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The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

8 Ways To Make Flash Websites SEO-Friendly

Search engine optimization is a collection of strategies that help improve a website’s performance. It can improve both a site’s ranking in the SERPs as well as the overall traffic or visitor count. However, there is one particular type of web content that cannot be optimized back in the day: Flash.

Before July 2008, Flash websites weren’t— and had no reason to be— SEO friendly. Even so, that doesn’t change the fact that search engines were not able to index such pages because web crawlers cannot process the content. Fortunately, advancements in SEO paved the way to break this wall. Pages using Flash can now be optimized to help search engines crawl them.

Flash and SEO: Google’s Baby Steps

According to developers of the Opera browser in 2009, as much as 40 percent of all pages they tested contained Flash files. This numbers represented the chunk of the pie that was partially or weren’t indexed at all. It was during this period that one can safely assume that SEO and Flash cannot mix.

However, Google has been making baby steps towards indexing Adobe Flash files.

At one point, the Internet giant made it possible for crawlers to find and index text that users can see while they interact with Flash content. It was also confirmed that link within Flash files is discoverable by the search engine as well as external content associated with them. To top that off, common JavaScript and ActionScript techniques are now supported for embedding Flash content.

How To Do Flash SEO

For the past decade, Google is making good progress to aid in ranking websites that still use Adobe Flash content. Search engine optimizers and web designers have also taken part in this developing relationship by explaining how others can achieve harmony between Google and Flash.

Below are 8 ways you can make Flash websites SEO-friendly.

  1. Put the use of HTML text links on your top priority. While you can use other technologies, it is imperative that you give precedence to HTML to help your website rank better.
  2. Refrain from using Flash as the main navigation system for your website.
  3. Maximize the use of meta descriptions and page title pages to help crawlers find your site.
  4. Break down content into multiple Flash files. Make sure they have different HTML pages. Never include the whole website in one Flash.
  5. Flash should be used for design elements and content that have lower importance. On the other hand, opt for HTML for the more significant parts of the page.
  6. Enhance web fonts with Flash instead of replacing the HTML. This will help you achieve better aesthetics without sacrificing the crawlability of the page.
  7. Include relevant keywords in your content, even if it is in Flash files. This will still be readable for Google.
  8. Remember to add an HTML layer for your Flash videos. This should contain all necessary links that appear in the Flash file. Refrain from using JavaScript to execute the links.

Flash Content and Mobile

Even after following these steps, you may find that there are certain browsers that still won’t index your website. This is not unusual. It becomes even more troubling when you find out that Flash won’t really work that much if your target audience is using mobile since the software still requires the use of a keyboard and a mouse to work.

For Android and iOS devices, it was revealed that companies that made the smartphone operating systems don’t like the software because it drains batteries very quickly and performed poorly when first used on phones. But the biggest reason behind it is that Adobe no longer supports it.