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    Flash redirect question


    Hi, right then, I am trying to do something with a flash site to get some content indexed.

    We have created text pages and while not pretty contain conteent that cannot be read by se's. When the text pages are indexed by Google we want to redirect to the relevant 'page' on the flash site.

    What redirect will work best here - still a 301? Or other?

    This is not a black hat scenario, just want to save on cost of new HTML based site and get the true content read!
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    Is it possible that some of your potential visitors might not have flash installed? I don't have it (by choice). Why not put a readable link on your flash pages that offers people a text based alternative to the flash pages, and make it clear to anyone who finds the text based pages that there is also a flash version if they prefer.

    :smile:
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    What you appear to want to do sounds like doorway pages, which I wouldn't recommend as Google frowns on them.

    Google is currently indexing content in flash files, so why not just make you get plenty of text in there if you really want to use flash.

    The best idea, of course, would be to switch entirely to html.

    Gringo.
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    Originally Posted by Gringo
    The best idea, of course, would be to switch entirely to html.
    obviously there is a reason they are using flash.

    :-D
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    If you are depending on the user having Flash (a pretty good bet) then you can just put a Flash movie on the html page with no graphics but with some javascript in it that redirects to the actual Flash page you want them to go to.

    As an example, make a movie with more than one frame (say 5 frames) and put this code on the fifth frame ...

    theTime = getTimer();
    time_to_wait = 10;

    if (theTime > time_to_wait*1000) {
    getURL("my_real_flash_page.html", "_self");
    trace(theTime);
    }

    ... the above would redirect after 10 seconds. Set the "time_to_wait" variable to 0 if you want to immediately redirect your user. Additionally, if the user doesn't have Flash installed the redirect won't work and user will stay at the SEO friendly html page, which seems like what you would want to happen anyway.

    You may also want to add a little SEO'd text to the "redirection swf" but put it in a movie clip and set the visibility of that movie clip (and hence the text) to "false".

    Finally, get the Flash Search Engine SDK from Macromedia (I have links in other threads) and check for yourself what Google (and other SEs) will see.

    Flash Search Engine Optimization
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    Last edited by Mapp; May 8th, 2004 at 09:12 PM.
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  11. web designer
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    mapp---
    i couple of points about your proposed solution.

    if google can read flash links and see flash content [now]...
    will google now raise a red flag at this flash 'redirect'?
    will google see this redirect as a seo ploy like a page refresh?

    also...
    if you use flash to detect flash...then users without the flash player will still get the annoying[to some] flash download popup. there are non-flash ways to detect flash. none are simple. for ideas...see the macromedia site.

    a minor point...
    not sure why you want to have the flash movie wait 10 seconds. whats the logic there?

    i have a couple sites with flash intros...
    i choose to detect the bots instead of detecting who has flash and who doesnt....
    this avoids that whole flash detecting dilemma.

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    I had a very detailed response until my computer ate it ... I'm discouraged now and so probably that'll be better anyway.
    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    mapp---
    i couple of points about your proposed solution.

    if google can read flash links and see flash content [now]...
    will google now raise a red flag at this flash 'redirect'?
    will google see this redirect as a seo ploy like a page refresh?
    They may well if and when they can read it. In Flash it is code and the actual javascript is just an argument of a function so ... I'm sure Flash developers will scream if Google (and therefore everyone) can access the code within a swf. So, for no, I doubt it. Tomorrow maybe. Future? Probably.
    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    if you use flash to detect flash...then users without the flash player will still get the annoying[to some] flash download popup. there are non-flash ways to detect flash. none are simple. for ideas...see the macromedia site.
    I wasn't really as much recommending as musing. There are various considerations but mostly, I could care less about people who don't have Flash and if you don't have Flash because you don't know about it (somehow) then I'm happy to be the one to "be of assistance" to you.
    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    a minor point...
    not sure why you want to have the flash movie wait 10 seconds. whats the logic there?
    In this case two things, but before those, I just cut and pasted the code and took out much of the functionality so it is really just a starting point. When I actually use it I'm more likely to use the "setInterval" method than via frames and the FPS of the swf.

    So first of all, I wanted the searcher to see the page and then be redirected after they had enough time to read it.

    Secondly, I figure even if SEs can't detect it now, eventually they will and part of my algorhythm if I were head FlashGoogleGuy at Google would be to examine the length of the text and compare it to the time before redirection occurs and rate page (swf) accordingly.
    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    i have a couple sites with flash intros...
    i choose to detect the bots instead of detecting who has flash and who doesnt....
    this avoids that whole flash detecting dilemma.
    As you can probably gather, I'm not exactly sure how I can translate my expertise with Flash coding (as opposed to Flash graphics) into SEO value. I've been "Flash SEO'ing" for a few months now but I haven't really thought it through as much as explore new possibilities (testing).

