Most attribute its growth to jQueryâ€™s success in achieving its overall goals. Born from a desire to simplify programming and especially web development, jQuery has won champions and adherents by delivering on its promise to streamline HTML document traversing, event handling, animations and AJAX interactions while remaining lightweight and compliant with industry standards, such as CSS3. In addition to the above characteristics, jQuery also enables the creation of Plug-ins: facilities that allow developers to create concepts for low-level interface and simulation, high-level theme-able widgets, and advanced effects. This deepens and heightens the dynamism and power of web sites.
But as with so many things, thereâ€™s a down side. For all of the flashy tricks and easy effects jQuery helps you incorporate into your designs, it can also render your creation virtually invisible. Because it automates and streamlines much of the coding and content handling that goes into making a web page viewable, jQuery holds much of the data that search engines use in retrieving pages out of the view of spiders. Spiders are little agents that the search engines use to locate and point to the content markers they need to return meaningful responses to users. When spiders canâ€™t find those content markers in your web page, then your creation wonâ€™t be included in the data returned in that search. This makes your web site very hard to find.
Consequently, programmers need to know techniques and tricks to keep important markers in view of the spiders and search engines while still availing themselves of the advantages of automating coding with jQuery. There are a wide variety of ways to alter your coding to accommodate the needs of SEO, and several will be presented below; but these are far from definitive or exhaustive. Web development, and programming in general, consists of so many variables that there will always be multiple answers to any programming question.
Tim Nash, a writer and consultant in various areas of web development, wrote a post on the use of jQuery and tricks for keeping content indexable for the search engines. In his post, he presents several jQuery plug-ins that can aid in making jQuery SEO friendly . Nash starts by describing methods of web development and comparing them. In general, he espouses what he calls progressive enhancement, in which the programmer builds the pages to the lowest common denominator and then adds enhancements. This will keep all of the relevant data accessible to search engines and therefore make the page easier to find on the web. The alternative, that he suggests is likely to result in burying your design, he calls graceful degradation.
Here are a few other useful resources from around the web. First from Noupe – a site founded by Noura Yehia, and now belonging to Smashing Media – are 50 examples of designs aided by jQuery. Noupeâ€™s mission involved bringing its readers information on new communication methods and technologies from around the web. To that end, they wanted to make their readers aware of the high quality work currently rendered by jQuery. Second: from the same source is a sampling of 45 jQuery plug-ins . Finally, hereâ€™s a roundup of tutorials on jQuery.
There are many techniques, resources and opinions regarding jQuery, but the general point remains the same: make your jQuery content crawlable and search engine friendly.
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