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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

Google Can Index Flash – But Use With Caution

November 15th, 2010

Google and index FlashGoogle’s ability to “see” text content and links within Flash sites has dramatically improved as a recent post on Google’s Webmaster blog highlights. It used to be that any content and links embedded within Flash were like black holes in terms of visibility and accessibility to Google. However, starting a couple years ago, Google has developed the ability to overcome this limitation and it can now index and follow buttons, menus and hyperlinks coded within Flash.

This is definitely good news, but it’s not a green light to go out and develop you entire Website in Flash. In fact, our strategy for utilizing Flash within Websites has not changed from when it was not viewable at all by Google . . . we  never create a self contained Flash Website but rather use Flash selectively as an option for dynamic content to be embedded within a rich HTML Website framework. This helps insure a  optimal environment for Website performance, accessibility, usability and SEO.

Use Flash with Caution

One of the biggest caveats for using  Flash at all is the hatred that Steve Jobs seems to have for the medium. He is adamant about keeping Flash from working at on the iPhone and IPad which as you know have significant and rapidly growing market share within a high-value demographic. In fact, he personally posted a manifesto against the use of Flash on the Apple Website which is oddly captivating to read.

There are other good reasons for limiting the use of Flash within a Website as well which go beyond the scope of this post. As Website Magazine states in a November 12th article on this same topic:

Flash remains a problematic medium at best for publishing content online. The lack of unique URLs, page titles, link anchor texts and content hierarchy are only some of the common issues and factors that make Flash content far more difficult to classify and work with for search engine optimziers. Compare this with HTML content and it’s obvious that the two cannot compete on a level playing ground.

Conclusion

Regardless of what Steve Jobs might think, there is not one stock answer to the question of whether and to what degree Flash should be utilized on your Website . . . that answer will ultimately depend on a number of factors unique to your situation including the specific functions, goals and user profile of your Website and the alternate options available for dynamic functionality. The most important thing is to work with an informed and objective Web development firm (hey, that sounds like us!) to get a clear and objective picture of the pros and cons of Flash vis-à-vis your specific situation and goals.

Action Item: Utilize LinkedIn’s New Company Pages

November 10th, 2010

LinkedIn announced a few days ago the launch of  Company Pages. While it might seem that LinkedIn is a bit late to the business page concept (in comparison to Facebook) their Company Pages offer superior a superior technical solution with better usability. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn’s user base of 80 million are potentially higher prospects if your company markets primarily B2B. Even if you market to consumers, you definitely should establish a LinkedIn Company page to increase your overall social media footprint and take advantage of the other unique social networking benefits LinkedIn offers such as job posting and recruitment.

No matter what, if you’re a business owner you need to set up your company page immediately. If you need help, let us know.

One thing I appreciate is the superior usability as compared to Facebook. Facebook business pages are a mess from an administrative standpoint . . . it never seems completely clear if one is posting to a personal profile or a business page and when on a business page navigation links are intertwined with your personal profile. LinkedIn’s page administration seems to be thought out much better.  Also, in comparison with Facebook, there is opportunity to present much more information about your company and its services including graphic banner ads and keywords about your services which are beneficial from an SEO standpoint.

I’ve just started on our page but feel free to check out the Risingline Linked In Company Page and tell me your thoughts.

Another good reason to get rid of IE 6

October 13th, 2010

The article referenced below provides another compelling reason why you should keep all the Web browsers in your company upgraded to the most recent version of Web browser.

BBC: Two million US PCs recruited to botnets
The US leads the world in numbers of Windows PCs that are part of botnets, reveals a report. More than 2.2 million US PCs were found to be part of botnets, networks of hijacked home computers, in the first six months of 2010, it said. [read full article]

See also these prior blog posts of ours:

Sage SEO Advice

September 22nd, 2010

I want to direct your attention to a recent blog post by Glenn Murray, IMHO one of the most accomplished and credible SEO copywriters out there. Glenn underscores vital SEO points we’re always preaching, namely:

  • You’ve got to post legitimate content that’s of real value to your target market.
  • You must be authentic and honest.
  • Your real audiences are your clients and prospects. Write content for them, not Google.
  • Success takes time.
  • Trying to cheat the system is ultimately detrimental to the success of your business.

I do recommend you read his whole post, but if you choose not to, here is my favorite quote:

“[SEO is] about working hard to write something truly link-worthy, then letting people know about it, so they can choose to link to it if they like it. It’s not about making Google believe your site is more popular than it actually is, it’s about actually making your site more popular.”

For the millionth time . . . there are no tricks or shortcuts to SEO and there are many scammers out there trying to convince you otherwise. As Forest Gump might say, “If it seems to be good to be true, you must of heard it from an SEO company.”

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