Search Engine Optimization and Non-HTML Sites

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It’s not just Web sites that are built entirely in Flash that have a problem. Many Web sites contain an enormous amount of content that can only be seen with the human eye. Think about all the PDF. Can this content be indexed by search engines? The answer is yes and no. should you care about search engines? If your content isn’t optimized for search engines, then it is almost impossible for people to find your site. And without this traffic, all your work in building that site is wasted.


So what can you do? First, don’t build a site entirely in Flash. I remember a conference keynote, many years ago, by a Macromedia VP. I guess he was tired of being bashed for misuses of Flash and started his presentation with the "Top 10 Reasons Not to Use Flash."

The Problem

While Flash may be a favorite design tool for graphic designers—because of its pinpoint accuracy of design, the ease of animation and its cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility —it is merely treated as a graphic by search engines. Search engines read text and ignore graphics. The other problem is not just that the content of a Flash page will be ignored, but that links contained in the Flash animation will also be ignored, and the indexing of the site will stop at the first page.

The Solution

First, for the benefit of the search engines, if you’re going to build your entire site in Flash, be sure to add effective title and description meta tags.

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