Parallax scrolling and SEO are 100% compatible – clearing up the misconception

So many people have written about how Parallax Scrolling and SEO are incompatible, but in this article we are going to prove that they are compatible. The cause of this misconception is that most people confuse parallax scrolling with one page web design. Parallax is a design technique that may or may not be used on one page web design.

The Misconception

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable defines parallax scrolling as

“That single page design, that scrolls in new content, is known as the parallax effects and it is done using jQuery. It looks hot and it is not using Flash, so it is even hotter.
But it horrid for SEO purposes.”

Notice that Search Engine Roundtable defines parallax scrolling as being a “single page” web design technique.

Janet Driscoll  from Search Engine Land defines parallax scrolling as

“What Is Parallax Design?

Parallax design is a website design approach that’s been used for several years now and takes its name from the concept of parallax movement. Instead of linking from one entire webpage to another, the visitor moves up and down on the same webpage.”

Notice that Search Engine Land defines parallax scrolling as being on the “same webpage”.

Wikipedia does not say Parallax Scrolling has to be on one page or a single webpage for that matter.

P1

Also notice that the sources that defined parallax scrolling in Wikipedia never state that the design technique has to be applied to a single web page. Below I have taken some screen shots of how the sources define parallax scrolling.

  1. ^ “Cap. O’Rourke to the rescue”. New Straits Times Malaysia. 1988-09-01. Retrieved 2009-07-06.

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  1. Jump up^ Paul, Wyatt (August 2007). “The Art of Parallax Scrolling”. Retrieved 2009-07-06.

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Even Creative Bloq defines parallax scrolling as being a design technique but does not restrict it to being on one page.

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What is the cause of this misconception?

The cause of this misconception may be due to the fact that most web designers are using parallax scrolling on a single page instead of implementing it on a search engine optimized web architectures. Moz.com published an article about this issue here. Here are some examples of really well known websites that use parallax scrolling on a single webpage vs on a SEO web architecture.

There are have been some people in industry that have picked up on this misconception however it seems that the general public has not.

My team and I picked up on this misconception when we were preparing to redesign our website. We noticed that most web designers design for people without understanding SEO and the fact that if you don’t get through the search engines, you will never get to the people. SEOer’s design for search engines, but not for humans, creating high traffic sites but not very esthetic looking websites. You can read more about this on Moz. Website Design Wars: SEO Agencies vs. Web Design Agencies – Worldwide Trends

July 11, 2013 Keneth Von Rauch picked up on this one page web design tendency in his article published on Awwwards.

“The thing is, most sites that use the Parallax scrolling effect have one-page designs. That may sound like a really neat idea at first glance. “

Notice that Keneth defined a tendency not that parallax scrolling has to be on one page.

Michael Dowling and Wanda Anglin both published articles showing that parallax scrolling is just a design technique and can be applied to multiple URL’s.

August 22, 2013 http://www.synavista.com/parallax-scrolling-can-hurt-seo-but-it-doesnt-have-to/

July 19, 2013 http://www.seobuzzinternetmarketing.com/blog/how-to-create-a-parallax-scrolling-website-with-seo/

So if Parallax Scrolling and SEO are 100% compatible – prove it!

We did redesign our website using parallax scrolling and SEO and here is our proof that both techniques are possible.

  1. Our rankings or traffic did not drop when we implemented the new website which has parallax scrolling on each URL.
  2. Several SEO experts have scrutinized our website and have found it to be SEO. Wanda Anglin has helped us by auditing the website.
  3. We ran it through Moz’s SEO software and it passed. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to see the reports.

After publishing our article on Moz.com we created a board with SEO parallax scrolling websites. If you find anymore, please feel free to add it to the board.

I hope this article has helped clear up the concept of what parallax scrolling is. In our opinion, it is just a design technique that when applied properly it is SEO. Our article on Moz.com has some guidelines on how to create a parallax scrolling website with SEO and responsive web design if you are interested in learning more about these techniques.

@carla_dawson

www.xdawson.com

Carla Dawson

If you are considering building a website using parallax and would like to speak to a freelance SEO consultant first then please don’t hesitate to contact me at anytime.

 

Matthew Marley

Matthew Marley is a Social Media & Search Specialist from Glasgow Scotland with a passion for the web and emerging technologies.

7 Responses

  1. John Minns says:

    Thank you for clearing up the misconception.

    Some insight into how you achieved both aspects of this article would be really useful mind! E.g. What technologies were used?

  2. Carla Dawson says:

    Hi John,
    You should check out this article on Moz. It explains 3 great techniques. http://moz.com/ugc/parallax-scrolling-websites-and-seo-a-collection-of-solutions-and-examples

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