Ajax is not a new technology, but still lot of website owners get into troubles because of Ajax technology. What happens now is that when you go to a webmaster and he/she advices to show up your website content via Ajax, because it looks coll and it generates little traffic. First thing you should do is to run away from that webmaster as soon as possible.
Remember! Content that is loaded via Ajax is not visible to search engines, is non indexable and often does not have a unique URL that can be bookmarked or shared!
Delivering website content via Ajax requests is equal to killing website’s search and referral traffic.
For social networks like facebook or twitter, usage of Ajax is just a must. It reduces traffic and boosts interactions between client/server. They can deliver content through Ajax, because people view their personalized pages which is not subject to index or bookmarking.
OK, does that mean that Ajax is evil?
No, Ajax has lots of advantages that you can effectively use to drive up your website. Here is a small list of what can be effectively done via Ajax:
1. Search box instant suggestions (like in google.com)
A very helpful tip. This is not only a suggestion from English language dictionary. You can use this suggestion option very effectively. You SHOULD offer words/names/products from your product database! In other words you lead client to an item or product that you have in your database and in this case search efficiency and conversion rate increases rapidly.
In case of standard seach, customer may not find a product that he seeks for and leave your website unsatisfied. But in case of search box instant suggestions you will never loose customers on the step of seach. Even more, you will have an opportunity to offer a customer the products you have and my be customer will find an interesting alternative to a product he/she actually searches for.
2. Photo rating without page reload (like in 500px.com)
Voting is a very big problem in all vote-driven websites. That’s why it should be designed as easy as possible. Just a click without any page reload. It’s fast and you get instant feedback and after clicking you see what has happened with the rating of a photo.
3. “Add to cart” without page reload (like in en.sas.am)
This is pretty cool, adding an item to a basket should be as easy as possible, no page reloads and not waiting time. Just click and item is your basket. For those who run e-shops should use this approach whenever possible.