How to Optimize a Full Flash Website.

Flash websites are finally being indexed and ranked by the Google search engine.  This used to be the biggest drawback of having a Flash website; you could not optimize it would search engines and the search engines could and make sense of what data you were trying to display through Flash. But according to this blog post on the Google blog, Google has started crawling Flash-based websites. So what can you do to optimize your Flash website for Google?

Progressive enhancement is a method of web development that goes hand in hand with Web Standards. You start with your HTML, then add CSS, then add in additional behavior.

The best way to add Flash progressively is by using Javascript, or more specifically, a script like FlashObject. First you lay out your page as if you aren’t using Flash. If you are using a database for your content, you can spit out that data as HTML where the Flash movie will go on the page (or maybe just a preview of the content, it’s up to you to show Google the content you would like indexed). Then you use FlashObject to replace this content only if the user has Javascript enabled and the required Flash plugin version.

Here’s a small example of what that might look like:

<div id=”flashcontent”>
This is replaced by the Flash content if the user has the correct version of the Flash plugin installed.
Place your HTML content in here and Google will index it just as it would normal HTML content (because it is HTML content!)
Use HTML, embed images, anything you would normally place on an HTML page is fine.
</div>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
// <![CDATA[
var fo = new FlashObject("flashmovie.swf", "flashmovie", "300", "300", "8", "#FF6600");
fo.write("flashcontent");
// ]]>
</script>

The best way to add Flash progressively is by using Javascript, or more specifically, a script like FlashObject. First you lay out your page as if you aren’t using Flash. If you are using a database for your content, you can spit out that data as HTML where the Flash movie will go on the page (or maybe just a preview of the content, it’s up to you to show Google the content you would like indexed). Then you use FlashObject to replace this content only if the user has Javascript enabled and the required Flash plugin version.

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