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The Lowdown on Google and Flash

Posted by in SEO

Flash websites that have been designed with no static content have always been difficult to rank in search engines. Especially when you are trying to target keywords that are many and competitive.

Google collaborated with Adobe two years ago to improve their capabilities for indexing content written in Flash code. Last year Google added an external resource loading to their indexing capabilities, meaning that when a Flash file (SWF) loads content from another file such as text, XML, HTML, Google can index this external content and associate it with the parent SWF file.

According to Janis Stipins, a Google Software Engineer

To date, when Google encounters SWF files on the web, it can:
* Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.
* Discover links within Flash files.
* Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.
* Support common JavaScript techniques for embedding Flash, such as SWFObject and SWFObject2.
* Index sites scripted with AS1 and AS2, even if the ActionScript is obfuscated.

Google is still working to improve its ability to index deep linked content, as well as Flash files that are executed through Javascript. However it is still important to create unique links for each page that is linked within a single Flash file and submitting a sitemap through Google Webmaster Tools (this is also a good way to improve the SEO of your website).

However if you don’t want your SWF file or any of its external resources crawled by search engines, you will need to use a robots.txt directive.

For any other tips, on how to get your website indexed and crawled by Google, speak to one of our consultants at E-Web Marketing.

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