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This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40 ( [1] 2 > >     
flash and google?
Flash indexing

 3:56 am on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi all
I'm wondering how the status is for Google indexing Flash websites? Where can I get the lowdown on this?




 1:27 pm on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here is a cool site with about 3000 pages worth of info on the subject ;-)



 4:12 pm on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

But if you want the excutive summary: ;)

We typically can find/index/follow outgoing links from Flash pages. It's not as clear that indexing the body of Flash pages above and beyond that is as much of a win.


 5:38 pm on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's not as clear that indexing the body of Flash pages above and beyond that is as much of a win

I think that was a good call by Google.


 5:50 pm on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

We typically can find/index/follow outgoing links from Flash pages.

At least, if absolute links are used. [webmasterworld.com]


 6:00 pm on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

And I really hope that this will stay like this :) .
I do not appreciate content written in flash and having to get a 500k flash thingy loaded on my 56k line to view whatever small usable part of it.


 6:05 pm on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm on a 56k line right now, bull (visiting family back home), so I'm sympathetic to your point of view. :)


 1:22 am on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

not all flash sites r 500K and in fact very few are. I always keep my flash file sizes as small as possible. Usually at about 150k a peice. Seems better to me than html sites with progressive loading which u have to wait around for anyway.


 11:16 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

We are in the process of building an interactive Flash navigation system to our website. Being a destination travel website this will be done using interactive maps. We are planning to have this section done with an administrative backend so we can add more information to our website. It looks like we are going to do the database part of this site in php, my question is this the best solution, and will Google be able to index this? I have to say I have not run across many Flash sections of a website indexed highly. We will have the html navigation as well.

[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 2:04 am (utc) on Nov. 26, 2003]


 11:33 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder if Google can tell what relevance a flash site has to anything by these links that they are following...

A great many flash sites out there, many that are relevant for a great many queries- seems like a waste to throw them out and not find them relevant for anything.


 11:51 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is a solitary flah page indexing high for one of the adult categories.Unfortunately its mainstream image of a cat.


 2:56 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

From GoogleGuy"I'm on a 56k line right now, bull (visiting family back home), so I'm sympathetic to your point of view. :) "
I see happy Thanksgiving,
Does google let you post in forums from work?


 3:44 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

My unwelcome opinion:

Move Flash, PDF, Word, etc proprietary junk formats to a separate index and keep them out of the "real" SERPs.


 4:27 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't hate Flash by any means, but IMO the biggest problem is that there typically isn't even any way to link to the relevant content, or to search for it. How many times have I wandered aimlessly up and down a Flash site looking for something specific? (Rhetorical question; the answer is MANY times.)

Even with the worst-designed HTML pages, at least I can View Source and look for clues as to the whereabouts of the information I need.


 6:40 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's been spidering our flash content pretty heavily for the past 60 days or so. It's nice that they can now spider links - another element in the links game.


 7:06 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Usually at about 150k a peice

Even for 150k I need minimum 22 seconds to load - for what? Perhaps a single page of content only. I have to wait 22 seconds and still will have to navigate through somewhere. This is exactly why we use search engines (and not DMOZ for most of the time): To get the content we want suddenly w/o further navigation.

Same valid for large PDF thingys. Though PDF has its merits in vector graphics. (displaying the file size for pdf/doc would be very appreciated GoogleGuy :) )

Robert Charlton

 8:13 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy - Does your family know you're GoogleGuy, or do they think you're Clark Kent? Happy holidays....


 8:34 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know why many people use flash, I agree, it looks good, but can you SEO with Flash? No. And I don't know if you get indexed in Google if you have a Flash index page. I wonder if anyone is a SEO and uses flash ;)



 10:16 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

A small note on Flash in serious business sites.
I conducted a survey among 123 business people who might use the web to find e.g. the nearest Ford distributor.

One of the interesting factors was that 117 said they close down any site with flash, and move on - that is a massive percentage.


 10:21 am on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

it is a meaningless statistic without seeing the questions asked.

Flash is a tool, and can be used well or poorly. Usually poorly, but not always.

Its has a place


 1:17 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Form-loaded content, dynamic content, flash movies, and images cannot be used to target ads to your pages.
If your page requires a login, we won't be able to crawl it.

Quoted from Google adsense Technical Implementation Guidelines

I think it shed some light on Gbot troubles digesting flash


 3:13 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I really love flash! Guys- just keep on building those flash based websites, and make sure that you make the latest version of flash a mandatory requirement - nothing beats waiting for a download/ install of a plugin, as a precursor to waiting for the download of a site...

