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Can Search Engines Read Flash Files?
By: Gina Hoover 2008

In webmaster forums I hear this question asked all the time. There is much debate over this question. Webmasters want to know because they are worried that if they build their websites primarily in Adobe (Macromedia) Flash they think their websites will not be included in search engine results. If you can't get your website included in search engine results, you won't get any website visitors and in turn you won't make any money.

It was long thought that search engines were not able to read flash movie files. Well I have the answer for this frequently asked question. The answer is a definite YES! Yes, search engines can read and index flash files. Hmmm...How do I know this? I know this because I searched for a term in the Google search engine specifically with a .swf file extension. Here's an example, in the search box I typed in:

"manager of the company" filetype:swf

This query searches for the text "manager of the company" only within flash .swf files. Several search results came up so you see that the Google Search Engine can read and index flash files. Now how well you rank for terms, I'm not sure about that at this writing.

For additional information check out my blog post on Google reading Flash here:

http://www.hooverwebdesign.com/blog/search-engines/how-do-we-know-google-can-read-and-index-flash-files/

About the Author:

Gina Hoover can be reached for questions about this article at http://www.hooverwebdesign.com. Gina's company, Hoover Web Design specializes in professional web site design, web templates, flash photo galleries and flash music players for beginning Webmasters.


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