Search Engine Friendly Flash

With the recent new releases by Google and Yahoo concerning advances in crawling flash, we are very pleased to share this timely and very informative article by V7N SEO Blog guest author
S. Emerson of Accrete Web Solutions.

The web design and search engine optimization communities are a buzz in the last few days with an announcement that hit the news that it will now be possible to create search engine friendly flash files.

Google and Yahoo to Search Inside Flash Files

“Adobe announced Tuesday that Google and Yahoo are adding search capabilities that will enable users to look inside the content of files encoded in Adobe’s Flash file format SWF….”

Source: The New York Times July 1, 2008

Optimized Flash Player makes SWF Flash file format searchable by Google, Yahoo engines

“Adobe Systems Inc. today announced that an optimized Adobe Flash Player will be added to the search engines of Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. under agreements with the two Internet firms. The tool will help the search engines better index dynamic Web content and rich Internet applications (RIA) that include the Flash file format, or Shockwave Flash (SWF)….”

“…As a result of the partnership between the three firms, pre-existing Flash-based RIAs, including content that loads at runtime, will be searchable without alteration by companies or developers, Adobe said. Google has added the optimized Flash Player to its site already, and its search engine will be able to access SWF files as of today. Yahoo plans to add the technology to a future update of Yahoo Search. A schedule for adding the technology to Yahoo wasn’t disclosed…”

Source: Computerworld July 1, 2008

Google has a post on their Webmaster Central blog about this news also, Google learns to crawl Flash, . They have also started answering questions in another post, Improved Flash Indexing. Pay particular attention to the question regarding current technical limitations before you get too excited about this new feature.

So how does this effect web design houses and website owners?

In the past, it was difficult to get a website built using Flash® indexed in the search engines. If you do a Google search on the topic, you will find ways to attempt to get a flash based website indexed. Now it appears these methods will no longer be required in the future.

With this partnership, now websites using Flash® will be indexed better almost immediately according to the post at Google and in the future with Yahoo, per the quote above from Computerworld.

What does this mean to website owners?

Your website, if it uses Flash®, will be indexed easier in Google and Yahoo. Note that this partnership is with only 2 of the millions of search engines and directories available on the Net. Yes, these two feed information to other search engines and directories, but what about those who are not in partnership with or are fed by these search indexes?

This news only tackles one of the problems of using Flash® in a website. There are still the issues of the download speed, usability and accessibility of Flash® that need to be addressed when you hire a designer who wants to build your website using Flash®. A qualified designer can tackle all of these issues, but, will your return on investment justify the expense of hiring such a designer?

S. Emerson
Accrete Web Solutions

  1. King CobraKing Cobra08-31-2008

    With that said this is kind of bad news for HTML only sites. Dynamic pages has come with a penalty as we know which designers more obsessed with appearance over functionality have paid the price which has been great for static content webmasters as this makes the dynamic sites easier marks. In my industry which is super competitive I used to laugh at these sites. We’ll have to see though how it all pans out and if we still have an advantage, meaning that the dynamic sites get crawled as well. Regardless though I still prefer the simplicity and functionality of static HTML based pages.

    King Cobra Poker

  2. Wow, interesting – I did not yet know this. Thanks!

  3. MantaManta01-27-2009

    Personally I still prefer to mix both technologies.

    They both have there pros and cons

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