[UPHPU] SEO and Flash

cole at colejoplin.com cole at colejoplin.com
Sat Oct 6 23:04:01 MDT 2007

I just had to respond to this one, two of my favorite subjects.

>> How do some of you SEO optimize flash sites that convert text to an images?

Flash or no Flash, converting text into images equals no SEO. You have  
to have content that is crawlable.

> 0. don't use flash. really. don't.

Um, what? Use Flash! Yes, really, really do. Just use it wisely, and  
make your site fun and exciting. This is 2007, and this site is meant  
for the buying public, who need all the money-separating-goosing you  
can deliver.

> 1. if you must use flash, minimize it. for seo purposes, less flash is
> always better. a few small flash files will often provide just as much
> magic as one large, full site monstrosity.

Use Flash wisely. Flash has a purpose. In order to get any SEO, you  
must follow the Google recommended processes for how they crawl SWFs.  
I'm not a big fan of Flash-only sites, unless you care nothing for  
SEO, then anything goes. If you need SEO, you can balance excitement  
and SEO successfully. No kidding.

> 2. avoid flash based navigation. flash is fun for embedded media, cool
> animated images, etc. terrible for navigation.

I have to agree here. Flash has a place, not every place.

> 3. if you absolutely must have flash navigation:
>     a. make sure every navigation click in a flash page actually loads
> a new page, not just new flash content.
>     b. provide an alternate navigation. make sure you can get to every
> page on the site without using flash. on this particular site, the
> footer navigation would work.

I recommend option B.

> 4. consider using javascript flash detection. one side unfortunate
> side effect of this is that users with javascript disabled will not be
> served flash content. but neither will googlebot.

Um, no, this is old news. Flash Player 8 is already 98% penetration  
and Player 9 is already at 90 and growing fast. Any idiot turning off  
Javascript in today's AJAX-happy world, should not be allowed to use  
the browser anymore. Yes, reallly.

> 5. if you use javascript flash detection, provide alternate identical
> content. for every paragraph in the flash file, put one in plain text.
> hide this content with javascript if you serve them the flash content.

Unless you are a jaded Linux guy (as I feel compelled to allow this  
exception), if you don't have Flash, again, you should be banned from  
the internet completely. You dweeb.

> in the case of your client, i'd keep the flash slideshow looking thing
> in the middle of the screen. ditch the flash navigation. you'll
> prob'ly get more seo mileage out of worrying about everything else you
> can do for the site. i don't see the current the flash as a major
> problem with this site. but you might try to talk them out of adding a
> bunch more...

I don't think you have a major SEO "problem" with this site either.  
The Product and 7 Reasons pages are rich in text content. The nice  
Flash at the top is great. The navigation is not a big issue as far as  
pure SEO, because you have it in the footer. I'd take the time to do  
the things Sheri Bigelow mentioned in her presentation this summmer,  
and you should be fine.

Use Flash. Use it wisely. The image produced on this site is pretty  
good, actually. It would be a shame to lose it.

-- Cole

More information about the UPHPU mailing list