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Optimizing a framed Flash site
Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:46 AM
I see where in the code I can input the keyword phrase copy in the <no frames> section, but I realize this is tricking the search engines since the keywords aren't actually text on each page. I also read somewhere that it is a good idea to put links to the other pages in the site within this no frames section so that the search engine can spider those links.
Is this all I can do to the pages to make them accessible under the constraints of Flash and Frames?
Thanks so much.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:54 AM
I split this topic off from the other thread, as it seemed to deserve its own.
My opinion would be that if you can't alter the existing site, you simply create an additional, all html version of the site that lives along side the flash version. This way you can give your visitors a choice between the flash version or an html version. (Betcha most people choose html!)
Posted 04 September 2003 - 12:39 PM
So, if I'm left working with the existing frames, flash 6 site with no option of developing an HTML version of the site, what can I do to this site to make it work with search engines to the best of my ability?
Again-thanks so much for your help---
Posted 04 September 2003 - 12:49 PM
Heh heh - maybe you'll have to zip it so that it'll fit in the recycle bin. That'll most likely be as effective an optimization as you can do.
Seriously, no one should rely on a totally Flash website - you are leaving out many people that do not or cannot view Flash. Giving an HTML version as an option is always the best route to take.
Edited by Matt B, 04 September 2003 - 03:30 PM.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 01:11 PM
and my guess is they won't want to go back, recognize the shortcomings and have to develop an HTML version.
Sorry, but that doesn't really make any sense! They wouldn't have to change anything. You simply build new HTML pages for the site and put a link on the main page to choose. The company that designed the site doesn't have to do anything.
Who is it that wants this site optimized anyway? Either they DO want it optimized or they don't. If they do, they have to do what it takes. If they don't, then they don't really need you!
Posted 04 September 2003 - 01:39 PM
Well. I'm sure it's very pretty.
There is one (and only one!) Flash site that I frequent, for my entertainment only. I noticed they recently added text-only navigation underneath the box of the Flash plugin. So, you can't use the site if you don't have Flash, but you can navigate it. So, instead of waiting for the welcome screen to load, you can just click ahead to the part you want to get in. Mind you, they changed nothing within the Flash content-- the old menu page is still there. They just ADDED the text navigation underneath, in a small unobtrusive font. Visible, but not intrusive. Very useful in ensuring your visitors see the whole site, as well, if they're dazzled by the Flash jumping around.
I do know that many search engines, Google included, CAN spider frames. So, there's hope. If you make sure that the frameset is clearly, properly defined, and do everything you can to make sure that even if it IS frames, it's at least CORRECT frames, then you'll be as well-off as you can be.
That's really all I can offer for on-the-page things. I've heard that Google is paying less attention to <noscript> and <noframes> tags, so putting content in there will be ineffective. Perhaps an HTML summary of the site could work "for those who don't have Flash" including search engine spiders-- there are tags for that sort of thing. I'd look into that. It doesn't have to be very presentable-- don't offer it right next to the Flash page, but put it at the bottom and say "if you do not have Flash" or "if this page doesn't load for you", then put the link. Then the design firm won't feel threatened, though they should.
I don't know what else to tell you... good luck!!!
Posted 04 September 2003 - 02:38 PM
You mentioned that you use one Flash site (for your entertainment only) with a text version of the navigation. Do you mind sharing that URL with me? I'd like to see what they did.
Also you referenced the "correct" use of Frames. Is there a reference you can point me to where I can read up on this?
Does anyone have a favorite Flash site that also offers an HTML version?
Posted 04 September 2003 - 02:50 PM
They're so surreal.
Anyhow, I don't really know much about frames. If you go read up on them at the W3C's site, you might find out what I mean. Or perhaps one of our frames experts could chime in, not that there are many on this board.
Still. Just making sure the frameset is valid, and all that. That's what I meant.
Homestar Runner's text navigation isn't highly useful because it only leads to more Flash. But, perhaps it's a start. I don't know why they changed it, but I do know that it was only about a month or two ago that they did. Perhaps you could incorporate text navigation like that, along with a choice for an HTML version or something. It wouldn't have to be the entire site, just enough information that those who really want to find out, can. And, spiders know where to categorize you.
Homestar Runner does well with traffic because so many places link to it, I think. It's also listed in DMOZ under the appropriate category. So, those are a couple of things to start with-- making your site good so it gets linked to, and getting yourself a DMOZ listing.
I don't know how HR ranks, though, because it's not the sort of thing you search for except by its name.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 03:11 PM
Sites like that are meant to be all Flash, but they're not looking for search engine traffic. They get found through word of mouth cuz they're so funny.
That type of site doesn't need to be optimized for the search engines. No site needs to be found for the search engines, but if they want to be, then they need to do what it takes to enable that.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 04:05 PM
We don't have a TV, so perhaps we're more easily amused than most.
And always remember, on a scale of one to awesome, I'm super-great.
I'm just wondering if they added text navigation to help new users, to add another category they couldn't fit into their Flash menus, or to make the site more indexable? I don't know why.
Perhaps we should email Strong Bad about how to optimize a Flash site. Maybe the Cheat would know...
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