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Thread: flash and search engines?

  1. #1
    Senior Member mal pacino's Avatar
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    flash and search engines?

    I heard recently that flash sites are hard to find when using search engines. I am not very familliar with this side of things. What and where do search engines like google look for?

    I suppose that an ENTER html page (you know the ones, with get flash player, screen resolution recommendations etc) perhaps some information could be put on that page to help it get found?

    What are your thoughts on this? Have you built a flash site and figured a way around this problem?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    webdesigner Marek Binkowski's Avatar
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    Yes, that's nearly true.

    It's not that flash sites are hard to find. The problem is that the whole flash movie content (all text for example) is totally invisible to search engines' robots, spiders and crawlers. If robot and stuff cannot see the content, it also cannot keep it in database and index it.

    So it's not the thing the sites are hard to find. They are as easy to find as all the other sites, but they are seen as (nearly) empty, because all visible content is hidden inside flash movie.

    The solution is to put some text content outside flash, in HTML document for the robot/spider/crawler to see it.
    marek binkowski
    webdesign ::: www.ampo.com.pl


  3. #3
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    YEP! Build your site in HTML with little to no design elements...so it wont take along time then do a redirect on that page to your "REAL" site.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mal pacino's Avatar
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    Marek and Major,

    Yes thanks, that's what I will do. I suppose it would be possible to put lots of text on the enter page that is the same colour as the page then it will only be visible to search facilities but not to viewers.

  5. #5
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    I AM NO SEARCH ENGINE EXPERT!!!!!!!!!!!

    That being said, I have heard that the engines/robots/spiders are VERY smart to some of the "tricks" and will kick you out completely. I know that they can determine if the text is the same color as the background, etc. ( Tho I wonder if you use CSS if they could figure that out..hmmm ) ANYWAY - Search Engine Optimization is BIG BUSINESS. I would consider consulting a professional firm for the do's and dont's if it is VERY important that you are listed highly.

    If this is for a client you should consider using the line we use: "He who pays the most money wins." If you want a high rank or more importantly HIGH EXPOSURE and click-thrus....you are going to have to pay for any REAL results.

    We suggest Google Ad Words and YAHOO's more advanced marketing opportunities ( This is beyond Yahoo's $299 express submission ).

  6. #6
    Senior Member mal pacino's Avatar
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    Oh, I see, search engines and spiders can kick you out. I thought it would be perfectly allowable.

    Thanks for that Major.

    I am not too worried about being that high up on the rankings as these sites are only for small busnesses in my area.

    Interesting bit of info from you though.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Check out SubmitToday.com

    We have UPSOLD their service before. I am hesitant to say how much we upsold it for but it was VERY profitable for us.

  8. #8
    Retired SCORM Guru PAlexC's Avatar
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    Talk to vampstko.
    "What really bugs me is that my mom had the audacity to call Flash Kit a bunch of 'inept jack-asses'." - sk8Krog
    ...and now I have tape all over my face.

  9. #9
    webdesigner Marek Binkowski's Avatar
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    yes, search engines are really smart beasts today, and still get smarter. So be carefull. The trick with background color text is one of the oldest. Today it just wont work anywhere.
    marek binkowski
    webdesign ::: www.ampo.com.pl


  10. #10
    Senior Member mal pacino's Avatar
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    Marek , I wonder why search facilities will not allow text of the same colour, i mean it's not as if we are doing anything wrong, we only want sites to be recognised.

    Major, You have lost me. I don't know what upsold means but will check out your link.

    PalexC I will also look at your link.

    Ps if you have time can u look at my first website. It finished apart from the content text. If you can check the more info buttons and go back buttons, that would be great

    http://www22.brinkster.com/tallpox

    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by mal pacino; 10-03-2003 at 05:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    I wonder why search facilities will not allow text of the same colour, i mean it's not as if we are doing anything wrong, we only want sites to be recognised.
    Search engines are built to find relevent, high quality content. If you display something in a way where it can't be seen by the end users but can be seen by search engines, it means you are tricking the search engine into thinking you have relevant content on your site.


    There's no need to try and trick it. Offer an html alternative with the same content as the flash and not only will your search engine positioning increase but it will be more accessible.

    Search engines were made to help benefit users, not web developers. If you develop a site with the end user in mind then it is only natural that you will be achieving search engine optimization. This includes providing alternatives to things like flash, adding alt tags to images, using *relevant* title and description meta tags, having well written content, good link architecture and many other things.

    read some of the articles at http://www.highrankings.com for more info on SEO
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
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  12. #12
    Senior Member mal pacino's Avatar
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    MG315,

    Good points. Never really thought of it like that. Although I think your suggestion of not using flash and only using HTML pages sort of devalues the power of an application such as flash. All my favourite sites are made with such things as flash and Director because of their interactive quality.

