Google Now Indexing Flash From External Files

The Google Webmaster Central blog finally blogged Google is now indexing the content of files that some SWF files load externally, technically from “external resource loading”. Flash often loads external files to generate what you see in the SWF, so if the SWF is calling an external HTML, XML, another SWF, etc files, Google will index it. Vanessa’s coverage of the Google I/O event also covers this from a couple weeks back.

The example given by Google on how this improves the search results is by showing a search snippet for the query [2002 VW Transporter 888]. In the past, Google would not have been able to show this snippet:

Google External File Flash

Google began indexing Flash files back in June 2008. Now Google can handle SWFs in many ways, including:

  • Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.
  • Discover links within Flash files.
  • Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.
  • Support common JavaScript techniques for embedding Flash, such as SWFObject and SWFObject2. Index sites scripted with AS1 and AS2, even if the ActionScript is obfuscated.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | SEO: Flash


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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