    Again, I can't emphasize enough how little the people who don't WANT Flash matter to me .... so of course my opinions and recommendations probably reflect that. Cell phones come stock with Flash player installed even.

    I'm just assuming that Google's beginning attempts to index dynamic multimedia content will continue and that the same will hold true for Macromedia's attempts to get SE's to index their web-based Flash applications. I'm not sure that detecting bots will do the trick, in the (potentially near) future.

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    Last edited by Mapp; May 8th, 2004 at 09:12 PM.
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    Did the example from Gringo (indexing content in flash files) require any special set up or can Google just index the content?

    Thanks for all the replys, as always there are reasons why a flash site is being used and why not HTML.
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    mapp:

    There are various considerations but mostly, I could care less about people who don't have Flash and if you don't have Flash because you don't know about it (somehow) then I'm happy to be the one to "be of assistance" to you.
    thats about as insensitive as the attitudes of people who hate flash.
    web usability is about understanding that everyones got different capabilities and needs.
    the key is providing options under as many scenarios as possible.
    your reaction to that point seems to expose some issues within yourself toward flash opponents more than anything else.

    So first of all, I wanted the searcher to see the page and then be redirected after they had enough time to read it.
    Secondly, I figure even if SEs can't detect it now, eventually they will and part of my algorhythm if I were head FlashGoogleGuy at Google would be to examine the length of the text and compare it to the time before redirection occurs and rate page (swf) accordingly.
    i am not really buying this explanation.
    10 seconds to read a page.
    thats not very long.
    page content loading may very well eat a large chunk of that time as well.
    i also cant image why google would go to the trouble of tabulating the number of seconds before redirect in reference to making it a valid 'redirect' or an 'invalid' one. more importantly...if they ever did...i dont see 10 seconds as being the magic number.
    i also think showing a page for 10 seconds is more disruptive to the visitor that flicking a page for a fraction of a second before redirect. doing it immediately makes it virtually undetectable. there is nothing more frustrating than to be reading halfway down a page and have it disappear.

    i work in flash and believe it to be a great medium.
    i also dont go to a great deal of trouble worrying about detection because its penetration is extremely high. i would say i 'dont care' about the people without flash...i just know that they are reletively few in number and they will discover their need to get flash one way or another. [by my prior notice about the flash requirement or by the flash download popup.]

    flash is amazing...but like anything else...it has applications that it are better suited for some things than for others. i also agree that google realizes the importance of all multimedia to the internet and will find its way into all of them eventually. this will obviously create new demands for their current search systems.

    for example...now that google can read flash content...how does it get the searcher to the exact location of the desired text within the flash movie? does one have to experience the entire flash movie just to find what the text they are after? lots to figure out.

    interesting link


    Last edited by relaxzoolander; Apr 29th, 2004 at 02:26 AM.
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    I don't see that comments concerning my insensitivity or issues really matter. They don't to me anyway. I'm a lot more interested in discussing SEO stuff. I was going on the original question which I paraphrase as "how can I get my swf indexed by Google without a corresponding html page".

    Notice in the "interesting link" that the links are all directly to swf pages. One might make a case for saying that a "good SEO" ought to try and make sure that they include some text at the beginning that helps user know that it is a direct link to an swf and not to an html page which has a Flash object embedded within. Probably nobody is going to get to my swf file without going through my site so by the time they get to my swf they'll have flash anyway, but Google gives direct links so I fail to see how any detection other than using the swf itself as the detector is possible. Or am I missing something?

    As for the 10 second thing, I ought not to have to explain examples, if I want to put 10 in just because it isn't too long nor hard to understand I should be able to. In this case I did use 10 -- it was for an offline project where the pages are stored locally so there is no loading time, the page consists of three links that are familiar so if I used two minutes I'd be wasting someone's time and like a lot of the work I do it was for an application to be used by handicapped people. I quite often use delays between 2 and 10 seconds.

    I think it would be more productive to discuss the concept in general and not get hung up on some number in some example. Perhaps after we get used to the concept of trying to rank a page (if a swf can be called a page) that has a time component to it it will seem more reasonable to check for text length where redirection code exists.

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    Last edited by Mapp; May 8th, 2004 at 09:13 PM.
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    mappó

    you brought up the 'i dont care' thingie.
    you made the point not once...but twice.

