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Accessibility and Usability Forum

Are <noscript> tags safe to portray Flash content?
Is this at all risky if I follow these guidelines?

 2:00 pm on Mar 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

We manage a client's site that has a very nice
Flash movie masthead on an HTML page. It's on the main page only. The movie is a beach scene with 5 sequences. The sequences are on a loop.

Of course, we want to help the site search well, and I want to use <noscript> tags to add textual content that accurately portrays the movie's content.

But the last thing we want is to risk search engine rankings, or a penalty.

Are there any search engine ranking risks if the <noscript> portion is done when the following conditions are met?

1. We state at the beginning of the <noscript> portion that "This content is for ADA accessibility purposes and for those who may have javascript capability disabled in their browser."

2. The content in the <noscript> tags very precisely portrays the scene in each sequence. No more, no less.

3. There is some optimized keyword portions but very carefully avoiding keyword cramming.

I'd also like to hear from anyone who's had bad search engine rankings experiences using <noscript> tags to portray Flash content-- and what they believe aused it.



 10:50 am on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

noscript is accessible and safe and is actually the suggested method by google.

even better, i would suggest using swfobject [code.google.com] which, if implemented properly, will support <noscript> to handle javascript-disabled or -unabled user agents including search engines and provide alternate content for flash-disabled browsers while handling all the browser and flash version coding issues.


 12:19 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks phranque. Perfect.


 9:56 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't have phranque's expertise, but I will simply say that using swfobject made integrating a swf audio/video player relatively simple and reliable.


 11:00 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

We're going to use that method. Until now, I thought <noscript> was the only option. Thanks.


 2:24 am on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

as the search engines get better at indexing flash content it will be interesting to see how they treat the alternate and/or noscript content when you are using the swfobject solution.


 11:37 am on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you mean that the search engines may grow to consider it suspect, a potential for shenanigans, as perhaps with hidden CSS?

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