Google Indexes Flash

OK, so before all you Flash-crazed developers get too excited, what Google specifically will index is two things:

1. The text content in .SWF files.
2. URLs can now be followed.

This means that Flash websites can indeed be made SEO-friendly, although I am uncertain how much Flash designers would want text content in their files – specifically enough text content to really make a page SEO-friendly.

In any case, you can read more about this development at the Google blog post on Flash indexing


  1. I know of a few friends who will be happy with this news. That was the major drawback of fully flash powered sites – that they were not indexed by search engines.

  2. One of our other websites are created in flash with the inclusion of some text elements. Although this is just one page it’ll index on Google Webmasters…would you need to set the crawl rate (if not already) to medium to acoid excessive bandwidth usage on your site?

  3. I suspect that Google will not crawl a website very often if it does not detect frequent changes. However, if you see they are crawling way too frequently (check your logs) that sounds like a reasonable means of dealing with that.

  4. That was the major drawback of fully flash powered sites – that they were not indexed by search engines.

    Flash sites are indexed… because they have to be embedded inside HTML code. it’s just hard to rank well for them.

    I used to be a big time flash lover… and if what you need is to create user friendly applications it’s a great tool, it can be easily coupled with PHP and MySQL to create advanced web apps, but even with this update, flash is not meant for SEO, it may do very little to help rank high a full flash website, for that a VERY strong backlinks campaign should be used.

  5. my understanding was that Google has not yet fully implemented these capabilities yet even though Adobe has provided the code. I believe Yahoo is currently the only one that has already started using this capability and Google is still working on an algorithm to properly read the flash code.

    This was pretty good news for the web design industry; however, flash sites will never be as SEO friendly as html because it is still a file on a page. So even though the search engines can read the content and links, you still cannot optimize every page for different keywords and you still can’t have multiple pages to get indexed.

    So, while i am glad flash is making some progress in the SEO industry, i would still stay away from all flash web design.