Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Flash and SEO : Best Practice

The world of search engines has evolved over the recent months and still we can't be 100% sure about flash design. It is still hard to get flash web sites spidered and ranked how we would like using the traditional search engine optimisation techniques. The main problem is that the search engines can't index the content in the flash code so they have no way of ranking the website accordingly. The reason for this is that they see the flash as a graphic and cannot always read what is inside it. Your online flash designer should consider the following:

Flash pages and movies

The benefits of flash are:
* Great special effects
* Easy for designers to create impressive animations using images and sound
* Interactive applications which are easy to use for visitors
* Flash works across platforms and browsers
* Flash has excellent accuracy for web designers

The main disadvantages of flash design are:
* Initialy there is a massive learning curve involved
* It can have long load time (which is not so much an issue as in the past due to popularity in broadband continuously improving)
* Some firewalls block flash
* Some stats show that more people would prefer not to use flash (although if everyone had used well designed and developed flash as well as running it on broadband I feel this stat would be different)

When it comes to search engine optimising a flash designed web site you are limited to the following:
* Meta tags – keyword, description, title and research
* Link building – link exchanges, directory submissions, article submissions and press releases

It is best to consider your keywords and see how competitive the market is. If it is not too competitive then you many rank a full flash web site on your chosen keywords but the more competitive the phase the nearer to impossible it gets, although the search engines are improving and may soon be able to read the flash content.

Consider your options?
Consider using flash design for different movies on multiple html pages to give you more pages for visitors to come into your site. This will make it easier for the search engines to pick up content and internal links. This will also give you more pages to concentrate different keywords on helping you to rank in more areas. The downside to doing this is that for every page you create the visitor has to re-download a sometimes large flash file.

The alternetive is to give your visitors the option of viewing a flash or html version so the search engines can read the html version and you can still impress your visitors with the flash version.

To help the search engines index you it is worth considering a half way house and imbedding flash into your html. This gives you a search engine optimised site plus enhanced menus and usability. Obviously you have to consider your internal linking strategy along side this option and try to make navigation which the search engines can read so they can search through your site. Use the flash in places to impress the user but do not hide away your content from the search engines. If you use flash as part of your navigation make sure you add additional text links to allow the search engines to crawl your web site.

If you want to pursue the full flash option then ensure you research your keywords and make your meta data clear and concise for the search engines. Ensure you have an html home page which is keyword optimised with plenty of readable content for the search engines. Offer a text version of your site that search engines can crawl and put all your efforts into your link building strategy.

For more SEO Information, SEO NEWS, & SEO Techniques log on to Webulletin or you can send mail at webulletin@gmail.com.

Article Source: http://articles.simplysearch4it.com/article/38660.html
By Jon Harrison
Author : Prashant Main

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