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Google Search + AJAX = Internet Fail!!

3 February 2009 5 Comments

Google is testing out a new way to search, AJAX! It sounds all good, right? Now I don’t have to have the page reload every time I search! Well that’s a plus, but what about all the apps its going to break? I’m assuming that it will still accept the old format of the search (below) for a while so any search plug-ins should still work. However the real problem is for analytics.

Browsers don’t send “page link” elements in the referrer and so any analytics tracking sites will not be able to get the Google Search that was used to get to your site. Instead they will just think of it as google.com, a regular site.

I would continue on this problem, however SmackDown! already has a good article (or 2) on the topic. Also, it seems that Google is only testing the feature with a limited set of users and any AJAX searches are be redirected back to the old syntax (see below).

The old searches looked like this:


and the new “AJAX” searches would look like:


However, if you click the “AJAX” link, you will be redirected to a page with the old syntax plus an extra, “&cad=h” which means who knows what!

Let’s hope Google gives us fair warning!
- James Hartig

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