NORMAL WEB DEVELOPMENT METHOD USED TO ADD INTERACTIVITY AND STYLE TO A PAGE.

    THIS IS A NORMAL WEB DEVELOPMENT METHOD USED TO ADD INTERACTIVITY AND STYLE TO A PAGE.

    You. Have. Nothing. To. Worry. About.

    This is COMMON with web designers and web 2.0 looking/feeling websites. I've personally built and ranked MANY sites with this style FAQs.

    Instead of worrying about such items, why not focus your attention on your onpage SEO and rework some title tags? Ya' know, things that actually make a difference.
    Last edited by joshz; Sep 21st, 2012 at 07:18 AM.
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    If your hiding a panel with the answer on and reviling it when a user clicks using javascript / jquery then the text is on the page at page load and I have found it gets indexed no problem. However if your making ajax calls to populate the area then this I have found it does not get indexed.

    Others here may tell you different but this is my findings over the last 12 months or so.
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    If your hiding a panel with the answer on and reviling it when a user clicks using javascript / jquery then the text is on the page at page load and I have found it gets indexed no problem. However if your making ajax calls to populate the area then this I have found it does not get indexed.

    Others here may tell you different but this is my findings over the last 12 months or so.
    Google changed their Bots in 2009 to allow for crawling AJAX.
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    Originally Posted by joshz
    Thanks for reminding me why I keep visiting this site LOL
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    Instead of worrying about such items, why not focus your attention on your on page SEO and rework some title tags? Ya' know, things that actually make a difference.
    Just curious, Joshz. Why do you think what I'm doing here won't make a difference? If Google indexes my question text and someone enters that question as a query, I show up in the organic portion of their SERP. That's good!

    Steve
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    Originally Posted by SteveA
    Just curious, Joshz. Why do you think what I'm doing here won't make a difference? If Google indexes my question text and someone enters that question as a query, I show up in the organic portion of their SERP. That's good!

    Steve
    I'm saying the question about the FAQ's should NOT be a concern because there is nothing negative, spammy, etc. to cause concern.

    Your FAQs will index fine. I'm saying, with the energy you're putting into worry about it's index progress, you're missing out on other opportunities to optimize your website. As suggested previously, the main thing being your title tags. You could optimize those on all of your pages to help your performance.

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    Josh is right, I wouldn't worry about this any more mate, I use this type of FAQ for many sites and have done for quite some time with no problem what so ever in getting the content indexed and ranking well.

    For example, I have just today finished the first part to an FAQ page for an electrical wholesale client and its already indexed on google without even building a single link to it apart from the new FAQ link on the clients site in the top nav.

    Bottom line, google will see and index the content just fine, so get the FAQ up and work on making sure the on page seo and content are up to the highest standard you can

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    Ok, I'm on board. I believe you that a FAQ where the answers are revealed by clicking the question will get indexed, even if AJAX gets the answers. Great! But let's move beyond that. What if the "FAQ" is implemented with something like:

    Questions? Just Ask: __________________________________

    Now the user doesn't have to look through a list of questions he doesn't have to find the one he does have. He just enters his question. It's personal and he gets involved. Behind this function are 100 questions that are likely to be asked, with their answers. But there's nothing here for Google to index. So it seems that I need to display all 100 questions and answers on the site somewhere, just for Google's benefit. I know, though, that doing things "just for Google's benefit" raises red flags at Google. That's my concern now. Will Google index these back pages fine, that no one else ever sees?
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    I would think no, unless they are linked to from somewhere.
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