SEO and Flash part 2

In the previous article I said my tutorial about search engine optimization was going to be in 2 parts, well it’s going to be in 3 parts. In this part, I’ll explain the brute force way of making what we did the last time even better and I’ll explain the motivation behind it.

Remember that in part 1 I said that one of the most important factor in search engine optimization was what is inside the title tag. Well the easy way of making you flash website be present in search engines didn’t really optimize that factor; we used it a bit but not to its full potential. Also there is something else I didn’t speak about; the description meta tag. This tag is not a factor to be well ranked in search engine, but it can definitely be a reason why the user will click on your link on the Google page or any search engine’s page. The description meta tag define the paragraph of text that will be displayed below the link in the search engine search result page. Having a good and precise description can really help get users to your website. Lastly, if somebody searched for an expression that is present in your flash website but it is really far in and not that easy to find, in our previous method, the user will have to search trough your site to find it and might leave before even finding it.

Ok, so the previous method was that we dumped all the text present in the swf file in the html page embedding it. This was fine, but not really optimal as I have explained. Going from there, what the brute force is all about is dividing all the content we dumped in the first method into different html pages. For each section in the flash website, we make a page for it in Html and we embed the same swf in all pages. There are 3 particularities you have to add to make this work.

First, in the embedding method using SWFObject, you have to pass a variable the swf file telling it what page it is on. You can do it in this way:

<script type=“text/javascript” src=“swfobject.js”></script>
<script type=“text/javascript”>
    var flashvars = {
	page : "WRITEYOURPAGEHERE"
    };
    swfobject.embedSWF(“myContent.swf”, “myContent”, “300″, “120″, “9.0.0″, "expressInstall.swf", flashvars);

</script>

So now the swf files knows what page it is on, but it has to do something with it. When the flash loads it has to check in ActionScript for the variable that was passed to it in our case _root.page and display the good content section according to it.

The last thing you have to do is in the alternative content, make a link menu that links all html pages you created. This menu has to be in every html page of your site. You have to do this so that search engines spiders can access all your pages and index them.

What we did with this method is create multiples entry pages to your flash website instead of just one. Also this enables us to give a different title and description to each page which optimize those factors. With all this said, I can now explain why I call this the brute force method; this is not yet the best method to optimize your website for search engines. It will give you the same results as the next method, but will require more time as is harder to maintain since when you make a change in content in the flash file, you also have to do the same modification in the html page. The good point is that this method doesn’t require any server side scripting like php or asp.

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  1. #1 by Eric - May 4th, 2008 at 21:10

    I would be keen to see your 3rd part to this very helpful series of tutorials.

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