Google can now search+index Flash websites




  • Google says it's able to do this by developing an algorithm that "explores Flash files in the same way that a person would," by clicking buttons and manually going through Flash content. "Our algorithm remembers all of the text that it encounters along the way, and that content is then available to be indexed," wrote the company.

    Here's the article from Ars Technica.

    I just hope that this doesn't see a surge in WTFy Flash sites. I think we can all agree that there are too many already and now marketing people will say "build more! we can get on teh googlez now!".



  • (...)usability experts can now focus all of their attention on other Flash-related concerns, like blatant design perversion(...)

    It sounds like they actually spend some effort doing such perversions. Do these people want to be in the main page so much?



  • Is there an option in Google to tell it not to return Flash sites in the results? There should be.



  • Is there an option in Google to tell it not to return sites that won't render flawlessly in Netscape 2?  There should be. 



  • Oh, great. One less argument to use against the Flash fanboys.



  • @redct said:

    I just hope that this doesn't see a surge in WTFy Flash sites. I think we can all agree that there are too many already and now marketing people will say "build more! we can get on teh googlez now!".

     

    Shit, damn it... 

    Now that I was quite advanced at educating all the artsy creative
    directors around here to leave the "design breakthrough" flash for ad
    banners and minisites.

    Google searching was the only thing keeping these design beasts on a leash, that leash has broken, the pack is loose.

    Let's keep this information hidden... stop posting about it, hide under the rug... it will go away...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Is there an option in Google to tell it not to return sites that won't render flawlessly in Netscape 2?  There should be. 

     

     

    I think the main reason Google should have an option not ot include flash sites. Anyone using a 64-bit version of Windows or Linux can't use native flash unless they also install a 32-bit browser; smartphones which load the HTML version of Google and not the WAP one don't have flash.



  • @Michael Casadevall said:

    Anyone using a 64-bit version of Windows or Linux can't use native flash unless they also install a 32-bit browser; smartphones which load the HTML version of Google and not the WAP one don't have flash.
     

    I don't think the flash thing on 64 bit Linux is true anymore. I could be wrong because I don't use it, but I am pretty sure I have heard this is no longer an issue.

    Also, I really dont think any web designer/company/etc should be expected to cater to every person who purposely uses an OS/browser/options that they know will cripple functionality.

    If they do make it play nice, that's great, but there are too many edge cases and I don't think it is worth anyone's money to test all these cases.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Also, I really dont think any web designer/company/etc should be expected to cater to every person who purposely uses an OS/browser/options that they know will cripple functionality.

    If they do make it play nice, that's great, but there are too many edge cases and I don't think it is worth anyone's money to test all these cases.

    Not having flash is fairly common, and there are accessibility problems as well: text in flash sites often cannot be enlarged easily, screenreaders still have problems with them, and they often don't work well with keyboard commands. IIRC the US standards for accessibility require the test to be in a form suitable for easy TTS conversion.



  • @Physics Phil said:

    Not having flash is fairly common, and there are accessibility problems as well: text in flash sites often cannot be enlarged easily, screenreaders still have problems with them, and they often don't work well with keyboard commands. IIRC the US standards for accessibility require the test to be in a form suitable for easy TTS conversion.

    Right, YouTube should definitely provide a failover of ascii art if you dont have flash installed.



  • The real problem of flash is just a liiitle thing: it's ass to navigate.

    You are rarely able to select or copy anything, the context menu is fucked up, scrolling rarely does what it should do, it's fixed layout (ever gone to a site "optimized" for 640x480?), shitty artistic fonts, clever navigation, et cetera.

     

    I'm not against using flash, but I'm against flash sites. And if you could prove the existence of a usable flash site please do.

    In short, unless you are the brother chaps, don't make a flash site.



  • @CapitalT said:

    The real problem of flash is just a liiitle thing: it's ass to navigate.

    You are rarely able to select or copy anything, the context menu is fucked up, scrolling rarely does what it should do, it's fixed layout (ever gone to a site "optimized" for 640x480?), shitty artistic fonts, clever navigation, et cetera.

     

    I'm not against using flash, but I'm against flash sites. And if you could prove the existence of a usable flash site please do.

    In short, unless you are the brother chaps, don't make a flash site.

    Seconded.

    I absolutely HATE those sites full of flashy flash stuff for all the reasons stated above! Unless you're actually putting multimedia stuff in the flash frame, don't use it. Some freaking sites don't understand though, and they're rendered unreadable from, say, my BlackBerry. They're also impossible to aggregate, bookmark, and do anything web-related to them. Might as well have the entire site inside a Java applet!

    Flash-only sites are a sign of a lazy or useless webmaster. Usually some graphical designer that has no idea of how the web works. At least one of the few good things for Web 2.0 is that its taking the web developers away from Flash.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    @CapitalT said:

    The real problem of flash is just a liiitle thing: it's ass to navigate.

    You are rarely able to select or copy anything, the context menu is fucked up, scrolling rarely does what it should do, it's fixed layout (ever gone to a site "optimized" for 640x480?), shitty artistic fonts, clever navigation, et cetera.

     

    I'm not against using flash, but I'm against flash sites. And if you could prove the existence of a usable flash site please do.

    In short, unless you are the brother chaps, don't make a flash site.

    Seconded.

    I absolutely HATE those sites full of flashy flash stuff for all the reasons stated above! Unless you're actually putting multimedia stuff in the flash frame, don't use it. Some freaking sites don't understand though, and they're rendered unreadable from, say, my BlackBerry. They're also impossible to aggregate, bookmark, and do anything web-related to them. Might as well have the entire site inside a Java applet!

    Flash-only sites are a sign of a lazy or useless webmaster. Usually some graphical designer that has no idea of how the web works. At least one of the few good things for Web 2.0 is that its taking the web developers away from Flash.

    Yes, I agree. And there are other problems as well. One thing it can take up memory and slow, also, I don't have flash on my computer, and it won't render using options that I have configured into my browser, and many other things missing as well.

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