Google Enhances Flash Indexing
Google announced about its capability to index Flash in July 2008, however the indexing capabilities had some severe limitations. In a recent announcement in Google Webmaster Blog they have now clarified about their enhanced capabilities to crawl and index flash files.
While they have improved on a bunch of issues I think the most important point is that now Googlebot is able to index a flash file and also index the content in it even if it is loaded from an external source like an XML, .txt file or another .swf. Also it can map the flash file to the content and evaluate the flash page in its entirety. Prior to these Google would typically evaluate the flash file sans the content whenever content is being loaded from any external source.
The points below summarizes all the points that illustrates Googlebot’s capability with flash indexing..
- Googlebot can now index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. It can click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.
- Discover links within Flash files.
- Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.
- Index sites scripted with AS1,AS2 and AS3 even if the ActionScript is obfuscated.
With this super charged Googlebot it seems that it is no more an impossible task to have a full flash website and yet hit the first page of Google SERP. However, this is a very recent announcement and it would definitely be better to play it safe with good old HTML if you have some serious SEO in mind.