Should I provide alternate text content for a Flash flipbook?

I am providing a free book to users via two methods: straight PDF download, and a Flash flipbook with sound (powered by the excellent free script, Megazine3). Neither of these is a textual representation, because this is a handmade scanned book where every page is, and has to be, one big image. So, from a content/SEO perspective, this setup is less than ideal.

I would like to present alternate text content to the Flash animation, which would be seen only by user agents lacking Flash capability - presumably including search engine bots. This alternate text would be the complete text of each page of the book. However, I’m apprehensive about getting nailed by Google for cloaking. Any thoughts/alternate approaches?


If you alternate the text into flash flipbook and need the SEO friendly results, I may recommend you the Kvisoft flippbook maker, which can convert the file to ebooks easily and the templates are well designed and beautiful. What’s more, The page flipping books are SEO friendly. You also can do in-page SEO optimization work (define page title and meta data) for web and everyone can find your publications through the internet.

Hi there Kenquad,

I found something a while back, it’s free and pretty viral,, it seams to work pretty quick, not sure on the SEO friendly side of things, but then again major publishers are using it so I don’t suppose they could be wrong.

Google is very unlikely to zap you for cloaking if all you are doing is providing an accessible format of an existing page. Given that Google can’t read non-textual Flash or PDF pages (just as it can’t decode .jpg photos), it should easily recognise that this is an alternative format rather than different content. If you use the <object> tag for the Flash object then the whole point about this is that it offers fallback content for user-agents that don’t support the preferred format.

Thanks all for the input. I appreciate it, and will be working further on a strategy to integrate alt text.

The object and param tags define the flash version. Anything else inside the object tag is the fallback version.