Jan 10, 2010

How to optimize a flash site for search engines

Many people still believe that search engines can’t crawl flash content. This may be true for small search engines but Google can actually read and index flash content. Of course if you go to a SEO company, asking for optimization of flash website, there is a huge probability that they will turn you down or ask for a huge amount of money.

SEO of a flash website is not that unusual or complicated, compared to optimization of standard, HTML site. Google can crawl and index the text content and discover links of all swf file formats. At the moment of writing this, Google bot can’t index images, stored in a flash. So flash is not appropriate for an image gallery, if you want to get traffic from your images. It’s a pity because Flash is very suitable for designing cool and shiny photo galleries; I think that soon Google will handle flash images.

External content
The latest update of Google flash handling capabilities was the ability to crawl external resources, loaded by a flash file.

Flash for navigation
You can see many articles with advice not to use flash for site navigation but you can go around the problem easily, just submit your sitemap to Google.

So, how to optimize flash content for search engines?
  • On-site optimization
    Google bot behaves like any human visitor, it will fill forms, press buttons and view the content. The bot can understand text content and hyperlinks so you need to have accessible text content within your flash website.
  • Off-site optimization
    You need to do all the standard SEO routines – submitting to link and articles directories, forum posting, blog commenting, Social Media Optimization, Social Bookmarking.

Further reading:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/06/flash-indexing-with-external-resource.html - Flash indexing with external resource loading

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/06/improved-flash-indexing.html - Flash Indexing

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