Web 2.0 and SEO

The word Web 2.0 was originally coined by O’Reilly who made a good case of examples distinguishing the old version — which made up what took place during the dotcom bubble — and the emerging version:

DoubleClick media buying >> Google AdSense
Brittanica Online >> Wikipedia
Personal websites >> Blogging
Page views >> Cost per click

In a nutshell, Web 2.0 encompasses what has become a next-generation methodology of making an online presence, governed by collaboration and sharing between Internet users. It is not a new set of rules, but an idea which sprang out by empowering those who use the web. It sounds too techy so it’s not surprising that even those who don’t know it well tend to overuse it to a certain extent.

With regards to SEO, Web 2.0 can either be a solution or a step backward. It has features that encourage rapid content development essential to search engine crawling and indexing; as well as features that are detrimental to the way search engine scans and classifies pages accordingly.

Blogs for example are good Web 2.0 applications used to generate data for a corporate site to update contents without altering the core static pages. Users can add new entries, accept comments, develop internal linking among related pages, all done in a more casual manner.

At the same time AJAX, an interactive element closely associated with Web 2.0 could pose as a problem to pages wanting to gain foothold on search results because of its inherent use of JavaScript which is likely ignored by search engines when crawling a page. For example, when a link is embedded in a JavaScript, it is never followed by search engines.

Which brings me these questions: Why is it that newer scripting technologies have to abide by the way search engines behave in parsing data and delivering them within search results? Can search engines develop a broader sense of identifying things? For instance, instead of just acknowledging links embedded on anchor tag, can they expand and start covering for commonly used JavaScript-embedded links? Or perhaps develop a more comprehensive way of capturing data from Flash?

Maybe not likely soon. The structure of the web remains and as the method we use of presenting data on a web browser evolves, so must our SEO techniques too.