I have a flash site and I can not get it listed on any of the search engines how do I do this?

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Last Post by Dani

You're not going to like the simple answer: Search engines aren't capable of reading Flash. If your entire site is flash-based, search engines won't be able to read any of your content, and they won't include you in any search engine results (although they'll know about your site just as soon as it's linked to from anywhere on the web).

Create a non-flash version of your site (aside from the seo benefit, this is useful for accessibility reasons too, such as making the site available to the blind who rely on screen readers). Use flash only when it is necessary to demonstrate something or be super flashy ... If you can get away with doing something using text and a Javascript effect instead, then do so. You can do some mighty fun things with AJAX nowadays too. (Although be careful, because search engines can't parse Javascript code either.)

The simple answer: Use Flash when it's super important to do something and Flash is the only way to do it. Use plain ole text for all your actual content. Use Javascript/AJAX to add fancy effects without the heavy weight of a Flash player.


Actually, Google will now crawl and index some portions of Flash. See http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/06/improved-flash-indexing.html

I'm starting to see this work, with some Flash menus being followed and content indexed in Google. Of course, Yahoo, MSN Live and others are not there yet, so Flash is still invisible to them and they are still a good portion of search traffic.

There are also some techniques for combining XHTML and Flash, putting text content in HTML and controlling display via Flash. Given the text content is in the HTML stream, it can be found and indexed by search engines. See http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/sifr/

However, if you are serious about SEO, I would avoid Flash except for specific modules within a page surrounded by content that uses traditional SEO best practices. Even though Google is starting to crawl Flash, it is still very limited and does not rank nearly as well as text content. Not to mention Flash still won't work with Yahoo and MSN. Also, playing games with Flash to display hidden text content risks all sorts of penalties for spam, hidden text, etc, so I would avoid that as well.

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