By:Mark Angeletti, Published:2004-04-21

The Real Problem and Solution

I have often heard it said, “If you want to get an all Flash site to place well in the search engines you need to build up quality inbound links.” The problem with this statement is it’s mistaking PageRank for positioning. While PageRank plays an important role in the achieved position of a search, it is not the sole factor. If it was then sites like Adobe, Macromedia and W3C that hold PageRanks of 10 would rank first for every conceivable search. They don’t, so something else must come into play. That something else is content. More specifically concentrated content.

Yes, but you have already told us how we can get our content on the page and have it indexed – so the problem’s solved right? Wrong!

Even though you have now found a way to get your content on the page you still have a major problem – you have a website that consists of but a single page.

If you were to ask a search engine marketing company or individual to help you with your search engine ranking position (SERP) and proceeded to inform them that they only have a single page to work with, they would certainly have their work cut out for them – Flash or no Flash.

Concentrated Content and Themes

Ever notice how some pages that have a PageRank of 4 or 5 can be listed above a page with a PageRank of 6? While there are a number of reasons why this can happen, much of it is attributed to how focused the content on the page is as well as the content of the pages that link to it and the actual text of the link itself.

A website more closely resembles the form of a newspaper than any other medium. This is because a newspaper has sections to it that can easily be explored on their own. For example I often read the sports and business sections of the paper, while my wife is reading the entertainment and funnies. Now imagine if all sections of a newspaper had to be confined to a single page. While this would make the newspaper challenging to read for a human it makes it even more difficult for a search engine which is trying to zero in on what the main theme of the page is.

Getting back to our all Flash website – you have a single page to use in telling about your product(s), service(s), company, how to contact you and everything else. If we keep in mind the optimization rule that you should only focus on 1 or 2 keywords per page that really puts you at a disadvantage. If you try and fit into 1 page what 10 to 30 pages should hold you dilute the content to the point that it’s now impossible for the search engine to understand what the main topic of the page is.

This is the real reason why an all Flash site will have a difficult time achieving higher ranks than an HTML site. HTML websites naturally encourage the use of multiple pages. An HTML site starts out with the advantage of x number of pages, thus giving it backward links from the start. In addition, each page can be dedicated to a specific topic. A page that has specific focus will have an advantage in ranking over a page that is eclectic. For example, a page the focuses on fishing lures will have a better chance on ranking for the keywords “fishing lures” than a site that has fishing lures, fishing rods, and fishing reels, all on the same page.

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