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Google did not index ANY of the Flash content

Posted on 2011-02-21
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
For this Web site: http://KatzPlasticSurgery.com, no content has been indexed by Google.  If you search, in quotes, for "everyone deserves to look and feel her very best", from the front page, it is not found.  It is the same with other texts on the home page and other pages.

How likely is Google to look at text inside a fully Flash-based site.  I am already using swfaddress and swfobject.  Is there anything coded wrongly on the site that prevents (or discourages) Google from indexing the text content?  Any suggestions of things to try (that you know and have seen work well) to get the content to be read by Google?
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Question by:opalcomp
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by:opalcomp
ID: 34942683
Note: I just found that the opening text "everyone deserves to look and feel her very best" is placed on a Web site (usfreeads.com) that seems to be a phishing site, based on reporting from WOT.  I would assume that the text there is pointing to the Katz Plastic Surgery site.  I did not get the site listed there, it must be my predecessor!!

If the plastic surgery site is pointed to by a malware site, could that cause Google to lessen its rank?  I did check and found that the HTML text, under the Flash object, IS indexed by Google, while the text inside Flash is NOT indexed.
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Assisted Solution

by:lherrou
lherrou earned 75 total points
ID: 34947824
opalcomp,

It's long been a dictum in the SEO world that search engines don't read Flash well. Yes, in the last couple of years, they have come a long way, but a Flash SWF file is a complicated thing, and then with pulling in sub-files, etc, the content can be lost. And, it's still not clear that they do a good job of transversing javascript like SWFobject, and recognizing the SWF content that is being swapped in.

Since you are using SWFobject, I suspect that may be what is occuring - the search engines are bypassing your Flash content, and only seeing the HTML content in your page.

A good resource is the Adobe Flash SEO page: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/seo.html

Cheers,
LHerrou
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by:Dushan De Silva
Dushan De Silva earned 75 total points
ID: 34947987
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 34948020
Google will be most likely to find and share your site with others if...

1. You pay for Google Adwords - buy their advertising products.
2. Provide accurate and incisive <title> tags
3. Give careful attention to <h1> tags
4. Furnish descriptive <meta type="description" /> tags

HTH, ~Ray
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by:fibo
ID: 34959329
Opalcomp,

1 - As pointed by lherrou, Google and others do NOT read Flash content, or very badly.
REMEMBER: spiders and robots do NOT run Flash nor Javascript, thus they do not "see" the result of such programs!
2 - Specifically, links in Flash are NOT read, which implies that the flash file cannot be spidered. So you MUST provide an HTML coded navigation bar or pagemap. (Of course this HTML can be generated by php or other).
NOTE: Same for javascript-only navigation bars, they cannot be  spidered. (Actually they can in some obscure conditions, but why take the risk?). So there also you MUST provide an HTML coded nav bar.
3 - It is a good practice to provide some HTML coded text as an alternative to Flash content: this html content will be read and indexed by spiders and robots.

If you do not follow guidelines above, you are wasting time and money. Period.
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Accepted Solution

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Geoff Kenyon earned 100 total points
ID: 34967738
Hey  Opalcomp,

as noted above, SE's have a difficult time with flash. They have gotten better (though this is a relative term). To the best of my understanding, when search engines are able to view flash content, they see it like a movie - most challenging part is knowing "where" content is. They are unable to bookmark (for lack of a better term) where exactly the content is located in the flash file. This means if search engines are able to index the content (which doesn't happen nearly as often as Google would like you to believe), they typically send you to the incorrect part.

Typically it is best to avoid putting your important content in flash. I would recommend putting your keyword rich content below with the other text. Further, I would build links with keyword rich anchor text.

Due to the flash intensive nature of the site, Google only has two files indexed - the homepage and a pdf:

SEO-Browser is a good tool to better understand how Google views a website; check it out

-Geoff
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