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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

Indexing Flash Sites
flash indexing

 11:49 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a client who is using Flash and is (rightly) concerned about getting decent rankings.

She's apparently using a method she refers to as "Z indexing", whereby the body text sits below the swf document.

How effective is this as a method for getting flash sites indexed, and are there any improvements on this method?

Also, what's the current status of full flash sites with the SE's? My last reading suggested that Google was following links, while FAST was following text and links. Is this still correct?

Many thanks.



 12:32 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the flash site is "full screen" I would tend to think this design style would be a turn-off to most visitors.

Use one or the other on any given web page.

Design a static HTML base version of the flash site would be better, providing choice.

CSS2 is also a better approach -- "layering". In this case the the text/graphic version is layered behind the flash version. A little like what the alt="" Tag does for images. Load time might be a concern here though.


 1:14 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google says any text content designed to be read by a Search Engine but not visible to the visitor constitutes spam and will be penalised if detected. If it does not get detected, a competitor could report you and get you banned.


 1:21 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can always test for the flash plugin then serve up what is needed. Since this isn't purely for the search engines but is a usability issue it won't kill you in a hand review.

This will give you a little knowledge on detection.

Here is some info you can take back to your client


 1:40 am on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Many thanks, I appreciate your input -should keep me occupied for a while!


 5:37 pm on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

How about putting the site into a single frame, and then duplicating all the text in the Flash movie as a large single page site in the <noframes>?

This has worked for me in the past.


 4:45 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yokelrobin, that's just what I was going to say. Put the Flash in a 100% frameset, and optimise the noframes. This has worked a treat for me too.
I don't think she's talking about a flash movie, but the whole shebang, flash navigation etc. This means condensing and summarising, around 250 words of focussed text.
I've had some really good results with <noframes>. The drawback of course is that you can only really go for a couple of decent phrases with any certainty.
The benefit is that it is quick, easy, and gets the job done with pure spider food, i.e. lot's of lovely <body>.


 12:38 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys, that last seems a nice clean solution!

I've passed the tip on.



 12:48 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

erika1959 the hidden z-layer is okay as long as you don't spam it to bits also add in the layers something on the line

<-- text version from none flash browser likes lynx /-->

make it look like a designer/development remark tag google will only ban you if they think you are trying to trick them.

everybody knows to flash is just a graphic and using a layer behind it should be ok.



 12:51 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would be a little weary of the 100% frames.


 1:22 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why is that? I presume you meant 'wary' not 'weary'?


 1:28 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry typo yes wary.

It used to be known as the poor mans cloak. It is an old spam technique.

Heres a thread on it.


 2:53 pm on Jan 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

My client's home page uses a large flash animation with some html text containing some well written content.

It ranks No1 on Altavista for the main search phrase out of 400,000+ results.

There is nothing wrong with flash in a page which contains solid html text to support search engines. I don't as a rule add a link to the site within the flash without placing also placing a text link on the page as well.


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