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January 25, 2008


Robin Zachary

Hi Katie-
I got a fancy website done in flash without knowing the risks of not being able to be located through search engines. But someone told me that opening with a splash page that is done in html with a link from there to enter the flash site could solve that problem. Is this true? and how do you set that up? thanks for all your wisdom! Robin Zachary, Creative Director and Stylist


Hey Robin,
Not really true. First of all, a "splash" page is tricky, b/c sometimes people make that just an image, or even flash, and that gets put on the main URL, like www.website.com, and that makes crawling for the engines really hard. It's the first page of the website that the search engines crawl through to get to the rest of your links. Just think of your site like a body of water - the search engine dives in, and them must swim through different channels/rivers (your links on your web page) to get to other bodies of water. If you have different channels/rivers from the body of water, the search engine follows all of those to get to each page. Think of the channels as links.

If your home page (or they are calling it a splash page) has links to the main navigation of your flash website, your main navigation inside of your flash website would need to have special indications set to signal the engine - or so I'm told - I'm not a fan yet.

Otherwise, if your HTML splash page has 1 link to enter the Flash, you're no better off. You're basically setting up an extra step for them to enter into your little movie - or a pool with no gutters, filters, or ways for water to exit and go to other places. Hopefully these metaphors made sense. Engines need to crawl through things, like a maze. Flash doesn't really allow for the maze to be accessed by anything other then its own self contained tools.

But still, if your site is in Flash, these cool automated bookmarking things that websites are making easier for people to do, will not work for Flash. They just can't dig into the Flash to pull anything out. It's like they aren't invited to the party.

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