Just to be sure, I’d like to give a definition of interactive content as used in the context of this article.
You probably know what interactive content is, but it’s basically something that asks for the user to do something–usually giving the user more than one option. And, depending on the option(s) the user chooses, the interactive content displays a result.
Games and some quizzes are good examples of interactive content.
With that, let’s move on.
John Mueller, who’s a Search Advocate for Google, recently addressed a question about interactive content. The question read:
“How does Google evaluate interactive content like a quiz or questionnaire that helps users figure out which product or thing that they need? Would rankings still be based on the static content that appears on the page?”
(This video is queued to the ~29:56 mark, which is where the question was read.)
“Yes, the ranking, essentially, is based on the static content on these pages, so if you have something like a full page of questions and we will essentially rank that page based on those questions, and that means if you have products that are kind of findable after going through those questions, you should also make sure that you have internal linking to those products without needing to go through that questionnaire…”
That’s an important point. That’s what you have to do if you have interactive content.
Basically, if you have content that you want to be crawled (and indexed), but that content is hidden behind an interactive barrier, then Googlebot (which doesn’t fill out quizzes), might not see that hidden content.
To be sure, it’s great that you have a tool to help customers find what they need (or discover something about themselves). It’s just that you shouldn’t make Googlebot have to fill out a form or play a game to find that content (because it won’t).
“…so it’s something along the lines of having…a normal category set up on the website as well as something like…a product wizard or whatever you have to help the users make those decisions. I think that’s really important.
“The questionnaire pages can still be useful in search if you recognize that people are searching in a way that they’re not sure which particular product matches their needs, and you can kind of address that in the questionnaire in the text on the questionnaire.
“Then those questionnaires can also appear in search as well, but it’s not the case that Googlebot goes in and tries to fill out a questionnaire and sees what’s…happening there.”
I think you get it, but to be sure: make sure Googlebot doesn’t have to play games or answer quizzes to get to the content you want indexed.