Flash and SEO: Like Oil and Water

We often deal with clients that are planning to “revamp” their sites with Flash, with SEO having already generated tremendous gains in their sales. The thing that we most dread to hear is that they’ve hired an experienced “Flash designer” that will be taking their websites to the “next level.” Unfortunately, that “next level” is often the basement – at least in terms of SEO results.

The bottom line here is that a site built entirely in Flash still faces huge obstacles. While there have been recent moves from Google and Yahoo! to try to index the content from combined Flash/SEO sites, those moves have not yet, from my experience, translated into SEO results or success (at least when compared to html sites).

We should make a distinction here between embedded Flash and sites built entirely from Flash.  For example, a site that contains Flash elements but still contains basic html elements will not overly suffer, as the Flash element (usually a movie in a box on the homepage or elsewhere) is externalized. A search engine spider will generally not try to parse through any files that have been externalized in the code – they will only index the code that is readily apparent on the source page.

However, from an SEO results perspective, there are still major issues with sites that are built entirely in Flash, and SEO is normally the first thing that suffers. First of all, the URL generally never changes no matter where people navigate on the site. As any decent SEO practitioner will tell you, every page of your site is a potential entry page for a search engine. With a site built in Flash, SEO suffers even more as you only have one potential entry page, which is the main URL. This cuts off dozens, hundreds, or thousands of potential pages that could otherwise be indexed in Google and Yahoo! (and all other engines). When your only potential entry page in the search engine listings is your home page, it is very difficult to target a wide assortment of keyphrases, potentially eliminating SEO results or rankings.

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One Response

  1. Google is learning to read Flash Content and as its algorithm matures flash site from SEO point may not be issue.
    Read the details:
    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/06/improved-flash-indexing.html
    And you can see site:
    http://www.saffron-multimedia.com/
    and find out how flash site can be made in proper way.
    Good flash developer will always give you best result and make flash site search engine friendly.
    Thanks.

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