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Posted 1 July 2008
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One of the most difficult problems to overcome whenever selling the idea of a Flash site is the almighty Search Engine Optimization issue — and rightly so. After all, if your audience can’t find your site, who cares if it’s the mother of all Flash sites? Granted, I think SEO can be taken to an unhealthy level and as with all things, the key is to balance relevant content with keywords and Google-food. But that’s a whole different post.

Adobe has long been trying to overcome the issue of Flash indexing and there have been a number of homegrown solutions that have made things slightly more usable. But the good folks at Adobe have taken it a step further and provided the major search engines with their very own version of the Flash Player — which can dig deep into the bowels of your movies and extract key information. It is rumored that Google has already implemented this new player into their system and Yahoo is following shortly thereafter.

So what does this mean really? Well, difficult to say until we understand exactly how to tap into this functionality (much like the way you build an HTML site affects your search engine visibility, I would assume that the way you build your Flash site will affect how this tool indexes your movies). Regardless, this is a very welcome move by the powers that be.

And while I’m on the subject of Flash and SEO, don’t forget there are other tools out there that help Flash sites become much more usable:

Track Flash events using Google Analytics
Better browser integration and deep-linking with SWFAddress
Better Flash object embedding with SWFObject
Accessible Flash type with SiFR
Image replacement with swfIR

Happy Flashin’!

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