According to TechCrunch, Adobe has come up with a solution to the nagging problem of content within an SWF or Flash file from being indexed by search engines. Adobe has announced that they have released their solution to Google and Yahoo allowing them to crawl the content within these files. As for Windows Live Search, no dice! Since Flash is licensed by Adobe and is not an open standard, Adobe has the privilege of releasing this sort of technology to whom they see fit. A bummer if you ask me. Furthermore, Adobe has created a special flash player especially for these search engines which will aide in crawling the content.
It’s not that SWF files are not crawlable, as the article points out that there are over 73 million SWF files out on the web, it’s the text and links within the SWF file that has escaped the search engine spiders. It will be interesting to see the various articles from SEO experts out on the web which will explain the best ways in which to optimize your Flash content. (I bet they thought this day would never come)
You know, if this were to occur a few years ago back when Flash was ‘cool’, this would be huge news. Now, Flash is an annoyance on the web. I hate web sites that are using all sorts of different flash elements that I have no control over. The last thing I would want to see is a SWF file showing up as the first item of a search. Hopefully, Google along with Yahoo will create a filter for this type of content. That’s not to say I hate Flash entirely, as YouTube, Ustream.TV and other web services have made good use of the technology.
So, will you be optimizing your Flash files? How much content do you think is hidden within these Flash files that would be considered of use to the web?