Adobe Lets Web Spiders Snag Animation

Google, Yahoo get software to better read, index Flash files
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 1:30 PM CDT
In this Dec. 10, 2007 file photo, umbrellas are seen outside the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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(Newser) – For years, web developers have faced a tough choice: Make their pages pretty with Flash animations, or optimize for search engines? Now, Flash maker Adobe has tried to make that choice easier, by giving Google and Yahoo the software to read and index Flash files. “For end users, they're going to see a lot more results, and a lot better results,” says Flash’s project manager.

Google already has roughly 71 million Flash files indexed, but before its web spiders could read only standard, static text. Now, the spiders will be able to roll every roll-over and push every button. But web developers are skeptical, reports MIT's Technology Review. “As far as we know, the data… is just a raw dump,” said one, making it difficult to know how to catch the software’s eye.