Adobe must be realising, at long last, that they are losing a lot of money by making Flash technology so search engine unfriendly – a fact that probably deters a lot of webmasters from using Flash, resulting in lost revenues for the company. To make ammends they’ve created the SEO Technology Center on the Adobe Developer Connection section of their site.
Sites built with Adobe Flash technology have remained largely invisible on search engine results until mid-2008, when Google and Yahoo! announced the ability to crawl and index text within Flash files after Adobe agreed to cooperate with the search engines.
The technology centre will help developers to build Flash applications that will be more search friendly in the future. The site describes difficulties that SEOs face and explains simple ways to deal with them.
So far, the SEO Technology Center has five articles: search optimization techniques for Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), an SEO checklist, information about enhanced search indexing of SWF content, and guides to the Adobe Flash Player version checking protocol, detecting Flash Player versions and embedding SWF files.
Adobe has also informed that at present it would be more practical to offer HTML representation of content while the work on improving Flash technology is still in progress. Webmasters can use additional text, build static (HTML) version of their site or include content in a <noscript> tag.
It is hoped that the creation of this SEO Technology Center for Flash will help small and medium businesses in particular, as they often do not have highly specialised personnel to deal with these problems. However, the damage may already have been done, and Flash technology, as we know it, will probably never recover to be considered an equally viable alternative to HTML for website SEO.