Adobe Flash Becomes Searchable
In an effort to entice consumers to visit its customers' sites and make Flash software more attractive to Web site developers, Adobe has taken steps to make pages with Flash-created images more recognizable to search engines like Google. Though its Flash technology -- which Adobe acquired when it bought Macromedia in 2005 -- lets websites act more like interactive programs, special effects used on sites have been known to obscure their information from Google and Yahoo's indexing software. Such limitations also made them unable to be tracked based on users' actions. Flash is a handy application as it allows pages to display photos, animation and elaborate text when users click on or hover over a given portion of a site. It has also proven itself a popular component of online advertisements, including movie promotions and other multimedia. So you can imagine the frustration when such sites don't necessarily show up in web searches. Adobe's most recent efforts were made possible by striking deal with Google and Yahoo! in which Adobe provides the two biggest search engines on the Web with software code and a special version of its Flash player that can expose once-hidden Flash content. The code will also make pages inside Flash-powered sites show up higher in search results and impart those results with more relevant details. Such a development is seen as a direct blow to Microsoft, who last year released software called Silverlight—a competing Flash product. Not only does allowing Flash become search-friendly give Adobe a strong edge over Microsoft, it frees up lots of time for web developers, who often spend a great deal of effort trying to get around the search issue. Adobe is proving its staying power as it unleashes Beta after Web app after CMS. Providing search engine powerhouses with such coveted code is bound to make Flash more popular and easier to persuade into use.