Google Indexing Flash?

Google has announced significant improvements in its ability to index Flash files. We imagine a collective sigh of relief, as this would solve one of the key development issues we come across in doing creative work–getting the bots to read the increasing percentage of Flash content and widgets on web sites.

But then we read deeper! In the article linked above, Ron Adler and Janis Stipins, Google indexing engineers, admit that, “Googlebot does not execute some types of JavaScript.” What does this mean? They fail to mention whether the index supports SWFObject to embed Flash content (which uses a small JaveScript file), and distribute through Google’s code.

Can someone from Google please say, “It supports SWFObject”?

People are, of course, asking questions. But Google is holding off on giving answers. This discussion is important as it relates to SEO done in conjunction with SWFObject. We may assume that search bots are reading the HTML page and NOT the Flash, while users get the actual Flash content. But is Google now also indexing some random bits and pieces from the Flash as well? It apparently is, but at what level?

There is a good discussion of these issues on Sitepoint.

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One Comment

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I haven’t been keeping up with the news. I’ve just heard about this issue. From reading the posts, it seems that basic Flash content is currently indexed. Google is working on eventually indexing the fancier dynamic Flash content… Unless it’s already been achieved and I’m still out of the loop.

On the one hand I am freed to recommend Flash without reservation. On the other I feel antiquated. Out of the loop. I’m pretty much clueless to what’s developing on the internet and keep plugging away with the tools I’ve had for years. I need someone to sit me down and tell me what’s happening.

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