Have you heard the news? Flash movies can now be crawled by Google!
Some folks would have us rebuild the entire internet in the light of this revelation. I mean it’s like some designers fantasy to have the rich user experience of a Flash without the painfully obvious downside of being about as good as not having anything on the page according to Googlebot.
I’m not that excited though, because I know that entirely flash based websites simply can not be as competitive in the search engines as their HTML based counterparts, and here’s why:
Can you do any conventional “on page” SEO to a Flash movie? No.
If it’s a flash movie that never leaves one URL then it can only really rank for the information on first page of the site. Because otherwise the listing wont take searchers to a page that’s very relevant to their search. Correct!
And what about alt tags, are we going to be able to provide alternative text attributes for buttons and movie clips? It’s possible…
Will we be able to set up something to mark headlines in the flash movie so that Google can recognize emphasis on them? Maybe some day…
But I’ll tell you what; Google and Adobe will have to do some serious collaboration to make it so that a site built entirely using Flash is as SEO friendly as (basically) the same site built using good old fashioned, SEO friendly, HTML, bottom line.
There are some ways however to have your Flash cake and come pretty dang close to eating it to, check out my post on making Flash SEO friendly by providing HTML equivalents.