SEO in the World of Web 2.0
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, many of these technologies are inherently unfriendly to search engine spiders. So, if you intend to harness Web 2.0 technologies for increased conversion, improved usability and greater customer engagement, you’d better read on or you’ll end up missing the boat when it comes to better search engine rankings.
The discipline of search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving to better meet the challenges presented by a Web 2.0 world. Specific SEO tactics exist to expose content trapped within AJAX, Flash, RSS, audio and video. The bad news is that the major search engines still can’t cope with these elements.
So, the onus is on you to render them search engine friendly. Let’s start with Flash, a technology with which many of us already are familiar. Some search engines, including Google, have rudimentary means of extracting content and links from Flash. Nonetheless, any content or navigation embedded within a Flash movie will, at best, rank poorly in comparison to a static, HTML-based counterpart, and at worst, not even make it into the search engine’s index.
Flash Not Friendly
Google’s view on Flash is that it doesn’t provide a user-friendly experience. Flash is wholly inaccessible to the vision-impaired, unrenderable on devices such as mobile phones and PDAs, and can’t be accessed without broadband connectivity.
In particular, Google frowns on navigational elements presented exclusively in Flash. Given this stance, Google isn’t likely to make big improvements on how it crawls, indexes and ranks Flash files anytime soon. So, it’s in your hands to either replace those Flash elements with a more accessible alternative like CSS/DHTML or to employ a Web design approach known as “progressive enhancement,” whereby designs are layered in a concatenated manner to provide an alternative experience for non-Flash users. This way, all users, including search engine spiders, will be able to access your content and functionality.