Google Sees Flash. So What?

Late in June Google and Adobe announced an arrangement whereby the search engine could now read and index Shockwave Flash files. The move has been hailed as a huge step forward, since Flash has up until now been invisible to the search engines and therefore invisible to searchers. But this isn’t quite the panacea it appears to be.

Let’s begin our discussion with the official announcements from Google and Adobe. According to Adobe’s web site, the software maker’s contribution to this deal includes “optimized Adobe Flash Player technology” which it is providing to both Google and Yahoo. The technology will help the search engines index the many rich Internet applications (RIAs) that use the SWF file format. Basically, using Adobe’s technology, the search engine bots can navigate through a live SWF application as if they were virtual users. Best of all, RIA producers won’t need to change anything about their content to make it searchable.

Granted, this is fairly exciting news. Google says the new technology covers SWF files of all kinds. “This includes Flash gadgets such as buttons and menus, self-contained Flash websites, and everything in between,” the company explains in a post about the arrangement. Since TechCrunch estimated that there are about 73 million Flash files on the web, that’s a lot of stuff that was invisible suddenly getting indexed.

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1 Comment »

  1. WPLuvr said

    this is great news for flash only websites, thanks 🙂

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