Update: I have presented a clearer model to help search engines index your Flash content with a minimal work.
Bad referencing in search engine is the only point that really bothers me with Flash.
Why is it so hard for search engines to understand Flash content?
Because it’s not text like they use to read it, it’s vectorial text or imported text, search engine mostly see the swf (swf = flash files) like an “image” or like something they don’t understand.
Official solution: using the tags :
‹!--url's used in the movie-->
‹!--text used in the movie-->
But it seems to be a very little help in that issue.
Another reasons is that search engine follow link and as they don’t understand the link in swf they just don’t see all the structure of your swf.
So what can we do for them?
I would say that it’s important to separate the content in different swf that would be loaded in a main swf. If this main swf is loaded once in “a.html” you don’t need to load it again in “b.html” (because it’s in your browser cache), which allow us to make our swf having a structure like: “mygreatdog.html”, “mygreatcat.html”, “blabla.html”. Doing so will make your site more understandable by search engines (who care about the page name), and as a bonus it will make the back and forward button works naturally.
To make your page understandable for search engines and with Flash on the same page is quite easy finally: my way is to make a transparent swf
‹param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
that would go over the content (placed with CSS) that must be understand by the search engines (like the title, some keywords or any important text). So in this case Flash is more here only to beautify your web content (which is not the main purpose of Flash or is it ?).
Last bonus, your flash animation will be understand by the search engines, at least what you want them to understand.
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can u for example?
i coudn’t understand it really,thanks a lot
Thanks for the info here. Funny, I just – like 5 minutes ago – published a blog on the same topic. I want to find out what will happen “when/if” a spider crawls my test site. To that end everything is text – in one swf – and page is bookmarkable.
Last I read Google had the API from Macro’dobe to peek into swf files. Lets hope it works soon.
Now the tricky part is when users enter the site with a deeplinked URL (found by google or a bookmark – http://www.site.nl/#id=1 or http://www.site.nl/?id=1) – and have the correct plugin – they get the SWF which opens the correct page ..
Still in the process of building this but it looks promising..
What do you think ?
Question:If the user does not have the flash plugin, and that box that displays the “missing plugin” icon comes up, will the user still be able to see the content underneath? Will the transparent mode work when the plugin is not installed and the graphics aren’t displaying?
You may actually have an issue with search engines, specifically google, considering your html content “hidden” If some one for any reason has a gripe with your site. Said person could potentially flag your site as spam. If your site fits within googles standard for spam then your site will be booted from your intended listing. This actually recently happened with BMW Germany. They had technically hidden text by styling divs with display:none and visibility:hidden. You are basically doing the same thing and giving the ability so put in spam to boost your rankings. Just something I have come across in recent times.
Reply to : Aaron Ware —
It may but I hope not as I don’t use any hidden or nodisplay tag. The Css text who is under my swf is still part of my global animation. Hope Google won’t consider it like spam.
Reply to : Niels –
for you tricky part my method wasn’t very nice but did work. I put a 1*1 swf within my html
who will send the “id” each of my page to the main swf by a localConnection().
The other method also working is to send a vairable to your swf with the “id”.
Reply to : Jeff Rothe
In IE when the user don’t have the plugin, the swf empty space IS still transparent, but in Firefox it’s NOT.
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