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What Google’s Flash Indexing Means for PPC

By shanesnow
Published on July 1, 2008

With the announcement yesterday that Google now has improved indexing for Flash websites, the SEO world may see changes in the not so distant future. According to Google Webmaster Central, the new algorithm in place can index “All of the text that users can see as they interact with your Flash file. If your website contains Flash, the textual content in your Flash files can be used when Google generates a snippet for your website. Also, the words that appear in your Flash files can be used to match query terms in Google searches.”

While the algorithm doesn’t read .FLV files, it does read the text and links in .SWF files and adds them to the Google index.

Besides the obvious ramifications for SEO, in which building a site entirely in Flash was previously detrimental, perhaps this will lead to a future integration of the Flash indexing algorithm with the Adwords algorithm.

Google AdWords’ Landing Page Guidelines state that having relevant and original content on landing pages is vital to an acceptable landing page and good quality score (which translates into lower cost per click). At present, if you use Flash for your landing page, in order to achieve a good quality score, “you have to build an underbelly,” as Search Engine Roundtable put it. Otherwise your flash content does not help your ad copy in terms of relevance.

Could this mean that all-Flash landing pages used with Google Adwords ads will soon be readable by the Adwords algorithm? If Google can read the text in Flash, then high quality scores can possibly be achieved on Flash landing pages (once they integrate this algorithm into Adwords). This will let advertisers develop highly creative, interactive landing pages while maintaining low minimum bids/high quality scores.

It remains to be seen what will happen with Flash and the Paid Search industry, but we hope these changes come over to the PPC side quickly and efficiently.

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