Flash Search Engine Optimization is a topic for hot discussion. Although Flash animation is a rich and eye-caching media, Flash-heavy websites may have a lot of problems with visibility on the search engines. The problem is that there is not enough plain text in Flash files that search engines could successfully index. Flash is a beautiful visual media, but search engines spiders have no eyes to see it. Some of them can read Flash files extracting links and text embedded in them, but they cannot reach the structure and content. Moreover, Flash based websites sometimes store textual information as graphics. In this case, all the keywords are entirely missed by search engine spiders.
Whatever the purpose of a site is, the rule of thumb here states that you shouldn’t build it entirely with Flash. If you want your site to be easily found by users with the help of their favorite search engines, you need to make sure that you show the search engine spiders, the same things that you intend to show the visitors to your site. Here are some tips on Flash Search Engine Optimization.
•· Use Flash animation only for the sections where it is really needed. You can design your rich media with Flash while basing the content and navigation on HTML. Limiting the use of Flash to specific on-page areas makes your site not only search engine friendly, but also provides access to it to a larger audience, including users with low-bandwidth Internet connection and those whose browsers don’t support Flash.
•· If you are still determined to build an all-Flash site, it would be a good idea to have an HTML version of it that search engine spiders could index. You can develop a separate HTML page for each Flash one. It is worth the effort not only because of the search engines but also as it allows the users, who for some reason cannot handle Flash, to make use of your site in HTML version.
•· You should also make sure that the links on the pages built with Flash direct to HTML pages, not to other Flash pages.
•· Provide an option that would allow users switch off the animation and sounds which can get very irritating for some people. In that case you won’t lose the audience because of excessive design finery.
•· Another method of Flash Search Engine Optimization is using a CSS element that would incorporate content accessible to search engine spiders. Thus you can make sure that Flash won’t make your site leg behind in search engine listings.
If you use Flash graphics and animation reasonably bearing in mind the basics of Flash Search Engine Optimization, you can enjoy all the visual benefits of it without having to suffer heavy traffic losses, because of poor performance on the search engines.