I get the best jobs about 3- 4 months after a beaut new flash site goes live..... when the reality aspects set in.

Nothing beats a corporate boardroom pitch on 'whats wrong with your website' than doing it with a nice clean version of a browser, without any plugins installed.... and trying to open their homepage.....

: )

Patrick Taylor

 4:48 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Flash and Flash designers are two entirely different things and not to be confused. Much of what I read here about Flash smacks of confusing the two, or plain prejudice against what is a superb tool in the right hands.

As far as Google is concerned I hope one day they find a way to properly index Flash content, and by properly I mean in a way that makes sense alongside HTML pages, so we see a degree of consistency.


 10:33 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow, I am always amazed about the amount of venom heaped upon Flash as a choice for content delivery. I'm the first to agree that poorly designed Flash content can be obnoxious, but it's merits are often overlooked by many designers, to their loss. It's just one more tool in the web designer's arsenal, and has much to recommend it. Consider the following:

1) A well-designed Flash site will look the same in every visitor's browser, regardless of their browser or monitor setting, or available fonts on the client machine.
2) Flash can incorporate properly optimized graphics, audio and movies with very low bandwidth overhead and without asking the browser to decode a myriad of file types.
3) All these much maligned graphics and animation can be used to convey information very efficiently, if used sensibly. I have heard a lot of talk about accessibility which makes it sound as if text is the only medium that can used to communicate with the handicapped, or less lingual, or whoever else we are all trying to make these pages accessible to. Has anyone considered that the most effective road signs make use of graphics, not words? That the internet was just a playground for hardcore geeks until the WWW began offering graphic content? Graphics are a GOOD thing.
4) Flash content can be easily repurposed into other deliverable formats, which is wonderful for clients and developers alike.
5) It is difficult to swipe or hot link into graphic or audio content embedded in Flash sites. (This may be desirable for some, undesirable for others)

I only enumerate all of this as I seem to rarely hear Flash designers point out these merits of the .swf format. In fact, I rarely see them exploited like they should be. My personal opinion is that the Flash design community as a whole is still a bit immature. Many of the designers run wild with it. It is nothing you could not accuse any other web developer of doing with the latest technological darling of the moment (like Java, Javascript, CSS, and now XML)...it's just that the lamentable results are so much more visible, and the technology used to create them more obvious. It is sort of ironic, as the even older print design community could probably find abuses of dozens of accepted design principles in even the best HTML page. But each new generation of designers, when given a new tool, seem intent upon reinventing the wheel. The cream will rise to the top in the end.

When Flash is given a chance to take it's place in the webmaster's bag of tricks alongside less controversial technologies, I think we will see better Flash sites emerge. In fact, we may even quit worrying about how the sites were made and just enjoy them for what they should be...good websites. That's my dream, anyway.

I don't mean to turn the thread into a Flash versus HTML thing (they need eachother, after all)...just pointing out that Flash can be a useful vehicle for web content, and it seems to me that any decent search engine should index what it can of ALL content on the web. They index PDF's, for pity's sake, and I personally find those even more annoying than bad Flash sites.


 10:59 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't hate flash. I hate flash *sites*.

Use HTML to design your site navigation. Use text and pictures in a standard format to get your basic information across. Use Flash for non-vital, additional information.

The vast majority of my browsers do not have flash installed, so if I end up on a site that requires flash, I just hit the back button.

And it is not just me that you are kicking off your site. My mom will not go to any site that will ask her to install any software over the web, because "I don't know what it is, and it might be a virus".

My girlfriend does training for librarians on running their public access computers. They do not have the time to keep their old computers updated with the latest plugin, and they certainly do not allow patrons to add them.

Sure flash has its place. I'll open up IE (which is the browser with flash installed) to check out a joecartoon that friends have sent. But I'm not going to bother if it's something that I came across in google when there are hundreds of other sites that don't ask me to install new software.


 11:17 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I launched a site in September, that is a flash/html hyrbrid. I have seo/d it, and it is now ranked No.1 in it relevant category. It outranks all the portals it competes against, even though it is not a portal, just a small business site.

Most of the flash has images that appear if flash is not installed, with the option to install.

Good point on the virus thingo, my 65 year old dad is the same.

My CLIENT wanted some flash and got it. Navigation and content is all html. Flash is for effects in the header, and for a particular page. The flash adds to the site, helped me market it(people are impressed and will link to it) and does not prevent all and sudnry checking it out.

