Can search engines read flash? A lot of people think that because flash is a program running on a website, it cannot be read by search engines. This is true to some extant however that does not mean there aren’t methods to make your flash movies Search Engine friendly. In fact Google CAN index your flash movies. In “Google Can Now Index . . . Flash!An Interview with Michael Marshall by Robin Nobles” (here), they discuss how Google indexes your flash movie and different things the author can do to help the process.
There are also other methods you can use if you want to be sure all search engines are indexing your flash movie. I use SWFobject. Here’s a brief explanation of how it can be used with some examples.
So first thing you need to do is upload swfobject.js to your website and link it in your header somewhere:
Then you need to create a div tag with all the default contents of the flash movie. What your going to do is over right all of the data inside of that div tag when you load your flash movie.
This is what the search engines will read
And your done! So here’s the result:
And here’s what the search engines see:
Not too shabby.
The cool thing about all of this is the code is valid HTML and XHTML 1.0. There are also a bunch of other cool features with swfobject so explore their website and have some fun.
Now there has been some discussion on whether or not the content in the div tag that is being overwritten might be looked at as spam by Google at some point. So far it hasn’t been a problem and as long as developers don’t abuse this we should be good well into the future.
So go off and have fun with flash. Make many websites and flash intros to your hearts content (if your into that sorta thing). The future of flash looks brighter every day.