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Flash and SEO

Posted on 2006-11-13
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I see so *many* opinons about Flash and Google......

So...  with more and more websites done completely in Flash - are they crawled?  What conditions must be met for text and photos and links to be picked up by Google or - is it not possible.    Is there no definitive answer to this?  It seems the more I search the more I find differing opinions.

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Question by:linque
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humeniuk earned 500 total points
ID: 17933515
Well, there's an awful lot of misinformation about the search engines online due to the fact that SE technology changes quickly and the fact that there are a lot of products and services available that are essentially scams, ie. they can't deliver their promised results.  So it's no wonder you are finding mixed opinions.

Google and the other major search engines are getting better at extracting links (to follow) from flash, but it certainly can't be considered reliable yet.  Likewise, flash offers very little or no content for the search engines to consider.  The fact is that the major search engines consider the internet to be an information medium - and I happen to agree with them on this.  Therefore, they seek to provide their users with access to information.  Flash sites tend to offer very little information to begin with and tend to offer it in a way that inherently regards it as less relevant than the design.  If your website says by design that you consider presentation to be more important than content, you can't really expect the search engines to regard your content very highly.

In terms of optimizing a flash site, you pretty much have to forget about most on-page optimization.  If you would like Google (et.al.) to find your pages, you should at least provide a sitemap.  Also, incoming links are one of the most important ranking factors.  If you have a flash site, they become even more important.  If you are able to successfully build a body of good incoming links for your site, it is possible to get ranked and even get ranked well.  However, you will never be as successful as with a properly optimized non-flash site.

My policy and advice is to use flash only when you absolutely need it.  The problem that presents (to a flash designer, anyway) is that you virtually never need it.
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by:linque
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THANK YOU......

        now I get to show my client your much valued opinion on this matter and it also confirms what I've been trying to say.  MUCH appreciation!

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by:humeniuk
ID: 17934340
Glad to be able to help.  If your client gives you any trouble, bring him here and we'll knock some sense into him :)

... and thanks for the A !
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