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Adobe makes Flash searchable, crawlable

It's not gadget news per se, but if you consider Adobe Flash a tool in your arsenal, this is big news.Posted on Slashdot today is news that Adobe has figured out a way to make Flash crawlable by search engines:Today Adobe systems made an announcement that it has provided technology and information to Google and Yahoo!
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Written by Andrew Nusca on

Adobe Flash CS3 ProIt's not gadget news per se, but if you consider Adobe Flash a tool in your arsenal, this is big news.

Posted on Slashdot today is news that Adobe has figured out a way to make Flash crawlable by search engines:

Today Adobe systems made an announcement that it has provided technology and information to Google and Yahoo! to help the two search engine rivals index Shockwave Flash (SWF) file formats. According to the company, this will provide more relevant search rankings of the millions pieces of flash content. Until now, developers had to implement workarounds for exposing text content using in Flash to search engine spiders and other bots such as using XHTML data providers. While the Flash content is exposed, it is not yet clear how it will be utilized by the search engines, as they have not revealed their algorithms. The SWF specification is openly published.

For anyone who publishes on the Web, this is big news -- that means there's less of a tradeoff between creating a site entirely in Flash and creating one that uses HTML as a crutch to help it along in search rankings.

What do you think, readers? Does that make Flash more appealing for site design, or is it still problematic? Tell us in TalkBack.

UPDATE: More information from the guys n' gals at TechCrunch: "Michele Turner, Adobe’s VP of marketing for its platform business, explains: 'We are releasing technology to Google and Yahoo that enables them to crawl and index SWF files. They are now searchable. This will open up millions of Flash files to search.' Adobe has created a special Flash player for the search engines that acts like a virtual user going through each application. It actually goes through the runtime of each Flash application and translates it into something the search engines can understand. So all of those fancy interactive Flash Websites and other rich Internet applications that have been invisible to search engines, can now be seen by them...Google is already rolling out the SWF-indexing technology, while Yahoo still 'has some work to do,' says Turner. Even so, this won’t solve all the problems with Flash content showing up on search engines."

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