Deep linking is not an effective SEO strategy for dynamic Flash websites.

7 01 2010

Flash, first introduced by Macromedia in 1996, has been a nemesis of the SEO industry since its introduction.  Acquired, distributed, and supported by Adobe in 2007 and continuing development to this day, there is little doubt about the importance of Flash to the future of the internet.  The animation, 3D effects, integration of sound and video are all part of that future.

Search engines cannot index a dynamic Flash website.  All content is embedded in an swf file that is inaccessible.  While stories abound noting collaboration between Adobe and Google and numerous stories to the contrary, the irrefutable fact is that content in swf files cannot be indexed.  Remarkably, this situation remains unchanged after 13 years.

The one solution that has been most frequently offered is application of a deep-linking strategy, the process of including key word rich phrases in page urls like http://www.costanavarino.com/#/experience/environmental-observatory.  Back in 2007, H. Paul Robertson of Adobe enthusiastically endorsed this strategy (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/deep_linking.html), utilizing Flex or Ajax.

Just before the 2009 holidays, Adobe introduced a series of videos with up-to-date, accurate information about optimization of Flash websites.  Damien Bianchi, a highly regarded authority on SEO confirms that “deep linking” is ineffective as an SEO tool (http://tv.adobe.com/watch/flash-search-engine-optimization/flash-seo-episode-4/).  Bianchi’s observation can be confirmed by utilizing the Google “site:” feature.  When you Google site: costanavarino.com, only one page of the website appears in the results.  Only one page of the website has been indexed by Google.

The half hour spent watching the five episodes entitled “Flash Search Engine Optimization” will put to rest many of the myths and misstatements that permeate our world.

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