Barefoot Development

Popups a Spider Can Follow

While talking with our team about SEO best practices, we discovered that the way Rails handles popups makes them not only more user-friendly (like allowing the ability to open the popup in a new full window or in a tab), but also allows a search engine spider to see the link and follow it to index the content of the popup.

Here is an example of what you may be used to seeing from a WYSIWYG editor when popping a new window:

<script type="text/JavaScript">
function MM_openBrWindow(theURL,winName,features) { //v2.0,winName,features);
<a href="#"><img src="path/to/a.gif" width="124" height="45" border="0" onClick="MM_openBrWindow('path/to/page','','width=900,height=570')"></a>

And this is how we are popping new windows (with the help of Rails):

<a href="/path/to/page" onclick=",'event_detail','height=450,width=700');return false;">

Since the HREF is intact, spiders are able to follow the links. Easy, peasy.

Bobby Uhlenbrock, Application Developer, Barefoot