How To Get A Flash Website Listed On The Search Engines

2007/07/11 |

Flash-based websites are notoriously difficult to index in the search engines. Here we lay out some practical tips to help you overcome this barrier. If implemented they are guaranteed to help propel your flash website into a high search engine ranking position.

Flash is the #1 way for web sites to deliver animation, multimedia interactivity and sound. After all, Macromedia claim (via NDP Research) that 98% of all computers connected to the Internet have a Flash player installed. But, as owners of wholly Flash-based web sites know, too much Flash can make it difficult if not impossible for search engine spiders to crawl the site and assign it a descent search engine ranking.

The reasons why Flash is so problematic to index are numerous. Current search technology simply does not yet have the ability to deal with issues such as the “auto re-direct” function from a Splash page, or the capacity to judge relevance of Flash content to a web site’s registered search keywords. For owners of Flash-based web sites though, all is not lost. Check out the tips below to see how you can get your Flash web site ranked in the search engines�

TIP #1 - Multiple pages are better than a single page

According to Digit Magazine, a Flash site that is built 100% from Flash will not perform well in the search engines, even if the animation gives the user the appearance of being moved to different pages. Instead, it is better to develop several separate Flash pages that can be optimized with meta tags.

TIP #2 - Mix Flash and HTML

Avoid building a site that is completely constructed in Flash, and instead concentrate on developing Flash animations / movies that can be inserted into HTML pages. This way, the HTML page can be optimized with indexical content, keywords and meta tags.

TIP #3 - Use the “two site” approach

Build a Flash and HTML site, giving users the option of which site to use on a non-Splash home page. The home page can then be optimized with content, keywords and internal links to the HTML site. Submit only the HTML site to the search engines.

TIP #4 - Re-direct entry pages are bad news!

Some SEO ‘experts’ suggest that a number of optimized HTML entry pages containing re-directs to the Splash page will help achieve a high search engine ranking for Flash sites. True, this could work for a short amount of time, that is until the search engines pick up on what you are doing. They consider such activity tantamount to spamming the index and will penalize the domain(s) involved.

The facts show that far from being incompatible with search engine optimization, Flash-based web sites can be optimized for high search engine rankings. All it requires is a little forethought and a sensible approach to using Flash.

Don’t have the money or time to make the changes to your Flash site?

If you’re sitting there thinking “how on earth am I going to do all this on my own?” my advice is to think about establishing a joint venture partnership to get the work done.

Joint venture partnerships are essentially business collaborations that are formed between two or more people for mutual financial gain. In this instance the right joint venture partner with an appropriate level of web development skills could make the changes to your web site for you without it costing you anything upfront or the work becoming a drain on your own time. In return your joint venture partner can share in the profits created from the re-design of your site. This they can take as payment for their work.