Why Search Engines Dislike Flash Sites?
What (Not) to Use Flash For?
Workarounds for Optimizing Flash Sites
- Input metadata
This is a very important approach, although it is often underestimated and misunderstood. Although metadata is not as important to search engines as it used to be, Flash development tools allow easily to add metadata to your movies, so there is no excuse to leave the metadata fields empty.
- Provide alternative pages
For a good site it is a must to provide html only pages that do not force the user to watch the Flash movie. Preparing these pages requires more work but the reward is worth because not only users, but search engines as well will see the html only pages.
- Flash Search Engine SDK
This is the life-belt. The most advanced tool to extract text from a Flash movie. One of the handiest applications in the Flash Search Engine SDK is the tool named swf2html. As it name implies, this tool extracts text and links from a Macromedia Flash file and writes the output unto a standard HTML document, thus saving you the tedious job to do it manually.
However, you still need to have a look at the extracted contents and correct it, if necessary. For example, the order in which the text and links is arranged might need a little restructuring in order to put the keyword-rich content in the title and headings or in the beginning of the page.
Also, you need to check if there is no duplicate content among the extracted sentences and paragraphs. The font color of the extracted text is also another issue. If the font color of the extracted text is the same as the background color, you will run into hidden text territory.
Here is a tool that visually shows what from your Flash files is visible to search engines and what is not. This tool is very useful, even if you already have the Flash Search Engine SDK installed because it provides one more check of the accuracy of the extracted text. Besides, it is not certain that Google and the other 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.