I'm deciding whether it's safe to develop my client-facing app in AngularJS using pushState.
I've read that when using pushState in an AngularJS app, we don't need to worry about Googlebot because it can now execute enough JS to produce an HTML snippet for itself. But then I wonder about Bing, Facebook and other bots and scrapers. The tutorials I've seen for making AngularJS SEO-friendly all deal with apps that use hashbangs (#!). These don't apply to me since I'm not using hashbangs.
Does anyone have insight into this problem? What are some methods for ensuring an AngularJS app that uses pushState is SEO-friendly and Social-scraper-friendly? If you use a service like Seo4Ajax or prerender.io I'd appreciate your thoughts on it.
Note: As I understand it, when developing single page apps in the last couple of years it has been necessary to send HTML snippets to SEO crawlers. This was accomplished by using hashbangs and a meta tag that let Google, Bing and Facebook know that it needed to replace the bang (!) with an _escaped_string when making a request. On the server you'd listed for requests with _escaped_string and deliver the appropriate HTML snippet using a tool to generate HTML snippets like phantomJS.
Here are some other SO questions that are similar but have gone unanswered.
Angularjs vs SEO vs pushState
.htaccess for SEO bots crawling single page applications without hashbangs
Here's a solution I posted in that question and am considering for myself in case I want to send HTML snippets to bots. This would be a solution for a Symfony2 backend:
- Use prerender or another service to generate static snippets of all your pages. Store them somewhere accessible by your router.
In your Symfony2 routing file, create a route that matches your SPA. I have a test SPA running at localhost.com/ng-test/, so my route would look like this:
# Adding a trailing / to this route breaks it. Not sure why.
# This is also not formatting correctly in StackOverflow. This is yaml.
In your Symfony2 controller, check user-agent to see if it's googlebot or bingbot. You should be able to do this with the code below, and then use this list to target the bots you're interested in (http://www.searchenginedictionary.com/spider-names.shtml)...
// what to do
If your controller finds a match to a bot, send it the HTML snippet. Otherwise, as in the case with my AngularJS app, just send the user to the index page and Angular will correctly do the rest.