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Google ‘Jump to’ Links Getting Confused by AJAX?

Last week Google announced they were testing the use of ‘Jump to’ links in snippets, which direct users to the part of the page which is most relevant for a particular query using named anchors within the page. Richard at Seogadget has a nice write up of how Google is using these links and how you can go about influencing them.

Basically, Google is latching onto id names within the markup of a page. i.e. www.mydomain.com#my-named-anchor.

The problem is a lot of javascript/ ajax scripts also use the # tag in the url and named anchors to trigger actions within the content of the page and Google might not be filtering these properly from the pages which use named anchors in the traditional way to jump to parts of the page.

As an example the FLA’s car finance guide triggers the ‘Jump to’ links on this query:

car loans site-www.financingyourcar.org.uk - Google Search_1254235711721But if you click straight through on that link to the finance options page the content pane on the page is empty:

Car finance options -- Finance options -- FLA_1254237448672

Thats because the page uses javascript to show or hide the different content panes on the page but the onclick event is being used to trigger the javascript so you can’t load specific content direct from the url i.e.

<li><a href="#item5" onclick="showItem('5');return false;">Personal Loan</a></li>

My guess would be (and I haven’t seen enough examples of these links yet to know if this is right) that any javascript/ AJAX script which uses onclick events rather than onload to trigger stuff on the page could be susceptible to this problem. This could be a bit frustrating for users and result in them not using the new feature on search results pages.

Have you got any Jump to link problems to share? Or a better name for them than ‘Jump to’ links?!

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