Friday, January 16, 2009

Flash Search Engine Optimization - Ichabod works!

Traditionally, accessing text from Adobe Flash (R) files has been difficult. When a SWF has different states, only one state may be initialized (in memory) at any time during the execution of the SWF. The ability to detect other states and change state, then grab text from different states is demonstrated in this video. This demo is run on Ubuntu Linux.



Anyone interested in Flash SEO should take a close look at the output of the terminal. This shows exactly what was encountered for the given application. The API is not public nor is it known how Google will utilize SWF text content or weigh it against HTML text. Both of these are obviously secret for a good reason.

I am still running tests on earlier flash SEO posts and will likely have some Flash SEO tips within 6 weeks. It took longer than expected for Google to index the newly created data (had to keep checking the log files) and the bot has not reached very far into the SWF so far.

22 comments:

  1. Am I missing something? Is Icabod/Flashrunner something that can be downloaded to check Flash contnet for SEO content/value?

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  2. John:

    Not at this time. Flash developers do not need to do anything. Adobe and Google have teamed up and have implemented this as a joint feature to be able to allow Google to index text from within SWF files. This is currently being used to my knowledge.

    This is another good reason why Flash is superior to Silverlight. Silverlight has no good SEO story.

    Duane

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  3. This video is incorrect & here is why.

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  4. beussery:

    Yes - link equity also plays a (much) more important part of SEO. In fact, I regularly write and tell people that trying all these tricks to optimize flash is secondary to building link equity so I sort of agree with you but in this case we actually have knowledge (traces from the VM) that Ichabod/Google did in fact index the content in the video.

    Duane

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  5. Thought I was pretty clear in my post but, this isn't the type of "link equity" to be promoting and there is no evidence to support the claims made in the video.

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  6. Watching a trace of the virtual machine as it is being indexed is not enough evidence? Nevertheless, I now have to agree with your statement that there is no longer evidence as a considerable lag between when this video was taken and some things have since changed. One you noted (use of JS to add text to the host pages) but the most troubling is that now too many people have either linked to the site or interacted with Google doing similar searches. Another is the fact that the tv.adobe.com site has changed considerably since the video was made and now uses a different format for the pages (you can verify this with Bob Donlon and others). This more or less makes it impossible to verify or invalidate any claims at this point so I will agree.

    Some quarantined testing is required to see exactly what Google does with the content in the future (or if it even uses it). I have set up some content but am having little luck with it. The only way to be 100% sure is to run a full time event trace from the AS3 VM and grep for signs of Google's bots working over the swf states. When this is done, the results can be shared and we will all see.

    I will fully admit that I (nor anyone else external to Google) really knows how well the swf content will rank or whether or not it will be used in building the indexes.

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  7. >>>Watching a trace of the virtual machine as it is being indexed is not enough evidence?

    I'm not sure what virtual machine you are referring to or whether you saw crawling and/or indexing. Either way when it comes to SEO for Flash, Google has to be able to process this information. Google cannot process the content of some rich media files and dynamic pages, which appears to be the case in this example.


    >>>>The only way to be 100% sure is to run a full time event trace from the AS3 VM and grep for signs of Google's bots working over the swf states. When this is done, the results can be shared and we will all see.

    I feel like the only way to know for sure it by analyzing Google's SERPs.

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  8. Because technology is really in progress,all sorts of things are to be optimized/marketed in order to be relevant in the web.

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  9. thank you! That looks like a great resource

    web design India

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  10. I think this is ridiculous. If you have 1 web page that has a flash movie and within that flash movie then you'll have 1 ranking in Google.

    Whereas if you have 100 HTML pages in your website then you'll have plenty of rankings.

    If someone came to me with a flash website and asked me to optimise it, the first thing I'd tell them to do is get rid of the Flash, regardless of whether Google can read Flash or not.

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  11. Admin:

    I never said that having a one page flash website WILL make you #1 in Google. The fact of the matter is that there are simply far too many variables in the overall equation to make such statements. It is possible.

    It is a fair statement to say that using Flash to augment your site should never be feared WRT Google rankings.

    Please see the talk I did at Adobe MAX this year.

    Also - please be advised that there are several statements contained within this blog post that are dated based on the "state" of Google and the web at that time.

    One last thing, I encourage all discussion on my blog and thank you for your input, however I noticed you submitted your comment twice. Please let readers know where you wish the discussion to occur if you want to discuss further.

    Duane

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  12. Please ignore the last portion of my previous post. It appears it was an error within Blogger.

    Duane

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  13. Here is an updated presentation on this subject.

    http://max.adobe.com/online/session/133

    Duane

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  14. Excellent information on SEO. Thanks for sharing it here. By the way I came to know about a SEO company who offered good SEO services for my website.

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  15. You could always get your flash content indexed by http://swfind.com

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  16. I also agree with D Nickull " link equity also plays a (much) more important part of SEO. In fact, I regularly write and tell people that trying all these tricks to optimize flash is secondary to building link equity so I sort of agree with you but in this case we actually have knowledge (traces from the VM) that Ichabod/Google did in fact index the content in the video."

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  17. Really great discussion here. Thanks for the info guys.

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  18. I saw your video, its good and informative. But we cant say Flash seo get you at top on Google.

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  19. Nice Post
    Than u so much for this types of nice comment about SEO Services.
    SEO Services increases the possibility of getting more and more visitors to your site.

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  20. Off-site optimization consists of anything promotes website. This would include adding links to directories & websites, other forums, other blogs, local directories, maps, etc. Another form of off-site optimization include advertising, pay per click and building up social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook.

    SEO

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  21. I've found a lot of companies that claim to offer SEO consulting services but don't seem to know what they're doing. I'm starting to think I should just consult myself. Hopefully a legit company is out there -- any advice would be appreciated.

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  22. The first thing you need to understand about SEO is whether the SEO company actually understands SEO. For example, all of the companies that put links into the comments of this blog post are demonstrating that they do not understand the basics of SEO since Google has clearly stated they DO NOT index comment links. I guess to answer your question, find a company that knows what they are doing like Uberity.

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Do not spam this blog! Google and Yahoo DO NOT follow comment links for SEO. If you post an unrelated link advertising a company or service, you will be reported immediately for spam and your link deleted within 30 minutes. If you want to sponsor a post, please let us know by reaching out to duane dot nickull at gmail dot com.