Google learns to crawl Flash

June 30, 2008

Google has been developing a new algorithm for indexing textual content in Flash files of all kinds, from Flash menus, buttons and banners, to self-contained Flash websites.

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In the past, web designers faced challenges if they chose to develop a site in Flash because the content they included was not indexable by search engines.

Dear online stores, while this little development may make your Flash-only sites more visible to search engines, it's not going to help you push product. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to a Flash-only site, clicked around a bit, found something interesting that I wanted to share, and been unable to share it because there was no URI to that particular "page."

If a referral from me to your product requires steps similar to those found below, then consider it a lost sale because I'm not making the referral:

  1. Go to the index page.
  2. Wait until [insert description of useless animation] runs its course. Yeah, I know it's annoying, but isn't it cute!?
  3. Click the glowing red orb.
  4. Click the text in the bottom right that says "Products."
  5. Wait 30-60 seconds (depending on your Internet speed) for the slideshow to load.
  6. Rollover the slideshow and move the mouse to the right.
  7. Click the picture of the Holy Grail (it was the fourth picture when I did it the first time, but its position seems to change depending on the fullness of the moon).

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