Posted March 17, 2009 1:21 am by with 13 comments

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SEO’s and Flash just can’t seem to get along. For years there has been the clash of the great looking site flashwith all the cool stuff on it and that stodgy old search engine crawler that acts like it doesn’t exist. Designers and clients have had more than a few ‘conversations’ following the development of a site that looks great when you’re there but the only way to get there is through a link or a direct type in. The search engines have not been able to do anything with Flash in forever but there are active attempts from both sides of the fence to change this.

Adobe has rolled out their Search Engine Optimization Technology Center. The introduction to the site explains its purpose very well

Ensuring that search engines can crawl and index your rich Internet applications (RIAs)—so that your content can be found by others—is of critical importance to building and maintaining an online presence. While Adobe and the leading search engines are making significant strides in making SWF content more searchable, you can take additional steps now to improve your search ranking positions further.

The SEO Technology Center helps explain what the challenges are and provides practical steps, examples, and best practices that you can follow to overcome them.

This is certainly an olive branch of sorts. The real work is going on behind the scenes though as Adobe and the major search engines try to come to grips with this issue. While most in the industry are well aware of the search impediments that Flash sites have, the problem becomes really troubling at the SMB (small and medium business) level. There is often much less sophistication as it relates to all things web as you get into smaller companies. Since most people need to wear several hats in a smaller organization there is less chance of finding people with true specialization because they have to develop competencies across many different areas and can’t always keep up with the industry latest and greatest information. What often happens is a business owner or high level executive will then be sold a bill of goods regarding a web site redesign that will look awesome but hamper marketing efforts through the search engines. Now comes the hurdle of having to undo what has already been done usually at great expense. Never a good situation and one that every SEO dreads.

Hopefully great strides can be made to put these types of scenarios to bed and my guess is that since Adobe is now reaching out and looking to be proactive that there may be something on the horizon. Maybe this will happen in a flash. Sorry about that one. It’s late.

  • This is a long time coming and it should have happened much sooner. With adobe rolling this out it should be great for accessibility and SEO. Nice one for the news 🙂

  • This is great news. The search engines and adobe are finally working together. It has been a trade off for such a long tome, flash or seo, and everyone wants flash! Especially the SMB – I hate having to tell them, “Actually, you’ve just wasted a load of money…” This is a real step forward for all SEOs, and SMBs too. Thanks for the link.

  • Thanks for this valuable information, it seems like adobe is advancing to make our lives much more easier..

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  • Thanks for letting us know. This has been needed for along time. Now maybe something will happen even if it is not in a flash.

    Bo Tipton
    The Ornery Marketer

    Bo Tipton’s last blog post..Can I Make Money In The Next Thirty Days

  • This is great, but honestly as an experienced SEO, I will never be able to recommend that a client put site navigation elements or critical content into Flash unless either SEO is not important (in which case my services aren’t needed to begin with), or I start seeing a LOT of GOOD examples of Flash content and links being indexed.

    Chris H.’s last blog post..My Internet Marketing To-Do List

  • Thanks for this great article. I was just talking to someone on Sunday about this exact same topic. Even though Adobe has made this effort I still believe they have a long way to go before this is truly a user friendly experience. Why go to all the bother when their are so many other options available that can be producing results in so much less time and with so much less hassle.


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  • Just think how much harder you have to work and how many more links you will need to get a Flash site to rank above a comparable site in HTML

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Hey SEO’s Are You Ready For Twitter Search?

  • Thank goodness Flash is extending a sign of moving their own processes towards SEO. Hopefully they can come to at least a close ground to HTML. In reality it will never happen, but just being registered as having “things” on a site using flash will be a bonus for us consultants. I could rest easier at night…

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  • EEeeexellent!. I love the freedom and diversity of flash when creating websites.