Web Design Resources
Flash Websites and Optimization
Including sounds and picture on a Web site is indeed a good idea to make the site colorful and appealing. But Flash movies are disliked by SEO experts for the simple reason that search engines cannot easily index the contents inside a Flash file. Unless you feed them with the text inside a Flash movie, this text for all practical purposes is lost for boosting site rankings. Traditionally, search engine spiders and crawlers have been designed to read text. For a Flash file, at the most they can read is the Meta tags like <title>, <keywords>, <description> and <keywords>. Since Flash sites traditionally hold no content other than the Flash file, this endangers the ranking of the entire site. . Since Flash sites traditionally hold no content other than the Flash file, this endangers the ranking of the entire site.While Flash provides a good visual impact, it is not useful to spiders and crawlers. Additionally, Flash consumes bandwidth – a commodity that is still precious in many parts of the world.To overcome the SEO limitations of Flash, the creators Macromedia / Adobe have come up with a new software development kit (SDK) that automatically extracts the data from a Flash file and converts into HTML format – something the search engines understand.The SDK includes an application named swf2html that extracts text and links from a Macromedia Flash SWF file and outputs it to an HTML document. The swf2html application is provided as a compiled application and as a static library for linked library implementation. It can be downloaded free of charge, and it is highly recommended that website designers include it in the Flash.However, the best thing to do, if the client insists on having Flash in their website, is to have a Flash element somewhere in the site, rather than have a complete Flash site.Alternatively, you can build two websites – one completely Flash and the second a HTML version. This will keep everyone happy – including the web design company!