From this week, Flash-based sites will be accessible to search engines including Yahoo! and Google.
Up till now much of this content has been effectively invisible to search technologies because it was buried inside Adobe’s .SWF Flash file format. Adobe is now rolling out new software to allow search engines to crawl and index the content.
This move, while looking a little bland on the surface, has the potential to make big changes in internetland. As ‘searchability’ (ugh) becomes available to extremely media heavy websites, then the number and sophistication of these sites can also increase, thus helping to continue the build-up of Rich Internet Appplications (RIAs).
Unfortunately, if you can’t stand ridiculously over-Flashed websites such as those made for every video game ever, then you’re in for a bad ride.
This is certainly a feather in Adobe cap though and one that should make its battle with Microsoft’s rival Silverlight technology a bit more interesting. Incidentally, Microsoft’s search engine called… called… Life something? Lime…? Ack, just Google it… will not be enjoying access to the same Flash search software.
Adobe revealed that although it had been talking to different groups at Microsoft, nothing was decided and negotiations have since fizzled out.