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Thread: Flash SEO

  1. #1
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    Flash SEO

    Hi Everyone,

    I have ebeen trying too work my way around this but can't seem to. I have been asked too optimize a Flash site. How would I do this? As I know HTML is Much easier.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
    -Faraaz
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    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Remove the flash.

    Seriously, search engines don't read flash, flash is only appropriate for entertainment sites, if you're using flash for your entire business site you're shooting yourself in the foot.

    If you want to use flash make it an extra, put it in a popup window and run your little "intro" or whatever.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    In the last couple of months my opinion on Flash has changed completely. I know see it as a valuable tool, with lots of potential. And the search engines are starting to index it. Google is starting to crawl into flash files. If it isn't already, they're working on it!

    Flash is a great way to have vector graphics, and interactivity in your site.

    Bad flash has turned off a lot of people, including me, but when GIF images first came out a lot of people were against them too because of flashy, bad images.

    Remember, search engines can't crawl GIF images either!

    To optimise your flash based site for search engines, make sure that most of the content is not in the flash movies. Use flash for the features that need it such as Vector Graphics and interactive tools, but not for the navigation or content (flash doesn't render content very well - it usually antialiases all text).

    By the way, I see far too many people thinking that flash is used for splash pages or "intro" movies. That's hackneyed. If you think that's the extent of flash's capabilities then you probably don't realise its benefits. Flash is great for vector graphics.
    Last edited by mmj; Jul 27, 2002 at 09:58.
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    SitePoint Wizard johnn's Avatar
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    So if any link happens to be in between the 2 flash files, search engines don't see it, or if the link locates above all flash files, SEs DO see it? And if any link locates after ALL flash files, then search engines DO see it?
    . Use flash for the features that need it such as Vector Graphics and interactive tools, but not for the navigation or content
    You wrote, "not for the navigation", does that mean: Do not use flash buttons in website or using flash as a link?
    Last edited by johnn; Jul 27, 2002 at 11:03.

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    Hi Everyone

    Thanks for the replys. We cannot loose teh flash design
    . But I have done some talking, if our alt tags, and text comment tags are realy keyword rich is tehre hope? I am not an HTML freak or anything but I was talking and the person who is designing teh flash said its embedded in an HTML document.

    Is there some hope with this site in the 1-5 pages of a SE?

    Thanks
    -Faraaz
    Coming Soon!
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  6. #6
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Faraaz,

    Flash is an extremly powerful tool that has a bright future in web design. However, it is like a window to a moth, the search engines just cant get threw it. Yes, they are working on it, but I still think it has a ways to go.

    If you look at my Plasma Pages website you will see that it is 100% Flash; Search Engine Suicide. But, I didn't care in this case because 'Web Design' is already overly saturated and making it very high in the SE was going to be next to impossible anyway. So I market my site it different ways.

    It you want to obtain high SE listings then you have 2 choices.
    A.) Avoid Flash
    B.) A hybrid of Flash and HTML.
    My POS software site is a hybrid as you can see and does extremly well in Google and holds top 5 listings in about 10 different keywords. This is your only chance is you want high listings and some Flash.


    Oh, unless you have alot of very good friends with very good sites that want to link to yours! Anyone?....Anyone?

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Originally posted by johnn
    So if any link happens to be in between the 2 flash files, search engines don't see it, or if the link locates above all flash files, SEs DO see it? And if any link locates after ALL flash files, then search engines DO see it?
    What do you mean? Content in a SWF file isn't currently crawled by most search engines. Content that is in an HTML file is.



    You wrote, "not for the navigation", does that mean: Do not use flash buttons in website or using flash as a link?
    You can, but that link may not be seen by search engines. If that is important to you, then obviously you know what to do. It's your decision.
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    Ok

    I have been too one site that has not content whatsoever.

    Hoover

    Its just images stuffed with keywords. So thats basically what I will have too do with the flash? Make it really eally keyword rich?

    Hoover Web design is ranked on the first page in Professional Web Design .

    So wil my plan work?
    God I must be getting desperate now

    -Faraaz
    Coming Soon!
    Graphical Studio - Where Creativity Meets The Eye!
    -------------------------------------------------------

  9. #9
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmj
    And the search engines are starting to index it. Google is starting to crawl into flash files.
    Unless you have evidence to backup such a claim you shouldn't post it. Its just spreads inaccurate rumors and next thing you know you have a bunch of people swearing that search engines index flash.

    Most of you in favor of flash aren't thinking from a business perspective. Flash sites are notoriously difficult to navigate, they are also incompatible with many browsers.

    Flash should not be used for a business site. Having a flash movie or "commercial" is fine, but to make the entire site in flash is just misguided. Look around, Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Monster, Ebay, etrade, orbitz, none of these sites use flash, there is a reason for that.

