Adobe Launches SEO Technology Center for Flash

In the not-so-distant past, sites built using Adobe’s Flash technology were invisible to search engines. Both search engines and SEOs have continued to work on ways to make those pages show up better in search results. Last summer, Adobe lent a hand, by providing its Flash technology to Google and Yahoo to help them figure out how to better index sites and pages created with Flash.

This week, Adobe went a step further, launching a new SEO Technology Center for Flash to help developers and other content creators build Flash applications in more search-friendly ways. The site, part of the Adobe Developer Connection, explains current SEO challenges and provides practical steps, examples, and best practices to overcome them.

Although the search engines are currently working on improving their indexing of Flash content, Adobe advises that at this point, it’s still best to offer them an HTML representation of the content. They explain that this could be done via hidden DIV tags, which they admit is considered to be hidden text by some, and may get you banned by Google if you’re not showing the same content there as you are in the Flash file. They suggest using the NOSCRIPT tag, since Flash files are called via JavaScript, and the search engines don’t use JavaScript in their crawlers.

Adobe advises setting up separate HTML pages for each important topic area of your site, and deep-linking to the proper area of the SWF file from each of those pages. That’s a best practice for non-Flash SEO as well, since a page that focuses more on a given topic is likely to rank better for keywords around that topic, while a page with six or seven topics is not likely to rank well for any of them.

There’s lots more great content on the new SEO Technology Center for Flash, so if you’ve got a site that uses Flash, or are considering building one, you should definitely take the time to read as much as you can about it before moving forward.

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