Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

SEO Friendly Flash

A simple yet effective way of making Flash websites SEO friendly

The Problem

Conventional wisdom has always been that using Flash to make a website is a huge SEO No-No, and here’s why: When a search engine crawler comes to a web page, its mission is to read the text and follow the links to the other pages on the site. If the only thing on the page is an embedded flash object; then there is nothing for the crawler to read and no where for it to go. Ouch!

The Solution
Write the Flash object onto the page using JavaScript and replicate all the links and content that appear in the Flash version using regular HTML within the noscript tag! As long as the user has JavaScript enabled, they will see the Flash version of the site, and the search engines will be able to crawl through all the content and links found in the noscript tag. And there you have it — SEO friendly Flash!

To see how to embed Flash objects using JavaScript please refer to example B in this “Making Flash Accessible” document published by the W3C.

The Conclusion
To be clear I still don’t recommend making entire websites out of Flash, but the above technique can be used, not only as a way to make a Flash site SEO friendly, but also in order to make them much more accessible to users with disabilities. I have always advised people that Flash elements are great as a part of the page, as long as they are not the whole page. I still stand by that advice and feel that this technique is more of a Band-Aid than a cure (for many reasons) and should really only be used as a last resort for when a designer or a client (or both) have fallen in love with their wonderful Flash website and won’t listen to reason, or as an alternative to completely rebuilding a website in the name of SEO.

A Word of Caution
If you are going to use this technique I would advise not deviating at all from what has been outlined here, as there are other similar things floating around out there that basically amount to what is known as cloaking, a black hat SEO technique that could get a website banned. I recommend that you consult with us SEO Inc 760-929-0039 to insure that this is correctly implemented.

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for Homepage.com, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee, Entrepreneur.com., Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.