Best SEO Practices for Flash Websites

Usually, when a site is not very visible in search engine results, one of the main reasons is that it is not crawlable by the search engine spiders, and hence its content does not get indexed. Sites that are built completely on Flash often face this problem because there is hardly any HTML text that can be copied or links that can be followed

Industry experts are of the opinion that at least a third of web pages have Flash files that represent a lot of content which gets completely omitted in the search results or get partially indexed. Several web sites use Flash to publish content but they don’t really gel together.

In 2008, Google made some changes in their indexing methods and included Adobe Flash files. This was of course music to the ears of Flash developers. It meant that now the text in Flash files was crawlable.

Google treats text in Flash like HTML or PDF text. This means that the Flash site is crawlable. But if you use the same content in Flash and HTML, Google will treat it as duplication of content. If you embed a Flash file in HTML you can add Meta description but Google will index it as one item.

The chances of your site being crawled by Google are increased when you incorporate links to your web pages within your Flash files.

Earlier this year Google updated their search algorithm to include external content loaded by a Flash file. Now this external file will be associated with the Flash file, and it will show up in the search results.

JavaScript techniques used to embed Flash are also now supported by the search engine. It has also commenced indexing files written in ActionScript, including AS1, AS2 and AS3.  Google does not decompile Flash files or depict ActionScript code that is invisible to users, but any descriptions you add about your Flash file (even thought that info will not be displayed to the user) will still be picked up by the search engine.

But remember that Google’s crawling of Flash files is still in its infancy. It would be sensible to NOT create the entire website in Flash. Keep these tips in mind to strike a balance between Flash and SEO:

  • Never use Flash for navigation.
  • Embedding Flash files into HTML is a good practice.
  • Make use of Meta descriptions and page titles with description in the Accessibility panel.
  • Instead of having the whole site in a single file, fragment the content into several Flash files with diverse HTML pages.
  • The crucial content in your pages must be presented in.
    HTML and you can use Flash for design and other content that is not as important.
  • Try enhancing fonts in the Flash files with slfr as Flash styles augment HTML content without replacing them. This means that the engines are able to read the titles.
  • You can also use deep linking. The current URL of your site is the one that is indexed; a Flash site or content is dynamic and the URL doesn’t change. Deep Linking enables you to change it in relation to the screen you need to show in your site or application. This makes indexing easy for Google and bookmarking easy for the users.

 

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