How Google Handles Flash: The Tried & Tested Version

Oct 16, 2008 - 7:03 am 0 by

Beu has done an outstanding job testing how Google truly handles Flash indexing and crawling. To take you back, Google began indexing Flash in July 2008 and then we had a follow up post on it in late August.

Let me summarize Beu's four findings:

(1) Google has an issue associating text content within a Flash document with the correct parent URL or as a single entity.

(2) Flash documents does receive PageRank "independent of their own parent URLs."

(3) Google does not index URLs "containing #anchors (fragment identifiers) in Flash per W3C Guidelines."

(4) Google does not translate Flash content into different languages.

I would recommend you see his Flash SEO Tips for 2009 as well.

Based on Beu's tests, he has asked Google a fairly sophisticated question at Google Groups. I'll quote the question:

Can anyone confirm that Googlebot "sees" text content provided via PE (progressive enhancement) since support for simple JavaScript like SWFObject was introduced? If so, what causes Flash files to be indexed in many cases and not the parent URL where content provided via PE resides? Is there anything webmasters can do to request which version (Flash or (X)HTML) is indexed in SERPs, for example like www or non-www in webmaster tools?

That would be a nice addition but personally, I don't think it will be coming any time soon.

Forum discussion at Sphinn and Google Groups.


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