Site is no means perfect, and I am not a flash grandmaster, but overall the site works fine, is No.1. gets 10 times more visitors than the old html site I replaced.

Patrick Taylor

 11:23 pm on Nov 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I believe significantly more users have the Flash (5 or 6) player installed than have JavaScript enabled. Some of the most beautiful and persuasive websites ever built are made with this "proprietary junk". I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that the cream will rise to the top, and time will tell. Hopefully, Google, in their wisdom, will facilitate.


 2:30 am on Nov 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are many Flash sites that are made for broadband and this type of user is the targeted user. If you have a 56k moden which runs at probably 46k on standard phone lines you're in for a long wait. But if Flash designers didn't push the edges we'd still have 56k this time next year. One day we'll all have broadband when it's more affordable. A 2 minute wait at 56k is 10 secs on BB. I don't have broadband myself but i do most of my work in flash.

Why? Well, have you ever seen a static tv ad? We have notions of motion embedded in our brain and movement is a natural part of the human psyche.

If you research regular web users about recall you'll find the sites at the top are flash. No one recalls a static site as a rule of thumb.


 4:26 am on Nov 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

But my question is - If you're a Flash designer, and have built a site entirely with Flash, how much traffic do you get from Google?
I'll be confused if you say "lots or some" , Because how can you get traffic with an empty context/description/summary in search engine's?



 7:19 am on Nov 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

But if Flash designers didn't push the edges we'd still have 56k this time next year.

We will still have 56k next year. What an arrogance, this really gets me angry now. "Hey user, your problem if you don't have DSL+. We are the avantgarde of the web". But who is the loser? You flash designer. Because 80% of these 30+ % of 56k users don't wait for a 150k (if you want) flash and still have to navigate. You hopefully don't design your sites autistically for yourself only but for your visitors. And to return to our topic (thread was hijacked long before) navigation is the argument against any flash in a search engine. Unlike PDF/DOC where you can do a fulltext search within the document, you need to navigate in flash via mouseclicks (that is its purpose. provide content in one file and to navigate within the file). This decreases relevancy for the user clicking a flash in Google. He still won't land where he wants to. I had a time long ago when I started building my site. I had and still have some hundred pages of content on one widget per html file, which needs a frameset if it does not want to be orphaned. So long ago, I used a .htaccess redirector for visitors from "outside" to, say, the index of the widget pages which also put up the necessary frameset, and having a hundred links to all the single widget pages. Those searching for something special like blue metal widget in Shelbyville (which of course was only found in a single widget page) immediately left. Those searching for the widget itself sometimes searched through that index, sometimes not. So how do you know what your users do in your flash thingy, how far they click through etc.? You can't, because you don't see it in yor logfiles :)

1) A well-designed Flash site will look the same in every visitor's browser

Come on, start learning proper HTML with proper CSS. You don't need flash for this. Those still using IE4 don't have the plugin, and won`t install it because of your site.

3 Graphics are a GOOD thing.

Of course. Graphics are good if you use them properly. Photos as jpeg, vector-based animations as flash, textual content as html. Good graphics is no argument for flash. Flash Graphics can be at least as bad as some "webdesigners" putting a 800/600 photo as a 350k GIF file. They also will exist next year, along with 56k users and those self-designed flash scrollbars that don't work.

What we see here is a phenomene of connotation. Flash is modern, advanced, dynamic, progressive, avantgarde. Whereas HTML is old, static, not attractive. If you don't have vectorbased animation, then it is only a discussion based on this connotation, because everything you can do in Flash you can then do in HTML too if you are compentent enough. So you use flash to be modern, dynamic, progressive etc. You can do this if you have restricted user groups like gaming teenagers that in 98% of the case have their plugin installed and are on a DSL line. You cannot do it if you have a broad base of users that are in most cases (related to your topic) no computer freaks. It is irrelevant for them if you have good-looking, perhaps moving, fading, blinking graphic thingys if they do not find what they want. They even can find things in PDFs with the "display as html" option. But what should Google do with indexed flash files? Offer an option "display as html", with discarding all navigation in what is displayed as html then? Unlike any PDF/DOC, this flash file does not have a consistent, say "plot" through the whole file, it is a melting pot of whatever texts that only make sense with their proper navigation. And that is why Google does not index flash, and hopefully never will (you hear me GoogleGuy ;) )

no native speaker and early in the morning, please forgive me

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