SEO your Flash Website

December 19, 2006 at 8:09 am Leave a comment

Search Engines are designed to read static html content. It is easy to optimize static content for achieving high rankings on search engines. As more and more websites are moving from static content to interactive technologies like Flash, optimizers are concerned about how to optimize Flash websites. Flash has a bad reputation of hampering the visibility of websites on search engines. Flash is an intelligent program with logic to accept input from the user and also display It is a running program which can display content in a slide-show format on the same page without refreshing the page and hence search engines find it difficult to handle Flash as compared to plain html code. It allows presentation of complex content in a limited space. Flash has become need of the hour for art, media, music and technology sites as it is the best way to present multimedia content to the users.

Flash can be incorporated in websites using various web development tools like Microsoft Frontpage or Adobe Dreamweaver. Whereas it is very easy to embed Flash in your website using such tools, the code generated by these tools is not able to provide accessibility to search spiders or crawlers. To SEO flash, it is advisable to hand-code the Flash pages. This gives a dual advantage to the website, one is that the primary html code can be optimized for search engines and the second is that the users get a highly interactive interface by way of flash.

How to SEO Flash websites?

SEO is about presenting spider-readable content to the search engines. Flash enables you to present graphical and animated content (flash movies) to the user. You need to use a method wherein your website is capable to deliver both the above scenarios. The most recommended method is to use a DIV with the primary content which is acceptable to the search engine spiders and also use SWFObject() Javascript function to detect the browsers capable of viewing flash content. This javascript will replace the primary content with the Flash object when the script detects a flash player. This solves the dual purpose, search engines get to view the primary content which has tags and links like a normal html page and the users get to see the flash object in the browser. Use your specialized SEO techniques on the primary content and you can see your flash pages on top rankings on the search engines.

Alternative representation of multimedia content is acceptable and it will not be termed as spam till the time the primary content and the flash movie are essentially the same. Do not spam by way of having primary content which is not relevant to the flash movie.

The concept of Flash SEO is very simple, instead of having an “All Flash” website, create individual HTML pages and present the flash objects in the above mentioned way, this will give you an advantage on other flash websites which do not have distinct html pages for their flash objects. To enable the users to even view the flash objects in the inner pages of your website, use the javascript object to call the flash movie on all such inner pages. If the browser is able to handle flash (if the flash player is present), then the user will see the flash movie. But in any case the search spiders will definitely see your primary content.

SWFObject is a small Javascript file used for embedding Macromedia Flash Content in webpages. Get more information on how to use the SWFObject javascript in your website from DeConcept

Feel free to contact me for any of your SEO queries. Cheers !

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