Optimising flash for search engines

I am guilty of spending too much time on designing and developing websites that I hardly spend much time on making them “search engine optimised”. Search engine is so powerful these days, people are reliant on it for almost all information they are trying to find. They don’t call anymore, they don’t ask, they search – and it is probably the fastest way into getting instant information.

Almost all of my websites are designed entirely in flash, they might be friendly to the eyes, but not exactly very friendly to search engines. This post a very serious problem especially when you’re relying on a website for your business. Clients wants sites to be in HTML and minimal flash so that it is searchable via search engines. Fair enough, moreover HTML can be deployed together with AJAX to minimise refreshes and put some life into the HTML pages by employing slight animation, but if you really love Flash like I do, you might want to SEO your full flash sites with – SWF Object

Benefits of SWF Object

  1. It detects whether the flash player plugin is install on the user’s computer
  2. If no flash player is detected, the same page that holds your full flash site will display alternative HTML content (note that the page will display “alternative content” and not bringing the user to an “alternative page”
  3. The “alternative content” which you’ll design in the main page that holds your full flash site will also get picked up by the search engines making the page search engine friendly

5 Steps on using SWF Object (it’s easy)

  1. Click here to go to SWF Object download page at Google Code
  2. Download “SWF Object 2.0″ from the above mentioned site (SWF Object 2.0 is the latest available at the time of writing)
  3. Copy “swfobject.js” from the folder you’ve downloaded (you need to unzip the folder from the zip file)
  4. Paste “swfobject.js” into the same directory as your HTML page holding your full flash site
  5. Go to the SWF Object HTML & Javascript generator page to generate a HTML page to embed your flash and include the most important “alternative content” (a.k.a. HTML content in case your audience don’t have flash player installed and at the same time making your site search engine friendly). The SWF Object HTML & Javascript generator page can also be downloaded as a HTML or Adobe AIR application via the same SWF Object download page at Google Code website.

And you’re done! I’ve made Hex search engine friendly by using SWF Object, see results! You can try it too and tell me if yours works. :)

*You might need to uninstall your flash player to test the alternative content without Flash Player Plugin, here’s where you can download the Flash Player Uninstaller. For more information and documentation of SWF Object, go to here.

About hex:

Hex is an interactive web design boutique that creates beautiful and well executed interactive websites.

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