    "I can't emphasize enough how little the people who don't WANT Flash matter to me "

    its a little too late to say that this issue 'doesnt matter'.
    obviously it matters big-time to you.


    moving on...

    i do think that the 'interesting link' result starts to make you think about what your flash content now looks like to a search engine. all the stuttering text produced from the animated letters. its gibberish in that form. i think it will take a little bit of analysis to understand how to balance the flash content with the way the engines display it. it will take some testing and trial and error. some flash producers...i am sure...may not care about seo or what their output results look like in google.

    i still dont get the point of 'any' delay at the html page.
    if the idea is to get qualified users to the flash page...then why are we wasting their time at the duplicate content html page?

    i do agree in concept with an html start page and a redirect if they are intended to view the flash page.
    like i said...i currently do the same thing.
    except i dont test for the flash player...i check for bots.
    if the visitor is a bot...i keep them there.
    if the visitor is anyone else....they are sent to the flash page.
    it happens instantly because it happens server-side.

    there is a way to detect flash server-side too.
    i have played around with it...but never implemented it.
    thats a much better way to go than using flash to detect flash...and its instantaneous.

    .
    Last edited by relaxzoolander; Apr 29th, 2004 at 05:27 AM.
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    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    its a little too late to say that this issue 'doesnt matter'.
    obviously it matters big-time to you.
    No, read the post. I didn't say the "issue" didn't matter, I said your comments concerning it didn't matter. The "issue" matters as I didn't want anyone thinking I was approaching the subject from an unbiased viewpoint and I think that shows consideration to any viewers of my post. I doubt that these same readers need to read any psycho-analysis of me or my issues.

    ....moving on ....
    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    i still dont get the point of 'any' delay at the html page.
    if the idea is to get qualified users to the flash page...then why are we wasting their time at the duplicate content html page?
    There is no point in a lot of cases, I just put it there as an example, to explore possibilities. You don't see any, but others may. I use delays a lot in work with physically handicapped, I use Flash's camera capabilities to detect the amount of movement (of lack of) to control the surfing experience and sometimes the situation begs to have a certain action happen after a certain time of no input. I have used it for displaying an ad or other information before redirection as well.

    If I'm not mistaken there needs to be some delay when using Flash for redirection. It might only need to be 0.1 of a second but I seem to remember that if I just called the javascript function as the first action in the first frame it wouldn't work. There had to be some delay.

    I'm not exactly sure how the concept of Flash redirection can be used to do SEO - I have some ideas - but my gut instinct tells me not to dismiss it, that there is something of importance there and so I look for ways that it can be used ....

    Since Google is linking directly to the swf it sort of seems reasonable to redirect to the "real" swf and use the first one as an "seo friendly" one if in fact you can hide the redirection from Google so that the "real" swf is not indexed. That has nothing (I don't think, but I haven't really though about it yet) to do with delay, just with the idea of why one might use a swf as the redirection tool.

    Does that seem reasonable? Take for example the case where a really useful swf exists and yet is SEO unfriendly. Rather than try and change the code, etc in what might be a fairly complex original it might make sense to make a redirection swf.

    I'm just musing, not trying to prove any point. As I type this I'm thinking that probably no redirection would be needed in that case, just load the "real" swf in _level0 of the "seo friendly" swf. Still, ideas seldom come when you are looking for reasons why something wouldn't work so I explore the potential.

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    Last edited by Mapp; May 8th, 2004 at 09:13 PM.
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    why load a 'seo-friendly' swf for the bots when you can serve them up a nice 'very-seo-friendly' html page.
    that way when this content shows up in the search engines...it will be as a link to an html page and not a swf file.
    [the swf file being a format that is much more difficult to locate the exact search terms in by the user than the html file.]
    most swf is dynamically generated from xml or asp or php via a database anyway.
    this data can therefore be easily dumped out into an html page.

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    Originally Posted by relaxzoolander
    why load a 'seo-friendly' swf for the bots when you can serve them up a nice 'very-seo-friendly' html page.
    that way when this content shows up in the search engines...it will be as a link to an html page and not a swf file.
    [the swf file being a format that is much more difficult to locate the exact search terms in by the user than the html file.]
    most swf is dynamically generated from xml or asp or php via a database anyway.
    this data can therefore be easily dumped out into an html page.

    The thing is that Google is going to index the swf and then rank it separately from the html page it is contained within. Should someone come across the swf in a Google search they will see "Loading, percent, 10, 20, etc " and other equally unhelpful descriptions. I want them (searchers) to see a description of my swf page that is a little more helpful.

    It remains to be seen if Google will give a swf a higher ranking than the equivilent html page. Perhaps Flash directories will be the way to go (sort of kidding). I'm also waiting to see a separately listed swf with a PR rating. So far I haven't seen one, I don't suppose anyone else has in their travels? It wouldn't surprise me if such a creature didn't exist.

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    Last edited by Mapp; May 8th, 2004 at 09:13 PM.

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