Silverlight 3 and SEO

All great RIA applications have a meaningful client and server component to them.  Supporting SEO, or Search Engine Optimization in a RIA is an excellent example of using the client and server components.   It doesn’t mater how cool your applications are, if potential users can’t find your site via their search engine of choice (Google, Yahoo, Live, etc) then you are out of luck.  So it is important to plan for that upfront.   It is reasonably simple to do this for static text, even in a RIA application, but most of the really interesting information in many applications is  dynamically loaded and data-driven.   Luckily .NET RIA Services has some SEO support built right in that can be used with RIA applications including Silverlight and Ajax!

In my Mix 09 talk I showed a very simple way to add SEO to a data-driven Silverlight application.  Now Warren (the developer who owns this feature) writes a bit more about it and provides a very cool sample. 

Search Engine Optimization for Silverlight Applications  (the basic idea)

Search Engine Optimization for Silverlight Applications – Part 2 (a working example)

You can also use your search engine of choice to find “Silverlight Store Wireless Keyboard 7000 ” as of this writing Warren’s sample application is the number one hit! If you have Silverlight 3 installed, you will get a nice RIA experience, otherwise you get a reasonable HTML-based experience.


Has anyone tried out this solution with .NET RIA Services yet?  I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this model.



Comments (20)

  1. What's New says:

    All great RIA applications have a meaningful client and server component to them.  Supporting SEO

  2. James Mann says:

    Hey, SEO seems to be at the fore-front of everything web a the moment, and understandably as there are a lot of people to compete with. Have you heard about a new CMS system that has been working with Google, with a built in SEO and GWO application. Im not too sure of the ins and outs, but it seems to add code to your site and helps boost your rankings, i think its experimental at the moment, but a step in teh right direction i feel.

  3. FishKigg says:

    Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from FishKigg

  4. Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from DotNetShoutout

  5. I tried ".NET RIA Services" with Silverlight 3.0 navigation project and Silverlight VirtualEarth MapControl and I had to unistall .NET RIA Services. I had to many problems with getting data from server (complex  query) so I moved back to WCF and LINQToSQL.

    I spend almost 3 evenings, maybe I should more but first time with RIA Services wasn’t good.


    Jacek Ciereszko

  6. John M says:

    Look forward to looking into this.

    Before Silverlight 2 came out I raised this and discussed a possible solution:

    This is what google has cached:

    It comes at number 1 for silverlight seo (although the domain name helps) and at the time it came up for a number of other things. It has been like this for a year (having kids puts a stop to your spare time :D) but I may pick this up once more and compare it to the way SL 3 will do it.

    Like you say the example at is very basic and easy enough to do so I look forward to investigating how you handle dynamic data.

    I’m sure questions will follow 😀

    Thanks for adding this to Silverlight 3!


  7. BradA says:

    Jacek — I am really sorry to hear you had problems… Do you want to drop me an email and let me know the details of what you are trying to do?  That might help us improve the product in a future CTP.  

    Drop me a line here:

  8. Ldsenow says:

    how do we make the url more friendly instead of$Office%20Professional%202007

  9. James Mann says:

    Hey guys, do any of you lot know of this GWO experiment Google is conducting? heard a little about it but im still trying to research more into it. If anyone knows of anything about it, would be great to hear from you.


  10. Jack says:

    Very exciting to hear that Silverlight will support SEO! Every webmaster like SEO, and many of them will prefer Silverlight in the future now!

  11. waldred says:


    If the format of the URL is an issue, you can make use of ASP.NET routing to clean up the URL (everything except the fragment).  Similarly, the Silverlight 3 Frame supports UriMapping to clean up the URL fragment values.

    With regard to seeing the mixture of deep-link and RIA state in the URL (which is quite ugly!), I wrote briefly about this here:

  12. Dear MSDN Flash reader, As you may well be aware MIX09 took place earlier this month in Las Vegas. There

  13. James says:

    On the url format thing, I think it’s worth doing. I’m not sure it packs the punch it used to for SEO, but I think it still helps. Plus, it’s nicer for the end-users (us :-).

  14. bradutz01 says:

    hi, at you can find styles for silverlight and wpf controls.

  15. webster says:

    adobe uses similar methods for flash seo as you describe in the ‘sine of the times’ articles. it would be nice if the alternative content doesn’t give the user another excuse to not bother downloading the plugin.

  16. WEBOSIS says:

    Been working on RIA applications and stumbled onto this timely post.  It will be interesting to see how this progresses.  Thanks for the info!

  17. In early May, I gave a talk about the new features in Silverlight 3. As I’ve started to gather

  18. 家出 says:


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