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I just noticed Google “going all Ajax” in their search results.
The Old Way
The New Way
[EDITOR NOTE.... THAT'S ME... IT'S A PERSONAL BLOG: Beyond the next chart this post has been updated Thursday Morning. Comments prior to that may refer to previous (incorrect) interpretations.]
I originally suspected that they had been testing this for few weeks, judging by the search term on brand drop in PIWIK analytics integrations:
But then that goes to show what happens when you write up a blog post in a rush. The chart above was not filtered to show Google traffic only and whilst that drop looks interesting, when I DID look at the traffic properly filtered, Google seems to still be happily tracking at least some of the brand keyword at the same level at the moment:
So either it was early checking, or something else was happening to still let my analytics track, because usually anything after a hashbang would get lost, So next I did a search for a tool/script which checks the referrer URL when you land on the page. I found one on stardrifter.org so did THIS search to get stardrifter in the hashbanged results:
Clicking on that referrer test should show the referrer URL in the URL bar at the top, yes? But infact Google is redirecting and showing a different (more expected and normal) referral URL – as can be seen when I click on the link:
So… the Hashbang has gone… but then again, so have the keywords. Just a parameter “&q=” with no content. I tried to log out and do a similar test and did not generate an instance where the keyword data was parsed. Maybe someone else can.