Flash: Poison Candy or Googlebot Food?


Our clients ask us about Flash all the time. For years Flash has been the stuff of web design joy and pain, causing frustration for search marketing folks. Those who design and brand absolutely love Flash’s web 2.0 animation, video, and rich media feel. 

SEM types traditionally have avoided Flash for critical organic optimization applications. The technology’s quirky propensity to be indexed (or not by) search engines has led to creative back door methods, sparking dialog and discourse as to whether certain techniques are evil cloaking tactics.

Matt Cutts has now revealed that Google has been quietly working with Adobe Systems’ Search Engine SDK technology to “read” Flash, which is an evolution from the “homebrewed” extraction method previously employed.

This may spawn a new era of cautiously optimistic Flash usage by search marketing pros who may become more amenable to using optimized Flash files. Stephan Spencer has posted a nice analysis of the Flash indexing situation in his CNET Searchlight blog and links out to additional resources

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