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Google enhances Flash indexing

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday June 20, 2009 )

Google announced yesterday improvements that should see better indexing of Flash components.

According to Google, they’ve added external resource loading to their Flash indexing capabilities. Google says that when a SWF file loads content from some other file such as text, HTML, XML, another SWF, etc.; they can now index this external content and associate it with the parent SWF file.

Flash will still be a bit hit and miss with Google though I think for a while to come – and then there’s the other major engines to bear in mind. I’m not even sure if Flash is something that Yahoo and Bing (MS) have tackled.

Whenever a company tells me they want an eye popping Flash based site, my skin crawls – however, some (read: a few) designers do get it right and Flash *can* be a useful addition instead of just eye candy.

If there’s something on the web far more frustrating than popups (and the thing is, popups do work), it’s a fluffy Flash site – particularly ones that use Flash splash pages.

Splash pages are evil – just a waste of time and bandwidth generally speaking. After the initial ooh and ahh of the first visit; they are just a pain in the ass. At the very least, no splash page should be implemented without a “skip intro” button; but even then, it’s a massive waste of prime SEO real estate as it’s the root page of the site and therefore very important.

I think that if you are hell bent on implementing Flash elements on your site, you should be prepared to spend big bucks on a designer who really understands form *and* function and also search engine issues. I maintain however that while Flash elements can be part of a site, the entire site shouldn’t be based on it – unless of course you’re a high end Flash designer seeking to woo new clients :).


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