Adobe announced support and a special version of flash player to Google and Yahoo! to make the searching in Flash or Flex applications or Rich Internet applications better.

My Personal View:

This is really a good news for me personally and of course it’s good for all flash developers and who have content in Flash SWFs. So far everyone was trying to optimize their flash applications and other techniques to read XML content to give somewhat assurance that Google or Yahoo! will find something from their content. But now Google and Yahoo! can search and in fact view virtually SWFs and click at every links, menus or buttons like their robots / spiders are doing it with normal HTML content in web pages.

SEO Industry Perspective:

This news means a lot for SEO industry as well. Most of my clients were doing argument that, If we are making this whole application in Flash, don’t you think that searching the content would be a problem? Or I will not get much hits through search engines and blah blah. So now, all the flash and flex developers can answer their clients with single sentence that Flash is now search-able too.

So in deep view, what exactly it does and how everything is possible now and why it was not there before? These are the main question everybody should be asking to their own and trying to find out answers for the same. Here you go:

Why searching in a Flash content was not possible till now?

The reason is simple. SWF is a binary file, not an ASCII file where a spider can read it like it is reading some text file. But still, Google and other search engines were trying to read somewhat information about the SWF through the comments posted in HTML file. These comments were generated automatically by Adobe DreamWeaver or by Adobe Flash IDE, while you are generating SWF file or embedding SWF file into the HTML or other scripted pages. So at that time, these IDEs were trying to find out all the static text contents from the SWF files and it was creating a string of all these contents and putting that as comments inside HTML file. So Google and other search engines were able to read that much part of SWF and whatever content was there. So the searching functionality was there but it was too limited. It was not there at all for dynamic contents you are dealing with inside Flash content, which is very common for all the Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

Why searching in a Flash content is possible now?

Now Adobe is trying to open boundaries by opening SWF file format and some other protocols. Adobe wants that more and more third party vendors use Flash SWF as part of their platform, solution or services. So part of that whole strategy, Adobe provided some special version of Flash Player to Google and Yahoo! which they can integrate with their current searching technology tools and spiders to search and store the static and dynamic content in to their database. So with direct help of Adobe, Google and other search engines can virtually surf the Flash content. They can virtually click on various links, menus etc., inside SWF and can store all the data comes in between. So, SWF works like a HTML page and search engines can store the data like they are crawling the HTML pages.

What I need to do if my site contains SWF files to make them search-able by Google?

Absolutely nothing! That’s the great part of the deal. Adobe gave Google and Yahoo! a special version of Flash Player and Google already integrated that player into their searching tools / spiders. It also automatically available for all the flash player versions. Means, it really doesn’t matter that your SWF is compatible with Adobe Flash Player version 6 or 9.

Here is the video from Ryan’s Video, which we can consider as official Adobe statement:

Other Interesting Links / URLs: