Flash Website Optimization

Flash and SEO! We cannot think of both together. This creates a difference among seo experts and flash designers. Flash movies are very exciting for a website but they don’t do any good when search engine optimization is concerned. This is because search engines look for texts only and does not index a flash file. Flash files are not good for rankings of your site.

Reason for Dislike

We say search engines dislike flash files simply because it is difficult for search engines to understand the complexity inherent in flash movies. Spiders are not able to understand flash movies and hence they ignore it. Indexing is not possible for search engines, as they relate more to the plain text. Spiders can catch up with the file names, but not able to go through the movie contents.

Since the flash movies are available in binary format, spiders cannot read the content well. For this they might need assistance, but even with help they may not understand any complex designed files. This is probably the reason why flash files do not in any way help in search engine optimization.

Flash is also not recommended for navigation as often it is used in the starting page and links to external pages as well. Banners and movies are used as a link in many sites to move to other pages but that is not suitable for SEO. Site should have text links for navigation and then only it will be approved by search engine crawler.   
It’s better to keep away from flash movies when seo is the most vital factor. At least usage should be kept to a minimum as it can distract users too. Flash movies frequently include attractive and colorful banners which may pose distraction for normal users and they usually avoid it. Secondly flash movies eat up a lot of bandwidth too.

Flash Sites Optimization

Though it’s difficult for optimization of flash sites, but don’t get disheartened, flash sites can still be optimized by several methods.

Arrange for an alternative page that consists of HTML only, because this is the way out for users as they go through the page and don’t get distracted by flash movies. You can also get a good response from search engines as they crawl through the HTML pages and index it accordingly.

You can use some of the best flash search engine tools which are able to search the text from the flash movie. The tool popularly known as Flash Search Engine SDK or swf2html can extract text from Macromedia Flash File and places the output into standard html document. This reduces a lot of task and you don’t have to do it manually, but manual checking is sometimes required as error may creep into the text. Sometimes the text and link needs to be arranged so that content can be placed in the title, headings or even at beginning of the page.

Duplicate content checking is also vital for the extracted texts. Other issues such as font color of the text should be checked whether it’s same as that of the background color, as in that case the text will be hidden.

Some tools are effective for flash sites, as they show whether flash files are visible to search engines or not. This is a perfect tool in addition to Flash Search engine SDK, and extracted text can be determined more vividly. However, the result of these tools might differ from Google or other search engines, as they may not use these types of tools.

These are some instances of optimizing a flash website. There are various other methods too, but all of them may not work under the rules and strategies of SEO.

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