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Does Google crawl Flash swf files?
ASchmitt

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 10:51 am on Oct 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok here's the thing...

I'm performing some research on the crawling of swf files by the Googlebot.

I'm allready in contact with Google but I think it could be interesting to get some second opinions, tips and remarks over here.

Here we go:

I've noticed that Google is able to index text inside an swf file (e.g. when I type filetype:swf "buy") I want to find out how these swf files are suitable to use in a SEO strategy, since in the past I always advised to my customers NOT to use Flash because of the fact Google wasn’t able to index the content of those files. Now it seems that Google can.

Some questions and thoughts:

- Are there some rules/guidelines on the way the crawler indexes those texts? For instance I've noticed that the upper-left text is mostly taken as title for the page, but the other text seems randomly.

- Are there ways to improve or optimize the swf file (copywriting etc.) to facilitate the crawling by the spider?

- How does the indexed content (from the swf) do in the SERPS? Are they equally positioned as content on a html webpage?

- Are there any tools I need to use to give the spider access to the swf?

- Do you advise to use the ‘swf2html’ tool from Macromedia Software Development Kit?

Hope to get some usefull answers...

Best Regards and Greetings from Belgium
Ash

 

mcskoufis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 12:16 pm on Oct 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If it was easy for Google to follow swf links then many people who try to optimise flash websites would have many less headaches...

Flash and Google don't go well in my opinion. I am not a flash designer, neither use or recommend it. It is user un-friendly, takes ages to load on old computers and on pcs with too many applications running.

If the flash2html thing from macromedia can create an html representation of your site's structure and navigation that is fine. But I don't think that this is easy enough... The links it generates need to be clean HTML links and not javascript code, as this will complicate things.

If your site is not big enough, I would do it entirely in HTML, add flash elements to it and use either layers or tables for positioning. This way you have full control over how the links appear...

ASchmitt

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 2:32 pm on Oct 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

that's the thing... the swf2html tool completely writes a clean html file... I will try to make an good example

benevolent001

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 2:34 pm on Oct 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google can read text written in swf

ASchmitt

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 2:37 pm on Oct 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google can read text written in swf

That's what I've stated.. but are there rules on how the text is read? Are there techniques to point out to the Googlebot what text is important? And even more... is this text suitable for SEO positioning?

Iguana

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 12:01 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I now have a flash .swf in my list of backlinks in Google - the first time I've ever seen or heard of that.

benevolent001

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3125372 posted 3:58 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I now have a flash .swf in my list of backlinks in Google - the first time I've ever seen or heard of that.

i noticed the same , especially those flash buttons we make as links get picked up easily

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