Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Google and Flash

Google And Flash

Now, this is toally surprising to me. I always thought that Flash was bad for SEO, but this search result has proved me completely wrong. I was doing a random search for "All your base are belong to us", and the first hit turned out to be a Flash file!

I didn't know that Google indexes swf files at all. In fact, I always recommended against using Flash for a site primarily for SEO reasons. Since when did Google start indexing Flash files?

Even more interstingly, the little line below the main hit result link shows a link to "View as HTML". Unfortunately, when I tried, none of these links worked. Looks like Google is broken there.

This is really interesting. Not only is Google able to spider and index swf files, it is also able to potentially convert them to HTML files! How can Google access the content of the swf file? How can it sensibly convert that data to an HTML file? (Can someone please have a look at those "View as HTML" links and tell me what you see?) Has this been going on for some time now?

Check it out for yourself. Google swf.

Update: It appears that I spoke too soon without adequate research. Google has been indexing Flash files for almost a year now. Check it out! Even so, don't you think this Google-Flash thing deserves more attention? How come no one has been talking about it? Can someone shed some light on the topic?

2 comments:

dkjariwala said...

The simple reason it is not getting publicity is there is not enough content inside an SWF file.

Let's be honest, do you really think a Flash Designer who is busting his a*s*s to create that wonderful presentation is going to give enough importance to words used in animation? And even if he does, content will surely be at minimum in a Flash file. Flash is still not suitable for consumption of mass text.

Anonymous said...

Why should flash deserve any more attention than pdf? After all, its just another format.

I agree with djkariwala as well. The textual content of flash files is generally pretty less.

It might be interesting to know what google tries to do when you say 'View As HTML'.... flash content ain't suitable for HTML-ish rendering.

Anyway nice to see a techie blog.
-Priyananda
Got the link from Shipras blog( http://a-drop-of-elixir.blogspot.com
)

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