Google Now Indexes Web Content in Flash Files

As of June 30th, Google has the ability to crawl Flash

More to the point, it has learned to index text – including URL’s – embedded in Flash files.

Google says that it “has been working on a new algorithm for indexing textual content in Flash files of all kinds, from Flash menus, buttons and banners, to self-contained Flash websites.”

Prior to this enhancement, websites developed in Flash, including web content embedded in Flash files, were invisible to Google and other search engines.  As of today, Google’s new Flash algorithm means web designers and SEOs can expect better visibility of published Flash content including better search results and snippets. 

Although Google can now index Content in Flash, it still cannot index images.

What are the implications?

For yours truly, this means that I’m no longer able to tell people that a Flash-heavy site is search engine suicide.  It also means that sites with Flash files now have more SEO opportunities available to them. 

That said, with less than a week since this announcement, it has yet to be determined what – if any – impact this will have on SEO and whether Google’s Flash crawling capabilities will rival those of HTML. 

For instance, will the new Flash algorithm recognize formatting?  How search engine friendly is it? Will this enhance usability?  It’s unlikely that Google will share the nitty-gritty of this new algorithm, especially at this early stage.

Stay tuned…

Ray Litvak
Professional Web Content and Copy Writer – Toronto, Canada