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Google Improves Flash Indexing Capabilities

Now Crawls External Resource Loading in SWFs

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Last year, Google began crawling and indexing Flash content, but now Google has announced that it can also index external resource loading. In other words, Google can index external content that loads within an SWF file, and associate it with that file, so that it will appear in search results.

For example, a site that loads something like this in Flash:

Transporter Flash file

..might appear in a Google SERP like this:

This is new to Google’s Flash-crawling abilities. On Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, Software Engineer Janis Stipins breaks down just what Google can do when it encounters SWF files:

- Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.

-  Discover links within Flash files.

-  Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.

-  Support common JavaScript techniques for embedding Flash, such as SWFObject and SWFObject2.

- Index sites scripted with AS1, AS2, and AS3 even if the ActionScript is obfuscated.

With regards to AS3, Stipins says, "The ActionScript version isn’t particularly relevant in our Indexing process, so we support older versions of AS in addition to the latest."

Webmasters who have SWF files on the web that don’t want them or any of their external resources crawled, can take care of this with their robots.txt file.

Google Improves Flash Indexing Capabilities
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  • http://www.VaskemaskinerInfo.dk Vaskemaskiner

    That is great news.

    Many of the greatest website are made with Flash – Nike etc.

  • http://twitter.com/westcoastvinyl West Coast Vinyl

    This is actually great news for us that have the old flash player on our sites. thank you Google! We can now get some sites indexed so we can get the rankings.

  • http://www.seosean.com/seo-packages.php SEO Packages

    Now that’s great! I’ve been waiting for this to be released. How are they doing this, is it with the old Adobe swf to text converter that Google was using back when they started indexing flash?..

  • http://www.seosean.com/seo-packages.php SEO Packages

    Now that’s great! I’ve been waiting for this to be released. How are they doing this, is it with the old Adobe swf to text converter that Google was using back when they started indexing flash?…

  • http://www.writtenbysumer.com Spencer Spellman

    I too wondered when/if this would happen. A great and necessary move by Google. Per the previous content, there have been some great websites created with flash, but ones that lack the optimization because the flash wasn’t getting crawled.

  • http://bankhelpsite.com MANICHAYAN

    It is very informative AND useful. Thanks.

  • http://www.controldatainc.com agency collection

    Google has really been on the band wagon for major changes lately. Good job and this is a nice feature I think we all have been waiting for.

  • Guest

    That’s what they say, but how accurate is it, what about those photos appearing in flash, the alt tags, etc? What about fancy 3D text created in flash? They have been talking this one up for over a 1 year. Want proof that it’s very ‘weak?’ Just try searching about a dozen or so keyword phrases and look how many page one Rankings are flash sites.
    Also, what about the other Major search engines. Google’s not the web, people just think so, ignore those other major search engines and your site and traffic is going to significantly suffer.

    When you start seeing #1 and 2 Page 1 Flash page Rankings then maybe you can buy into some of this.

    • http://www.lexolutionit.com Maneet Puri

      Google is not the web, but it certainly accounts for a major part of the web. Most people do not know any way of searching the internet other than through Google. But yeah… I agree it is facing some threat by new upcoming search engines like Bing.

      I agree with you on the point that there should be visible proof before we shed off caution and start building entire websites in Flash. It will only have to be seen…

  • http://www.havocmarketing.com/ Havoc Marketing

    Hi Chris,

    Google is undoubtedly the search engine king but Bing is slowly gaining its momentum. To stay at the top Google has to keep innovating and stay on top of new technologies.

    Thanks for the informative post.

    Mani Raj
    Havoc Marketing

  • http://www.freelance-seoindia.blogspot.com/ freelance

    Flash cant be indexable.. for sure..

  • http://www.aisxin.cm reamo

    if it’s true,it’s a big development google made,need time for people to proved it!

  • http://www.aisxin.cn reamo

    if it’s true,it’s a big development google made,need time for people to proved it!

  • http://seosolutions.yolasite.com Seo Solutions

    This is really great news for webmasters & flash site owners. Thanks Google & thanks webpronews.com for giving the information.