Tim Scollick - Flex, Seo And You


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Tim Scollick - Flex, Seo And You

  1. 1. Flex, SEO and You
  2. 2. Who am I? Tim Scollick •Been doing Flash and Web Development for about 10 years •Have worked mostly in agencies and eLearning companies •Currently doing freelance Flash and Web Development •Bart Millar helped with the site and he's awesome
  3. 3. Problem •Client wanted a site that was optimized for Search Engines but built in Flash •Needed a site that was relatively easy to update •Wanted Google Analytics •Client knew easy HTML
  4. 4. Let's Hate Flash •Flash is continually banged on by the web development community for not being SEO friendly •But Flash is AWESOME at SEO when you build it properly
  5. 5. Calling Bullshit on Flash Google Indexing •Flash indexing probably only works for non- dynamic swfs and I even doubt that •My opinion: Only bulletproof solution is to have HTML files somewhere on the server
  6. 6. Two Sites •Could have two versions of the site - one HTML version and one Flash version •Use JavaScript to send the user to the Flash version if they have Flash •Extra maintenance. Client didn't have budget for us to write extra code to render both sites.
  7. 7. Our Approach •Use Flash to “sit on top of” a regular HTML site •Flash reads plain HTML files, parses them to Actionscript objects and renders the site in Flex •I think that this is the “right way” to do things, according to W3C hippies
  8. 8. Other HTML Strategies •In a larger site, we could have used a full-blown or a simple CMS •Rendering XML (for Flash only version) in a CMS would be extra overhead •Didn't have the budget to set up CMS workflows and train staff
  9. 9. Technologies
  10. 10. Rendering Process
  11. 11. Simple HTML Parsers
  12. 12. Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda •Simple HTML styles for better non-Flash rendering •Should have built a JavaScript bridge to take the user to the proper view when they don't enter from index.html
  13. 13. Next Time: A Ruby Gem •In a bigger project, a more robust process would have made more sense •Build a ruby parser to dynamically build the Actionscript Objects from the HTML •Build a ruby library to scrape a local site, generate HTML pages and automatically build to the staging server using Capistrano
  14. 14. Analytics •Using this approach, analytics is easy •In most Flash projects, you have to have a separate GA library and “tag” your events with GA calls •Using our method, you get the page call analytics “for free” •Only need to include the GA code in every page (easy with Rails/HAML)
  15. 15. SEO Mission Accomplished
  16. 16. iPhone Result
  17. 17. Flex Result
  18. 18. Overall Results •Client was very pleased •Got their “sexy” Flash site •Haven't had one update support request, despite numerous client changes (victory) •SEO works reasonably well (note they haven't done any SEM that I'm aware of)
  19. 19. Contact •Email: tim.scollick@gmail.com •Twitter: @timsco