2 июл. 2008 г.

A boon to the Webtop: Adobe makes indexing Flash in search easier

It’s a big day for rich Internet applications. Why? You can now find these newfangled Web applications a lot easier. Google, Yahoo and Adobe have teamed to make Flash file format content easier to find.

Adobe said in a statement Tuesday that it has worked with Google and Yahoo to “to enhance search engine indexing of the Flash file format (SWF) and uncover information that is currently undiscoverable by search engines.”

Google notes that these Flash files were basically invisible before. Google notes in its blog:

In the past, web designers faced challenges if they chose to develop a site in Flash because the content they included was not indexable by search engines. They needed to make extra effort to ensure that their content was also presented in another way that search engines could find.

Big deal? You bet. Let’s say I was looking for something on Google or Yahoo. Until now I’d never see that there’s a handy rich Internet applications available in the context of my search. Now I will. Millions of Webtop applications will be surfaced. Folks–perhaps many of your not-so-geeked out friends– will take these apps for a spin now just because they are there. It’s one thing when the Techmeme crowd goes gaga for the Webtop. It’s quite another when the masses do.

As for the technical details, Adobe’s SWF specification will describe the file format and as developers play along–why wouldn’t they?–Google will have an easier time finding RIAs. The big problem with finding these Web apps before was that the RIAs kept changing. Search has problems with moving targets.

For Adobe the bonus of these search deals is clear: It wants to lock folks into Flash as a standard. Flash is already on 98 percent of Internet connected computers, but it is facing competition from Microsoft’s Silverlight. It’s a lot easier to lock your status as a standard with developers if you know your app will be found.

Google has begun rolling out algorithms on the prowl for Flash content. From the statement:

With Adobe’s help, Google can now better read the content on sites that use Adobe Flash technology, helping users find more relevant information when conducting searches. As a result, millions of pre-existing RIAs and dynamic Web experiences that utilize Adobe Flash technology, including content that loads at runtime, are immediately searchable without the need for companies and developers to alter them.

Yahoo will deliver the Flash search capabilities in a “future update to Yahoo Search.”

About autor:
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of ZDNet sister site TechRepublic. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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