SWFAddress

Thanks for all the great feedback regarding my recent post on Flash! I'll be talking about this more on Wednesday during the "SEO Friendly Flash" session at SES Chicago but, wanted to provide a little update to my original case studies.

Without going into detail, Google seems to be associating text content in Flash with the correct parent URL and indexing both as a single entity on an increasingly frequent basis. While I haven't been able to get any type of "Official" confirmation from Google or Adobe, this just might be very big news when it comes to SEO for Flash. Implication being, the marriage of meta data about hypertext structure with text content in Flash for the first time from the perspective of search engines.

Sites claiming to offer a new, innovative solution for "Flash SEO" called SWFAddress aka "Deep Links", "Deep Linking" and/or other. Unfortunately, these sites are promoting techniques based on SWFAddress which is a method for Flash SEO that I've blogged about, taken the creator to task on and that even he admits, is sub-optimal in terms of SEO!

"The case is valid. Deep links with anchors published on other sites will tell Google to index the start page."
- Google Groups

Not to worry though because identifying sites using SWFAddress is easy! If a Flash site uses #anchors (a pound sign) in it's URLs chances are it's using SWFAddress. The problem with this SWFAddress is that it functions in only one direction, or so to speak.

Google ignores the #anchor in SWFAddress URLs as well as the entire path following the #anchor in URL. When users with Flash cut and paste a link from their address bar into their blog, digg and/or Linkedin, Google ignores everything starting with the #anchor and as a result misallocates keyword relevancy and PageRank to the "start page".

Some credit where it's due would have been nice but, either way I commend the good folks at Asual for their efforts as well as the new "COPY LINK TO CLIPBOARD" link in the footer of there SEO sample pages.

As you know I'm always looking for ways to help Flash developers make content accessible to search engines. Today I received a link to a site claiming to have the answer to that age old question, "How to SEO Flash"?

The site claims to have a sample of "SEO SWFAddress 2.0" code that "provides a better separation between the content and the presentation." Better than what I'm not sure! Either way, the urls in the "SEO sample" still contain #anchors. Googlebot ignores #anchors in URLs and I'm really hoping "SWFObject 2.0" isn't based around such a myth!

A good example of this is Google's cache of "SEO Sample" portfolio 2.
Here is what the user sees:
http://www.asual.com/swfaddress/samples/seo/#/portfolio/2/?desc=true

As you can see the two pages are different and that is called cloaking!

- Sample from SWFAddress 2.0 Website