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Thread: [RESOLVED] SEO For Flash

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Old North Sacramento

    resolved [RESOLVED] SEO For Flash


    A client I have has an existing (all) flash website and wants me to improve the SEO. I know a site completely written in flash is a horrible idea not only for SEO but UI as well, but I have to work with what I'm given.

    My question is: Is there any way to have to display the site in HTML form if the user does not have flash installed? I don't want anything new to show up if the user has flash. I have read that this is a good idea on improving the SEO of a flash website, and I'm wondering if you think its a good option. I thought about "cloaking", just the same words that are on the flash part, but hidden... but that sounds kinda sketchy.

    I was hoping there is some type of thing that relates to HTMLs <noframes> tag that will enable me to improve the SEO without damaging the look.

    Every response is greatly appreciated and I thank you for your time.

    Last edited by Natdizzle; 11-30-2008 at 11:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    Search engines are constantly improving their ability to read the contents of Flash. You should research how Google is reading Flash files for their point of view.
    and other articles.
    Perhaps a better solution is to use swfobject to create alternate content. It basically works like this:
    Create your page in html and in each <div> that will hold a Flash .swf, create alternate content that gives a similar (or better) message. Pure html...images, text describing the content of the Flash .swf, links...etc. Then if the the viewer has Flash installed, the display of that content of the <div> will replaced by the .swf. If the viewer does not, they will see the alternate content.
    I often export an image of the last frame of a .swf as a jpeg to use as the alt content. Then I can add links to that if needed or sometimes I just give a long text description of the contents of the Flash file. So a person as well as robots and spiders can read about the Flash video that will be playing. Good part is, all the alt content is readable and indexable by spiders.
    View the source for an example of swfobject. All the nav buttons are duplicated as html in the alt content to each navigation <div>, so you don't need Flash to navigate the site.
    View source, scroll down to
    <!-- Alternate content -->
    	Video interviews and highlights from the Sequim Irrigation Festival. Videos were created for the Sequim Shiso City, Sister City Association.<br />
    	Video Sequim Mayor Laura Dubois greets Mitsunori Namba, Consul General of Japan.<br />
    	Video interviews with Sequim students prior to the Irrigation Festival Parade. They will be traveling to Japan this fall.<br />
    	Video Mitsunori Namba, Consul General Japan and Ginn Kitaoka, Director, Hyogo Business and Cultural Center in Sequim Irrigation Festival Parade.<br />
    This is all indexable html describing the videos that can be accessed on this page. You see none of this if you have Flash but this alt content describes the videos much better than a short title in a playlist would.
    Use your imagination and you can create very useful alternate content for non-Flash users as well as making you site much more search engine friendly.
    Go here for more info on swfobject.
    Best wishes,
    Eye for Video

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Old North Sacramento

    Thank you so much for all the information. It's amazing that a computer can read text in a flash file. The alternative content is exactly what I'm looking for (http://www.cidigitalmedia.com/video.html), but I am a little confused on how it works. Perhaps the flash is on top of the text or... I just don't see any code that tells the browser to hide the text! Thanks for giving me a point in the right direction, I definitely have some research to do tonight.

    Thanks again,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    The trick is to use a JavaScript file the detects Flash. If it does, the rest of the script kicks in. If not, you can choose to install Flash on the viewers machine or simply ignore the part about Flash and show the alternate content.
    First you need the actual swfobject.js file. Place it in a folder or root where you can access it. Then point to it in the <head>:
    <script type="text/javascript" src="swfobject.js"></script>
    In the <div id=“center_box_vid”> that will hold the Flash content, design your alt content and code that in the page as html. Before you close that <div> put in the call to the js to rewrite the contents of the <div> with your Flash if Flash is detected, otherwise do not.
    <script type="text/javascript">
    		// <![CDATA[	
    		var so = new SWFObject("cidm_player_320.swf", "cidm_player_320", "530", "280", "8", "#000000");
    		so.addParam("wmode", "transparent");
    		// ]]>
    Then close </div>
    will replace contents of <div> with
    var so = new SWFObject("cidm_player_320.swf", "cidm_player_320", "530", "280", "8", "#000000");
    swf file name is in quotes (be sure path to file is correct) 530 X 280 pixels for Flash player version 8 with black background.
    Works well, but read complete documentation for more info.

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