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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Developer Center > 100% Flash driven sites and search engines

100% Flash driven sites and search engines
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besson3c
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Dec 9, 2006, 02:33 PM
 
I know that Google will work its magic and index Flash based sites, but based on doing my own searches for some Flash based sites I know of, I'm not entirely convinced that Google does as good a job in finding and assigning an accurate ranking to these sites.

For instance, doing a search for a local restaurant (Flash based site) turned up tons of reviews of that restaurant before the restaurant itself.


What are your experiences here?
     
Millennium
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Dec 9, 2006, 11:36 PM
 
Google cannot actually index Flash-based sites in the same way that it can index HTML, PDF, or other document formats. It can check inbound links, but it could not index Flash-based content unless it had some way of executing the Flash. There is currently no automated way of doing this, and the effort required to manually index Flash sites would be nothing short of staggering.

This is why the restaurant reviews come up before the restaurant's own site. Google can see that a site is there because of the inbound links, but as far as Google can tell, that site has no content. This is yet another reason why Flash should not be abused to make whole sites. Flash has its place, but this isn't it.
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Love Calm Quiet
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Dec 12, 2006, 04:46 PM
 
While we're on the subject...
I'm really trying to postpone adding Flash to my webdev repertoire.

What are better (or at least less proprietary) options for providing some sliding movement of an object? or fade-in/fade-out of a graphic? ( mostly for photos... so animated gif is probably not where i'd be going)
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besson3c  (op)
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Dec 12, 2006, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Love Calm Quiet View Post
While we're on the subject...
I'm really trying to postpone adding Flash to my webdev repertoire.

What are better (or at least less proprietary) options for providing some sliding movement of an object? or fade-in/fade-out of a graphic? ( mostly for photos... so animated gif is probably not where i'd be going)

You could do some shifting with Javascript, but anything requiring more complex animation will most certainly warrant going vector based - i.e. Flash. Doing a frame by frame animation in Quicktime would probably be pretty dumb.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2006, 10:18 AM
 
Transparency is also now a part of either the CSS2 or CSS3 spec... You could rewrite a CSS class rapidly on the fly and perhaps produce a fade that way. Probably wouldn't work in IE 6 though.
     
aleph_null
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Dec 13, 2006, 11:17 AM
 
What are better (or at least less proprietary) options for providing some sliding movement of an object? or fade-in/fade-out of a graphic? ( mostly for photos... so animated gif is probably not where i'd be going
I'd certainly understand wanting to avoid the Flash application ... but if you're not averse to the Flash engine per se, I use OpenLaszlo. It makes some complicated things blissfully easy, but then also some simple things kind of difficult. I've built a little photo gallery using it, myself.

A Laszlo app is coded in a proprietary mix of ECMAScript and a declaratory markup and compiles to a .swf file. They've also got a Javascript/HTML rendering engine -- so the same code can theoretically be used without Flash, but last I checked (a few months ago) that was still a little shaky.
( Last edited by aleph_null; Dec 13, 2006 at 12:32 PM. )
     
aleph_null
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Dec 13, 2006, 11:20 AM
 
Also if you haven't seen them, there are a few Javascript-based effects libraries out there. Moo.fx, for example.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 13, 2006, 12:16 PM
 
Very cool! I didn't know that Laszlo existed...
     
skalie
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Dec 14, 2006, 05:00 AM
 
What besson said, thanks aleph.
     
Visnaut
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Dec 14, 2006, 11:53 AM
 
scriptaculous might be worth your while to check out as well.
     
billy_d_goat
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Dec 15, 2006, 04:06 PM
 
Actually, Google will look inside a Flash (.swf) file. I've seen several examples of this with content built up until Flash 8. Flash/Flex 9 however uses binary encoding, so I don't think Google will do so well with that. As for linking in an swf file, you should look into some of the other suggestions on this page. I just wanted to clarify that Google can open SWFs.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Dec 15, 2006, 04:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by billy_d_goat View Post
Actually, Google will look inside a Flash (.swf) file. I've seen several examples of this with content built up until Flash 8. Flash/Flex 9 however uses binary encoding, so I don't think Google will do so well with that. As for linking in an swf file, you should look into some of the other suggestions on this page. I just wanted to clarify that Google can open SWFs.

I know it can, the question is whether it does as good of a job indexing Flash-driven sites, and how it this affects Google PageRanks.
     
   
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