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August 25, 2008

No More Need to Trash the Flash

Google has delighted web designers the world over with the announcement that they are now indexing Adobe Flash files better than ever before.

Google can now index any kind of textual content embedded in Flash files. They can also discover URLs. From the official Google blog post:

“Q: What content can Google better index from these Flash files?

All of the text that users can see as they interact with your Flash file. If your website contains Flash, the textual content in your Flash files can be used when Google generates a snippet for your website. Also, the words that appear in your Flash files can be used to match query terms in Google searches.

In addition to finding and indexing the textual content in Flash files, we’re also discovering URLs that appear in Flash files, and feeding them into our crawling pipeline—just like we do with URLs that appear in non-Flash webpages. For example, if your Flash application contains links to pages inside your website, Google may now be better able to discover and crawl more of your website.”

The new algorithm was made possible thanks to Adobe’s new Searchable SWF library:

“We’ve developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way that a person would, by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on. Our algorithm remembers all of the text that it encounters along the way, and that content is then available to be indexed. We can’t tell you all of the proprietary details, but we can tell you that the algorithm’s effectiveness was improved by utilizing Adobe’s new Searchable SWF library.”

Great stuff Google!

6 Responses to “No More Need to Trash the Flash

    avatar Robert says:

    Flash still isn’t worth optimising. Mostly because it’s a single file, how you can you deep link to a certain spot in a flash file? Very tricky…

    I’m still gonna trash Flash 🙂

    avatar Ben says:

    i always loved Flash, i got first page second place in two days,.. with a full Flash site. I wonder how much work and how many optimising experts it would take if it was html site…

    avatar MGA says:

    When i first heard about the news that Google will be indexing flash, i was so excited. Even though it is limited indexing, i hope Google will improve it.


    I beg to differ with you

    Flash is a terrible solution if you care about getting major success in high position at google for several keyword phrases and if you need to use your site’s content, headers and link relationships. There are a plethora of reasons why Flash is still, for the vast majority of web sites, a very bad choice… Important text in the flash can’t be discerned from less important text (no font treatment detection), any content that gets pulled in on the fly is bypassed altogether or at best indexed individually and separately, as Robert mentioned, you can’t have it fully self contained because if you do, you have only one page title, one meta header, one URL, all of which are “worst” practices in SEO…

    The list is endless.

    And as for the comment from Ben – His claim that he got “first page” in two days with a full Flash site is sad – he doesn’t validate his claim – which phrases is he talking about? how deep is his competition for those exact match phrases? I went to his site – What’s he coming up for? Ben’s Desk? Cosmos web design?

    So what – his is the only site with those in the page title. He sure isn’t coming up for any phrase that people would use if they don’t already know what his site is or his company name is which is the whole point of SEO and search for the majority of people in the world.

    avatar Drenzul says:

    Well he probably got to find his site on a search for his webpage name…. big surprise…..

    avatar Drenzul says:

    Not to meantion his OWN website only ranks 2nd for the search
    ‘Cosmos wide web’ (His website name)
    and doesn’t appear on the 1st page at all in a search for Cosmos Web

    Yeah flash is so good…….

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