Adding SWF content to your HTML source

An iron-clad way to guarantee that a SWF's content is picked up and ranked by search engines is to extract the content and place it into the page's HTML source. Tools such as Dreamweaver use SWF Object to embed Flash. The code view in Dreamweaver displays comments where you should add your alternative HTML content.

Keep your URL unique

If your site is just one big lump of Flash in an HTML template, your page is never going to refresh. Consider having a different URL for each page of your site's Flash content. Each page would have its own HTML source title, "H1" and body copy containing the keyword you want to rank.

Use source content dumping

A one-page HTML rich internet application (RIA) will not be SEO enhanced simply by adding the content for each section of the Flash application into the HTML source for this page. Doing this doesn't establish any prominence of content, as there are too many competing terms. Keep extracted Flash content relevant to the page it's on.

Keep an eye on new initiatives

Adobe has been working with Google and Yahoo! to make the Flash file format (SWF) search engine friendly. This will enable the engines to see what's inside a SWF's content and index it. However, the use of Flash Player technology by search engines is still developing and so can't be relied on as the only step towards optimizing your project for SEO.

Add text to your Flash applications

A simple Flash SEO enhancement is to use Flash-generated text in your creative when displaying or animating type. You can do this instead of using text that's a flattened bitmap. Flash text can contain keyword-based messages, which help increase traffic. Include this text in the HTML source of the page as well.

Remember that search engine spiders hate pop-ups

We've all visited sites that urge us to click to launch Flash content into a new window. This removes any chance of the site's content being picked up and indexed by search engines. In addition to search spiders not being able to see them, pop-ups suffer from being blocked by many browsers.

Get robotic help

Robots.txt is a plain text file found at the root of a server. This tells search bots which content needs to be allowed or disallowed when it visits their website. If your Flash text content is the same as your HTML version, you could set the Robots.txt file to ignore the SWF content and push only the HTML content to the search bots.

Embed Flash content with SWF Object

SWF Object is a search engine-friendly way to embed Flash content. Alternative (non-Flash) content is produced first, and then snippets of JavaScript are used to swap out the alternative content with the Flash movies. This ensures that the content is indexed by search engines. Users without Flash will still see a working HTML page.


Who Says Flash is Not SEO Friendly?
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