Flash joins the search party as Adobe embraces SEO

is creating programs that will make their applications search engine optimised and they’re providing their optimised Adobe Flash Player technology to Google and Yahoo to enhance search engine indexing of the Flash file format (SWF).

Under new plans, websites which contain Flash file formats and dynamic web content that was previously unreadable will now be detectable in search engines. Flash has often had a bad deal from text-dependent search engines, not anymore it seems.

For the two search engine it represents a “deep algorythmic change” in terms of how they calibrate their systems.

The changing states of Rich Internet Application (RIAs) has meant that it’s more difficult for search engines to find them. Search engine bots can typically extract the links and text from Flash heavy sites but the structure and context are usually missing from the final result. Adobe’s decision will mean less work for marketers and developers.

Adobe have been working on reading Flash scripts for a while now but optimization has never been this extensive. Microsoft have only just recently liscensed Flash lite for mobile. This time around optimisation covers flash menus, buttons, banners and self contained websites.

The numbers of unique pages are increasing by millions every day and no one can really say how much content is out there. At the same time, auto-generated content makes direct analysis all but impossible. Even Google wouldn’t be able to tell you the exact numbers – they have giant farms, the size of spaceships, in Arizona that analyze and store every new page on the web. Only time will tell if this results in an optimisation overload for the web; I have a sneaky suspicion it might.

As designers use evermore complex tools there’s a case to be made for making things like web TV and viral optimized to really get the most out of search. It’s a tricky one, if everything is optimised you run the risk of torrents of irrelevance and trash being thrown up; but then again, not enough is worse than too much.

The answer could be in niche search sites like Blinkx; an internet TV search engine, that offers a keyword search for specific dialogue with speech to text technology. A transcript of video in real time is also available.


Chinwag Live: Search vs Recommendation – 2nd September 2008
Chinwag Clinic: Search Marketing Surgery – 30th September 2008
Chinwag Live: Search & Location Based Services – 7th October 2008