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SWFObject Flash Files - Now Indexed by Google

     
4:37 am on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google has expanded their indexing of SWF files for the second time in two weeks - Flash movies that are served via SWFObject are now in the mix! Several important comments have been added to the June 30 blog announcement, including this:

For our July 1st launch, we didn't enable Flash indexing for Flash files embedded via SWFObject. We're now rolling out an update that enables support for common JavaScript techniques for embedding Flash, including SWFObject and SWFObject2.

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

Earlier stories
Flash to be made visible by search engines. [webmasterworld.com]
Improved Flash Indexing Begins for Google [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: engine at 4:04 pm (utc) on July 15, 2008]
[edit reason] added earlier stories [/edit]

6:40 am on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This will be interesting for those who use SWFObject to serve regular html to bots and users without flash, help or hinder rankings?
10:34 am on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well, as I commented two weeks ago, I use SWFObject to serve alternate HTML content to user agents that are not flash enabled. So I certainly hope this change doesn't mean Google starts to ignore the actual HTML! I can't imagine that happening, at least not intentionally.
4:11 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I still don't know why they want to index flash... maybe to crawl links... but to get text from it or content? That's silly. I think of flash like an image and it should be treated as such. You can put whatever you want in an image or flash file and marketing text may not be keyword rich or you may use funny tracking urls in flash etc.
4:59 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I still don't know why they want to index flash... maybe to crawl links... but to get text from it or content?

Absolutely! You know, if I were a Search Engineer and had to list some of the primary areas I would focus on for "quality content", Flash would be in the top ten. I've come across 100% Flash sites that were full of great content, great design and just overall they were great! Those sites are "serving an audience" too, they could care less about the SEs, that is not their target audience. These are the types of sites where Direct Visitors and Referring Sites are the two major driving forces of traffic. Search Engines are an added plus to the mix. ;)

That's silly. I think of flash like an image and it should be treated as such. You can put whatever you want in an image or flash file and marketing text may not be keyword rich or you may use funny tracking urls in flash etc.

I agree, it does "sound" silly. But, if they can control the indexing aspect of this and prevent what typically occurs with stuff they index, then maybe it will work. I think we know the routine by now. There will be Ads served somewhere in this process, I guarantee it. That's the pattern these days. Flash is the next boon for Link Development. I've given those links my own name; Flanchors.

5:25 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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<snicker> Or Flashtml.
5:31 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think of flash like an image and it should be treated as such.

It's not an image, it's multimedia, which can contain text, images, etc.

FWIW, flash files have been index for many years, this is just a slightly different type of flash file.

7:48 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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if I were a Search Engineer and had to list some of the primary areas I would focus on for "quality content", Flash would be in the top ten.

I really don't share that view. Unless the Flash site has been done by professionals and it seems appropriate for the type of content I'm looking for (say, some latest Movie teaser), when I land on a flash page with a "Loading..." animation, it's usually the back button for me.

3:09 am on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have a client, who is fully into flash, just recently he shifted his fully flash site to semi flash site. I think even if Google can crawl the links from flash menu, it will be great.
2:13 pm on July 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I still don't know why they want to index flash ... I think of flash like an image and it should be treated as such.

Wrong. Flash is now being used for cutting edge web-based application development using the Flex/AS3 platform. This is a fairly new develppment, only until a year or so ago was it possible to create intricate applications with Flash. Would I want Google to spider my nifty new application which just so happens to also contain a shopping cart system with products and prices? You bet.

 

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