Get Your Flash Websites Ranked High!

Tags: flash designing , flash designers

Flash is a comprehensible software used in vector graphics animation programs to make websites visually enticing. Vector graphics are found effective for the web pages owing to its light-weight nature. Moreover, vector animation holds the possibility of an effectual animation as the images thus displayed are resized using mathematical values, instead of stored pixel values.  

Flash movies are the best and trouble-free way to add multimedia elements to a web site. But, flash has become nightmarish for SEO professionals as Flash cannot be easily indexed by most search engines. Flash movies usually come in a proprietary binary format (.swf) making it difficult for a spider to understand and index them directly. As a result, the spiders index only the filenames, but not the contents inside. The same explains why Flash websites are less compatible with many of the search engines. 

Certain sites use tips like <object standby="your message to show while loading"> attribute or <object title="your movie title"> attribute to add keywords and text to the flash elements, but again this seems to be of not much help. 
Do not lose hope; there is a definite way out! Although it is not possible to optimize flash web page content, it is never impossible to optimize the links to your site. You need to get as many incoming links containing related keywords for which you want to get high rankings in the link text. By optimizing each movie and page with appropriate titles and content the issue can well be managed. In the absence of indexable contents, make sure that the pages have suitable meta tags.  

Flash movies which are used in websites must be put on HTML pages with appropriate text for the search engines to index, and a navigation scheme that they can follow. 

Flash Development Tools For Your Help

Flash development tools allow adding metadata to your movies easily. Flash Search Engine SDK is the most advanced tool used to extract text from a Flash movie. Another advantageous application in the Flash Search Engine SDK is swf2html. This helps extracting text and links from a Flash file and converts the output in to a standard HTML document. But again, make sure that the extracted content is free from errors and duplication.    

The font color of the extracted text should not be the same as background color to avoid the risk of leaving into hidden text territory.   

Another development tool is SE-Flash.com that visually shows the contents from your Flash files that are detectable to the search engine and those that are not. This tool provides a thorough check of the accuracy of the extracted text. It is often not certain that the search engines use Flash Search Engine SDK to get contents from a Flash file, so this tool might give completely different results from those that the SDK will produce.  

Flash site vs. HTML site 

Many websites have two versions: Flash and HTML. On the home page visitors are allowed to select their viewing preference. Normally in such cases, the home page is not a Flash page, instead displays keyword-rich text for search engines to index and contains a link to the site map so that search engines can crawl all of the pages on the site, including the option to view the Flash or HTML version of a site. This helps users who don't have Flash installed or don't want to wait for the time span for the page to load up. 

Web analytics/site statistics software is vital for keeping track of visitor preferences. If visitors prefer a flash version then maintain it, else, submit the HTML version of a site to the search engines.

Flash sites and search engine spam 

Many feel that if a series of entry pages in HTML is created and redirect the same to the Flash site will help in better positioning. Beware! This is will be considered search engine spam. Because 

1. The search engines as well as the site visitors want to be taken directly to the page with the information they were looking for. Search engines always tighten their grip on where they direct the user. They do not have a provision to check if Flash content matches with the HTML content. 

2. An "artificial HTML structure hierarchy" is problematic because the search engines do not know that your HTML-formatted link architecture matches your Flash-formatted link architecture. 

3. These entry pages content might be relevant according to a programmer, designer, developer and search engine marketer, but it might not be the same for search engines.

Flash helps to create aesthetically pleasing and interactive web sites. But a methodical analysis of your web analytics software and a study on focus groups is necessary before launching a Flash site.

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