News FLASH - Nearly 1 year later FLASH
still isn't SEO Friendly
by David Williams - April 27, 2009
In June of 2008 Google announced they
had improved their ability to index the
contents of Flash files. As I shared the
news with my clients; I did so with a
word of caution so they wouldn't react
with overwhelming joy too quickly. And I
also explained that although Google also
announced the ability to OCR
readable characters superimposed on
images that the written word was still
the best way to go for reaching
visitors, visually impaired visitors and
search engines alike. Now, nearly one
year later, Flash elements are still
posing problems for the best of the
search engines and are unsurprisingly
still not SEO Friendly.
Not 'new' News
For years I have been advising my
clients to use Flash sparingly and to
this day I will not design a Flash Site"
where Flash is the only or primary
design element on the page. Why? Because
Search Engines cannot read within Flash;
I tell my clients it is analogous to:
building the coolest looking brick &
mortar store ever created and then
putting it in a location so remote
that no one can find it.
Or; my personal favorite, building a
brand new store and getting an
unlisted business phone number.
Flash is not easily indexed:
Engines cannot read the contents of
an SWF file
text and graphics used to compile
(create) a Flash file is contained
within that SWF file it is
essentially invisible to the search
is making great strides to
read the text elements within an SWF
file - but I still wouldn't get too
excited just yet.
to be cautious:
visitors have Flash plugins
installed on their browsers
Flash plugins have not been
installed in the user's browser
- they will not be able to see
what you have created.
For now; it is better to err on the side
of caution when it comes to Flash
elements on your pages. It's nice to be
cool looking, but it won't impress the
people at the un-employment line.
All the best,
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