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Flash becomes visible to search engines

It is well known that a site using Flash is not good for search engine optimisation because the search engines could not read the content. We always recommended that if flash must be used then it should only be put in non-essential elements such as banners and product demonstrations. We certainly didn't like to put any content in there that may aid search engine optimisation.

However it is now reported on TechCrunch that Adobe has created a special Flash player for the search engines that acts like a virtual user going through each application.

This means that content can now be read by search engines meaning websites should no longer suffer from using flash. However the article warns that "Becoming visible is one thing, actually ranking highly is another. Google currently can find about 73 million Flash files on the Web. But until Adobe makes it easy for the average Webmaster or blogger to link deeply into those Flash files, they are not likely to appear at the top of many search results."

We would still recommend to avoid Flash where possible because it can still be difficult to use, takes quite a bit more bandwidth meaning slower downloads (although with broadband this is now less of a concern) and still has accessibility issues for those with some form of disability.

Does this signal the return of those really annoying intro screens that everyone hates? I hope not, but unless Flash is used appropriately then it will still remain somewhat of a hindrance.

Posted: Friday 4 July 2008 12:24:54 by Global Administrator

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