Google Makes Flash SEO Friendly

05 November

Google Makes Flash SEO Friendly

The latest statistics indicate that 90% of traffic landing on web sites originated with a Google search. That's a pretty impressive figure for Google but it also says a lot about how people find websites. many people use google as a way to find a site when they may not know its exact location on the web. for example, rather than looking on someone's business card to find a domain name, its often easier to enter their name or the name of the business and let google spit out some results. Surely one of the resulting pages is the correct one.

And so the million dollar question in the web development world has become - how do i appear first on the list? or for the less ambitious / realistic how do I appear on the first page of results? A good SEO would tell you to make sure you have chosen the right key words, built your pages using table-less CSS, have good keyword density and plenty of inbound links.

Oh and one more thing your site cant be made using flash.

Ouch , this last key point is a real pain. you see flash cant be read by search engine spiders. all of the content within a flash file is contained within a .swf file rather than in the HTML of the page. Because of this, none of the content can be seen by the search engine spiders. This makes the site not index-able and therefore un-rankable by the search engines. essentially the all flash website has been invisible to the search engines.

Recently, Google and yahoo announced a new technology that allows search engine spiders to crawl into flash .swf files and index their content. they call this technology or code an "indexing algorithm". The spiders can now use this algorithm to read through text fields in a flash site and match words found within the site to the terms used in a Google search. The spiders can also detect links within a flash site and then crawl those link locations and further index the content. This indexing of .swf content in theory will allow a site built entirely in flash to be locatable via search engines which until now was not possible.

Now that Google has launched a Flash indexing algorithm, web designers can expect improved visibility of their published Flash content, and you can expect to see better search results and snippets when using flash.

Below are a few questions answered by Google techs:

Q: Which Flash files can Google better index now?
We've improved our ability to index textual content in SWF files of all kinds. This includes Flash "gadgets" such as buttons or menus, self-contained Flash websites, and everything in between.

Q: What content can Google better index from these Flash files?
All of the text that users can see as they interact with your Flash file. If your website contains Flash, the textual content in your Flash files can be used when Google generates a snippet for your website. Also, the words that appear in your Flash files can be used to match query terms in Google searches. In addition to finding and indexing the textual content in Flash files, we're also discovering URLs that appear in Flash files, and feeding them into our crawling pipeline—just like we do with URLs that appear in non-Flash webpages. For example, if your Flash application contains links to pages inside your website, Google may now be better able to discover and crawl more of your website.

Q: How does Google "see" the contents of a Flash file?
We've developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way that a person would, by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on. Our algorithm remembers all of the text that it encounters along the way, and that content is then available to be indexed. We can't tell you all of the proprietary details, but we can tell you that the algorithm's effectiveness was improved by utilizing Adobe's new Searchable SWF library.

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