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Flash Movies & Search Engines

Improving Search Engine Indexing And Ranking Of Flash Content

Originally Published: September 30, 2003

Flash Hurts With Search Engines

High Rankings In Spite Of Flash

Getting Flash Pages Indexed

  • Provide links to alternate pages that contain a lot of text and some keywords that the search engines can index.

  • Place some text above and below your Flash movie that contain your keywords. Along with your title and maybe your meta tags, this gives the search engines some contents to index.

  • If you embed the Flash movie in your HTML code, use your most important keywords in the movie filename using the HTML tags <param name="movie" value="movie-filename.swf"> and <param name="src" value="movie-filename.swf>.

  • You can use the <object standby="your message to show while loading"> attribute to include some text that is displayed while the Flash movie is being loaded. In addition, you can use the <object title="your movie title"> attribute to include a keyword-rich movie title.

  • Use the <noembed> tag to provide text for web browsers which don't support the Flash plugin. Use it to describe the contents of the Flash movie as search engines can index that description.

  • You may want make your Flash movie transparent and place it "over" your web page using CSS layers. This web page explains the technique in detail.

  • Some search engines (e.g. Inktomi) offer pay for inclusion programs that guarantee the inclusion of your web page regardless of the contents. Note that these search engines still need text to index.

  • You could provide an alternative, "pure text" web page solely to search engine crawler programs. However, this technique is called "cloaking" and search engines don't like it (click here for details).

  • Link from other pages of your web site to your Flash page with a keyword-rich link text.

  • Use the Macromedia Flash Search Engine SDK to convert a Flash file's text and links into HTML for search engine indexing.
Editor's Note: See also: How To Get High Rankings On Google With Flash Sites

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