Search Engine Optimization Tips and Tricks – Learn how to increase visibility in Search Engines – Part 32 – How do users see rich content such as Flash, Movies, etc.

This is a subject that has come up before in a smaller way, but needs more details and more explanation. In the last few years, the use of content has expanded to include rich multimedia content. Using Youtube Videos, using other videos, using Flash animations and even using Flash for menus and for hosting images (such as one major company has done for their photo hosting site) has had a dramatic increase. It is recognized that the usage of such rich media helps keep users interested, and when you consider the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”, this increases when you have a Video that keeps your users interested, and allows you to increase the time that people spend on your site (Imagine a site where a review of gadgets is done, the effect is increased manifold when the visitors can see the same review of the gadget in the form of an additional video where they can actually see things working – in such cases, if they are impressed by the review, a properly placed affiliate link to buy the product can actually catch a fair number of people and earn additional money). So, this should make you want to change your strategy to add more rich content to your site, after all, it will bring additional visitors to your site who will stay longer.
The problem with the above statement is that part of it is not true if your site depends on search engines for its visitors, and has not yet built up a strong position on the first page of results. The reason for that is very simple – Search engines are still not able to index the contents of these rich media effectively. So, even though Google has been trying for some time to understand the content of Flash, and even try to figure out stuff from inside videos, it is a long way away from being able to properly index your rich content (what this means in simple English is – if you have a great video review of a new camera, a search engine cannot figure out that this is a video of a review and cannot make out what the details of the review are all about). So, if you are a big site that routinely figures in the top search results, then you can go in for the rich media content to a much larger degree, but if you are a smaller site, then if you decide to go in for increased rich media, make sure that you are not betting your entire strategy on these rich media. Visit the site using a browser that is configured like a search engine crawler, and you will realize that search engines will almost totally ignore such rich media. If you do want to have these rich media, then there should be enough text based content to satisfy the search engines, as well as enough title text on these rich media so that the search engines can understand what these rich media are all about.

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