Spidering Flash: Adobe working with Yahoo and Google

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Guy Levine
on 3/7/08

In case you didn't know if you have a flash web site it's invisible to search engines. Your site is pretty near impossible to rank in Search Engines that dominate over half the traffic on the web - That's the bad news!

The good news is both Yahoo and Google are working with Abobe to improve searchability with flash. For an official view:

"Google has been working hard to improve how we can read and discover SWF files. Through our recent collaboration with Adobe, we now can help Web site owners that choose to design sites with Adobe Flash software by indexing content better."
Bill Coughran, senior vice president of engineering, Google

"Yahoo is committed to supporting webmaster needs with plans to support searchable SWF and is working with Adobe to determine the best possible implementation."
Sean Suchter, vice president, Yahoo Search technology engineering.

So, as with all things news related we post, the question is what this means for users?

For all more accurate results if flash sites are included. There is the possibility in the immediate future that both Search Engines will begin to include both sites that are flash based and improvements in rankings for those with some flash on them. Our opinion is if your serious about ranking and benefiting from the enormous amount of traffic that Search Engines bring, then the less flash the better. I can't see vast improvements except in the long term but we shall have to wait and see.

In fact why have flash at all? We recently started a job where only the main navigation links were embedded in flash, not much really, however the net result is quite serious. The holy grail of Google optimisation, Page Rank was greatly effected. A homepage with actually a decent Page Rank couldn't pass on it's PR to other important pages which resulted in a PR of 0 for all sub pages, not all the pages are indexed and ultimately Googlebot doesn't visit very often, its sure makes our job a lot harder. This is where we may see short improvements, in that Google and Yahoo should both soon start picking up these links and hopefully these problems will be a thing of the past.

That means better PR, better spiderability and more visits from Googlebot. Hopefully! Watch this space!