Google & Yahoo Begins to Index Some Flash Files (SWF Files)

Jul 1, 2008 - 7:57 am 2 by

The news that Adobe announced that Google and Yahoo are indexing SWF Flash files has overtaken the front page of Techmeme this morning. It is also the dominate discussion in all the major search forums.

In any event, Google and Yahoo is now able to crawl the textual elements within SWF files, including discovering links within those SWF files. The Google Webmaster Central blog discusses the details but here are the takeaways as I see it:

  • They will crawl SWF files
  • Only the textual components will be crawled
  • FLV files are not crawlable
  • If your Flash files are generated by JavaScript, you need to be careful because Google might not execute the JavaScript
  • Google may index the external files your Flash file calls and won't associate them to the Flash files
  • Google has issues with some languages in Flash files, specifically Hebrew language or Arabic languages

Vanessa Fox at Search Engine Land has a really good write up as well on the news.

Forum discussion at:

Update 07/15: Google has reorted an update regarding how it handles SWFObjects.


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