Does Google, Yahoo and MSN index Flash content?
I read somewhere that Google and others are to start searching meta keywords 'within' Flash animations. Is this true?
The reason is that I want to create a website using an interactive city map on the homepage, close to the top. I know that Google will only cache the first few hundred KB of content, so my concern is getting keywords into the top of the page without pushing the interactive map down too far.
Rather than guess, I asked an expert about this, who answered on condition of anonymity. So, my "expert source says":
"Yes, Google can parse through the text contained within a .swf file and present that information in a Google search. But due to the fact that an entire website can be contained in a single .swf file, whereas a traditional HTML site may consist of hundreds of individual pages, the weightings and rankings given to certain pages may not be accurately portrayed in Google's results. In other words, a site that might have one page talking about Subject X, and a separate page talking about Subject Y... if a qualitatively better (in terms of actual content relevancy) site were created in Flash and everything was contained one .swf, a Google search for Subject X might rank the individual HTML page higher than the actually better .swf-based page.
"One of the recommendations is to break websites up into multiple .swf's that are oriented to topics, but that isn't always a workable solution. It's also possible to use a Flash feature to export content into a page's metadata, but that has its own challenges.
"Finally, because Flash is scripted, and because Google is secretive, we don't know exactly whether Google's spiders can follow the "loadMovie" action... essentially, Flash's equivalent of a hyperlink that loads another page of content. While a spider can follow an <a href... just fine, if it can't follow a loadMovie or other scripted link, then you won't be able to get too deep within a site, even if it has topically-separated .swf's."
In addition, the popular search engine optimization site Webmaster World has this snippet:
"According to rumors both Google and Yahoo have the ability to crawl Flash files. Mind you these are merely rumors as Google rarely comments on their indexing techniques. Search and Flash experts are quick to point out that this new ability does not put Flash indexing and HTML indexing on equal footing. Experts recommend that you still place your search engine text along with your Flash file in HTML pages."
More information is available at this ClickZ article too.
My thanks to both my anonymous source and Mya Leigh for their research and insight
More Useful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Articles:
✔ How do I restructure my Wordpress blog without losing SEO?
I have a wordpress blog that was using categories in the url structure like this: /category_name/post_name/ Then I had read somewhere that if...✔ Change in Web site navigation drops PageRank to zero?
We changed our website recently and also changed the menus on it so some of our pages have a different path now. For...✔ How do I implement add rel=author for Google serps?
I notice that sometimes on the Google search results that the author of the article is displayed next to the match in the...✔ Add a new site to my Google Webmaster Tools account?
Thanks for your earlier blog entry about how to verify my account with Google Webmaster Tools! Now I want to add an additional...✔ How do I verify my site with Google Webmaster Tools?
I've heard that one of the best ways to improve my Google search ranking is to fix anything that's marked as incorrect in...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+