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Flash SEO Coming: Spammer Exploits Follow?

Flash SEO may soon be a service offered by search marketing firms and in-house teams will be scrambling to learn and leverage the latest tricks of SWF optimization. Adobe says:

We are releasing technology to Google and Yahoo that enables them to crawl and index SWF files. They are now searchable. This will open up millions of Flash files to search.

Google claims they developed the technology, but either way, it’s clear that Adobe doesn’t want the public to know what is in that technology made available to “Google and Yahoo” (What? No Microsoft?). I believe I’d like the opportunity to make technology available to Google and Yahoo to effectively search my own sites and those of my clients so I could sell more products to the public.

OK, Adobe owns web video format and isn’t likely to sell Flash Optimization tools to the public that just happen to help optimize Flash which work well with that tool they released to Google and Yahoo as a part of their Flash Studio Suite – are they?

Enough cynicism – let’s look at the effect this may have on SEO for Flash. White text on white background keyword stuffing in SWF files will be a lot harder to discover without that proprietary tool released to the search engines – but do you think anyone will attempt to game that?

Sorry I meant to drop the sarcasm – it snuck up on me again. Well now search engines will be able to “see” the text in Flash files and index it as though it were plain HTML on the page. Most SEO’s know how hard it is to get their clients to actually USE the phrases they want to rank for on the page in plain text on the page (Sorry no javascript, no image based text, no AJAX, no “display=none” in CSS).

Well how likely is it we can get those same clients, now freed from the “No Flash” restriction we handed to them in regard to their navigation links and body text – to actually use their keyword phrases in indexable text in Flash? We’ll have to have long conversations with Flash developers about best practices for Flash SEO, one group we didn’t need to train in SEO previously.

Sorry to say, SEO’s will all now need to purchase Adobe Flash Studio to deconstruct the text inside those flying, bouncing, twisting, spinning, turning letters, only to find out there is very little readable text in those files anyway. The links may be crawlable, but how does the custom Adobe algorithm treat hypertext embedded keyword phrases in Flash versions of image files?

Adobe, I see higher sales in your future.

Google and Yahoo, I see a lot of indexed spinning text under hyperlinks exposed to your flash indexing tool from Adobe.

Fellow SEO’s, I see a lot of silly discussions with clients AND their flash developers about Flash SEO best practices and how they don’t apply to image based text or double spaced spinning letters or white text against a white background in those Flash files. And I have to buy new software to have those conversations.

I have a headache already!

Adobe Press Release Here

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ain September 10, 2008, 4:34 am

    Well, Flash indexing is not exactly comparable to the image indexing or matters regarding what colour of text is placed against the background of a certain colour. Flash is a whole different game and as we can see from Google search results on static SWF files, it can index the vector-based text just fine.

    The more important matter there is, is the organization of data. The way Google currently displays its findings from wihtin the SWF file, is pretty much unacceptable for both, the search engine user and the website owner.

    Still, alternatives exist, e.g. backbone3 with Flash SEO package uses Google sitemap and deep linking to a content off Flash remoting. Also SWFObject’s JavaScript methods to create underlaying alternative content to be accessed by Googlebot.