    People don't go to a business site to be entertained, people don't go to a business site to look at pretty pictures and moving objects. They go to shop, they go for information.

    Flashier is better if you're in Vegas, but not in the business world. Anyone who makes their entire business site in flash has either gotten bad advice, or simply does not understand business. These are usually the same people that'd like to use java based news tickers and other little gadgets. There is a reason Amazon.com doesn't have news on their front page, it would make no sense to do anything to distract their visitors from making a purchase. Thats what flash is, its a distraction. Distractions are fine for entertainment sites, but they're not appropriate for business sites, anymore than one of those DHTML mouse-trails are.

    Bad flash has turned off a lot of people, including me, but when GIF images first came out a lot of people were against them too because of flashy, bad images.

    Remember, search engines can't crawl GIF images either!
    GIF images first came out? GIFs have been around longer than the Web, and they are used for line drawings or other uncomplicated images, not flashy graphics.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Faraaz
    Ok

    I have been too one site that has not content whatsoever.

    Hoover

    Its just images stuffed with keywords. So thats basically what I will have too do with the flash? Make it really eally keyword rich?

    Hoover Web design is ranked on the first page in Professional Web Design .

    So wil my plan work?
    God I must be getting desperate now

    -Faraaz
    Really Faraaz, if you need help with your own site in search engines do you think it is appropriate for you to be advertising SEO services in your signature?
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
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    Originally posted by aspen


    Really Faraaz, if you need help with your own site in search engines do you think it is appropriate for you to be advertising SEO services in your signature?
    I have done HTML sites before. Never Flash.
    Never thought I would have 2.

    -Faraaz
    Coming Soon!
    Graphical Studio - Where Creativity Meets The Eye!
    -------------------------------------------------------

  12. #12
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    Ok someone else in the marketing department has solved the crisis

    Thanks For All The Help Though
    -Faraaz
    Coming Soon!
    Graphical Studio - Where Creativity Meets The Eye!
    -------------------------------------------------------

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    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    well, it's not that I disagree with you Aspen, but I think you are using the word 'business' too liberally. Business encompasses alot and may be too broad of term. There are many 'business' sites out there that do use Flash. One of the biggest businesses in the world, Coke. I would rather use the term 'content heavy' as well as 'database heavy'. Most of the sites that you listed are extremly content heavy and database driven. It would not be a good use of Flash in those sites. In fact it would be painful. Gives me the creeps just thinking about trying to run that stuff through Flash.

    Flash is just another tool, a good tool for the right job. But, just because you're good with a hammer, dosen't mean everything is a nail.

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    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Faraaz
    Ok someone else in the marketing department has solved the crisis

    good old marketing...wonder what genious idea they came up with...

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    Originally posted by Golgotha


    good old marketing...wonder what genious idea they came up with...

    hehe. Gotta love em =). Well I don't what he ment.... But he told me that we could break up the flash in to 2 parts so we could have the body text.

    And thats all I need =) Don't care what it ment.

    -Faraaz
    Coming Soon!
    Graphical Studio - Where Creativity Meets The Eye!
    -------------------------------------------------------

  16. #16
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    thus my hybrid idea!!!!!

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    I just read your PM lol.

    Do you have any experiene in marketing? See we have a 2 man department here. Would you be itnerested in joining?

    If so tell me in PM

    -Faraaz
    Coming Soon!
    Graphical Studio - Where Creativity Meets The Eye!
    -------------------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    runat="server" Golgotha's Avatar
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    nope, I'm up to my ears in work....

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    I happen to like flash, and I support it. It is designed for and useful for all sites, including business sites.

    Originally posted by aspen


    Unless you have evidence to backup such a claim you shouldn't post it.
    You misunderstood me, and I was quoted out of context. What I also said was, "If it isn't already, they're working on it!". By this I meant that they either are now, or they are working on implementing this feature. I openly admitted that I didn't know something. I believe I should be entitled to say that I don't know something, without being criticised for doing so.

    Originally posted by aspen

    GIF images first came out? GIFs have been around longer than the Web, and they are used for line drawings or other uncomplicated images, not flashy graphics.
    For an example, animated GIF images which popped up on amateur and personal websites in the late 90's were very annoying. I was simply mentioning it as evidence that GIF images, too, can be annoying.

    Opinions on Flash are quite polarised and discussions can quickly descend into heated for/against arguments. I won't do this. I'm happy to acknowledge that Flash has its advantages and disadvantages.

    However, here are a couple of good articles about what potential Flash offers:

    Feeding on Flash - Search Spiders Expand the Menu

    Details how some search engines are planning to crawl Flash.

