Flash: still not good for findibility

I’ve been getting reports from various sources that Google is now indexing flash “for real” this time and we don’t have to worry about using text to make sure search spiders and people with pagereaders can access our content. I did read the Google Webmaster blog post on Improved Flash indexing but I tend to take these types of announcements with a grain of salt. And I will admit, I like text. It works for me. I think 1000 words is worth 1000 words. And also, I am not a flash developer and could not determine if this new method was reasonable. I remained skeptical. But I also did a little more digging and came up with three blog posts that reinforce what my gut was telling me: If you want to be certain your content is findable and will rank well, continue to put valuable keywords in text and not in flash.

For a more indepth understanding, I recommend these posts:

I remain a Flash SEO naysayer.

news flash (or flash news)

Looks like I am going to have to change my story here. For years I have given this SEO advice: Don’t put text in flash if you want Google to read it.

But Matt Cutts has recently affirmed what has been rumored for quite a while. Google is reading some flash text and currently is using Macromedia Flash Search Engine SDK to read it. So you can can check what Google sees by using this same tool.

However, it is a little more complicated than it sounds based on this CNET article on the mechanics behind Optimizing your Flash for Google.

Definitely good news. However, based on the application of this flash optimization , I stand by my statement with just one edit: Don’t put your most important keyword text in flash, but do make sure you are optimizing the text you do create in flash.