    Once again your comments are valued and well worth considering in future.

    Thank you.

  13. #13
    Retired SCORM Guru PAlexC's Avatar
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    Hey, this gave me an idea.

    Does anyone know about the accessibility features of the plug-in work?

    Could that data be read by a search engine?
    "What really bugs me is that my mom had the audacity to call Flash Kit a bunch of 'inept jack-asses'." - sk8Krog
    ...and now I have tape all over my face.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    i didnt mean you shouldnt use flash or other rich media, but that you should provide alternatives for those who don't have it.
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
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  15. #15
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
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    Robots follow links and go to other pages and also monitor everything. So the best is you have your flash movie and somewhere an option for html pages, where you have your content listed too. More work but worthwile. And never ever try to cheat the robots by having text in the same color as background. Your site will be excluded forever from any visit by robots.

    Add metatags like in the example of my short story site, which has several flash movies. If you type "short monologues" in Google or MSN this site will pop up as one of the top ones, often No. 1
    PHP Code:
    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
       "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"
    >
    <
    head>
    <
    meta name="generator" content=
    "HTML Tidy for Mac OS, see [url]www.w3.org[/url]">
    <
    meta name="Author" content="J. Schnier">
    <
    meta name="Copyright" content="@Schnier 2001">
    <
    meta name="REVISIT-AFTER" content="30 days">
    <
    meta name="robots" content="All">
    <
    meta name="Identifier-URL" content=
    "http://www.geocities.com/cooldood47_2000/">
    <
    title>J'S SSS:Short Stories-Scripts-Monologues</title>
    <meta name="keywords" content=
    "FREE, HORROR, MONOLOGS, MONOLOGUES, SHORT, STORIES, STORY, SKIRTS, SCRIPTS">
    <meta name="description" content=
    "Dedicated to my own and yours SSS(S): stories (mystery, suspense), film scripts (mystery), monologues (short and anything). Send them to me.">
    <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
    <!--
    .
    .

    Here are a couple of tricks:
    1. use plural, since that would include singular word as well.
    2. use single keywords separated by comma.
    3. Select a description of your site not longer what you see in Google for example.
    4. Go to the important search engines including specialized ones and submit your site. The Yahoo search engine is very important, because sites of quality are chosen manually by them.
    5. Try to do link exchange with others, since robots follow links and the more a site is connected the better the rating. However, having your link shown here may have an opposite effect and regarded as spam.
    6. Update your site regularly. Robots have good memory.

    Hope that helps
    - The right of the People to create Flash movies shall not be infringed. -

  16. #16
    Senior Member mal pacino's Avatar
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    Thanks for that.

    Good advice, I am currently looking into the Meta tags.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    here's a few things i'd add to cancerinform's post.

    in the meta keyword tag, place the keywords you would like to target most at the front, because more emphasis is put on this.
    make sure your keyword(s) are one of the first words in the description and title tag AND is a logical sentence (dont just list keywords).
    only do link exchanges with relevant sites with high PR (page rank). getting in some link exchange with 1000 other sites not help your site at all.
    your link here wont be considered spam (at least to the search engines). Most search engines won't/can't crawl forums anyway, so don't worry about it. A link in the forum would be used mainly to attract visitors from that board.
    Have interesting and keyword rich content that is accessible to search engines and users.


    I'm redoing my portfolio (been planning to redo it for about 6 months now) and I will have a flash and html version, but the content will be the same. It will get the content from a database, so when I update the site i won't need to edit flash or html. Just add entry to database (or later on use a CMS, but I'll wait a while till I get to that).

    Search engines want content. They determine your rank by relevancy and quality. relevancy can be improved by having keyword rich content, quality can be improved by having quality sites linking to you.
    Bill Erickson: resume | portfolio
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Great Designs for $100

  18. #18
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    Im confused - are not all swf files published as html as well-so with that said why can't flash design sites be located in seargh engines

  19. #19
    5+5=55 Schfifty Five's Avatar
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    Wow, old thread...

    Quote Originally Posted by twentyseventwen
    Im confused - are not all swf files published as html as well-so with that said why can't flash design sites be located in seargh engines
    Yes, the swf is embedded in the html page, but search engines generally can't look inside the swf to see what content is inside. That's why you need meta-tags / an html version of the site.

  20. #20
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    wow, what an old post. not sure I still think that same way.

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