    Flash: 99% Good

    A great article, and one of the first articles that got me thinking about how important Flash is becoming.
    Last edited by mmj; Jul 28, 2002 at 09:39.
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  20. #20
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmj

    However, here are a couple of good articles about what potential Flash offers:

    Feeding on Flash - Search Spiders Expand the Menu

    That article is horrible, there is a reason it only has a 5.4. Paul Bruemmer knows next to nothing about search engines, most of his advice is dated and IMO used to extort higher fees from clients. For instance insisting Google uses meta keyword tags when you can easily prove it doesn't, so that he can charge people for an "optimized 900 characters of meta keywords."


    It is also misnamed. The only time Flash is mentioned is in this line: "FAST AllTheWeb indexes images, video, PDF, MP3, and FTP files, and eventually plans to index Flash and other multimedia files. "

    Eventually, plans to - I'd hardly call that "Details how some search engines are planning to crawl Flash."

    Sorry to come down so hard on you, but I hate this kinda thing. People read such and such in an article or a post and with no first-hand knowledge themselves they repeat it, advocate it, and otherwise spread misinformation. You need to learn to question the information you are told, to go out and test it yourself.

    Many times the person writing an article won't have any first hand experience. They research, or they read other articles, and basically paraphrase. This can also be true for forum posts. Some people don't have alot of practical experience but they answer posts by simply remembering answers to a similar post. The problem is that sometimes meaning gets lost in the transition and like that camp fire game where you whisper things, by the time the answer has gone through 3 or 4 people its warped beyond recognition.

    So Paul says FAST plans on indexing Flash, but he doesn't provide a source for that info. Plus FAST isn't close to being as big a player as Google, so even if they did it would still be a bad idea to use a flash only site. Additionally, on the topic of Google, Google has stated that they plan on indexing all web content within hours of it being published. Is it possible? Sure? Is it going to happen in the near future? Not likely.

    There are severe technical limitations for indexing Flash, basically because its in binary. The easiest way to rank and list files of odd types, and Google does this, is to use the pages that link to the file. However that only gets the file listed, that doesn't mean the file would be crawled for links, keywords, and anything else.

    The bottom line is that as of right now no search engine indexes Flash, and such an ability is not on the near horizon. So if you make an all Flash site right now you're shooting yourself in the foot.

    There are a few appropriate uses for Flash, for only parts of the page like on hostrocket.com, or for a secondary site. A text/html site should always be the primary site, but it is okay to link from the primary site to a more advanced/flashy Flash site.

    Using it for a doorway page, an intro, or an entire site is not a good idea - atleast if you plan on getting any traffic from search engines.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Hi Aspen,

    I agree that it's a bad article and has an inappropriate title. But I believe that crawling flash content is possible in the near future and is on the horizon for search engines.

    SWF is an open format and comes with an open SDK. The is no reason that the SWF format cannot be parsed easily by an application with access to the format definition (that's what the flash player does).

    The PHP language, for example, has a module that is dedicated to generating SWF content. Given that SWF is a streaming format, that seems to me to open up lots of wonderful possibilities. SWF content can be dynamically generated on the fly.

    Flash seems far too important, to me, for the search engines to ignore. That is my opinion. Also, there is evidence that some engines are working on this feature.
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    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    The other option Faraaz had was to put the flash page in a 100% frameset and optimise the <noframes>.

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    Originally posted by mmj
    And the search engines are starting to index it. Google is starting to crawl into flash files.
    Originally posted by aspen
    Unless you have evidence to backup such a claim you shouldn't post it. Its just spreads inaccurate rumors and next thing you know you have a bunch of people swearing that search engines index flash.
    Hi Aspen,

    Google's been indexing SWF files for several months.

    if you view Wildform's backward links you'll notice about 2/3's of the way down a referance to http://www.dingbatmag.com/Flix_banne...ideo_88x31.swf which links thru to the Wildform homepage from within that movie.

    The bottom line is that as of right now no search engine indexes Flash, and such an ability is not on the near horizon. So if you make an all Flash site right now you're shooting yourself in the foot.
    Open any SWF file in a text editor that reference's URL's inside and you can view each address (example: http://www.blah.com/ or blah.html)

    it's true Google can't yet view the content inside Flash movies so your keyword density is non existent - however provided you have enough sites linking thru (with your targeted keywords - provided its from a HTML text or image alt tag link) to your Flash site and your title tag's are optimised you'll have very little disadvantage in running a Flash only site as far as traffic from Google goes.
    Last edited by Chas; Jul 30, 2002 at 05:46.

  25. #25
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    There you go, proof. I was wrong.

    However with Google the most important thing is the context of the link, and since Google isn't indexing the content, only the links (and especially not the text used to link, right?) Then links from a flash file will not help you very much.

    So in anycase there is still reason enough to not make a site completely in Flash.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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