An update on Flash SEO

I was just in Jim Corbett Flash Player Internal v2 presentation at FITC and I learned a couple new facts about SEO that I wanted to share.

First, it now seems that Google will be indexing loaded files; that was intented for a while and I will still have to make some experiments to see if it really works but Adobe says it works. Well it doesn’t really work like they would want it to work: when Google sees that the SWF is loading a file, it doesn’t load it in the currently playing Flash file but it makes a note of it and will load and reference that content later. The text in there will still be associated with the previous url, but it won’t play in the right context. That last caveat doesn’t bother me much; my biggest concern was that all the work I do is preloaded by an external preloader, so none of my content was Flash SEO friendly. Now it will get indexed.

Another interesting fact that was kinda hinted in the presentation was that the SEO Flash player is not suppose to index text when it is out of bound of the stage; when the user doesn’t see it. But, if you put a button outside of the viewable area and that button will bring the SWF in a state where text is displaying on the stage(viewable), that text will be indexed. The problem is that the headless player doesn’t check if the button is viewable or not. This is not confirmed and I will also have to make tests on this.

Well I have to get back in there now.


  1. #1 by Rajabudeen, Mohammed - August 5th, 2009 at 02:00

    Hi Dominic. Please allow me to add some spice here and correct me if am off track. First up, SWF is binary. To index a binary sequence am not sure how realistically it is possible. Moreover if we try to have some sort of hidden fields in the SWF like what we used to do in a html form, will that be a good practice considering the differences between ASCII and binary and security issues. Second, should there be some sort of casting methodology that needs to be allowed when the page is indexed. Possibly I can advocate that till some improvement is done on the DB site when we are using SWF. At some point of time DB should play a major role here in the near future, when it comes to an html presentation and a RIA presentation of a site.

  2. #2 by - August 5th, 2009 at 11:31

    @Rajabudeen, Mohammed
    Google has been indexing SWF content for a long time now, but just a very small part. I doesn’t matter if SWF are binary because Adobe and Google have developed a special Flash Player that reads SWF for indexing purpose only

  3. #3 by Christian - January 8th, 2010 at 04:31

    I personally don’t like the idea of google indexing my SWFs. In my flash website framework “fleb” ( I even disallow it by using robots.txt

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