SEO, Nothing changed.

Gilbert (one of the original guys behind prooving Silverlight + SEO) of  had a great write-up outlining some depth thought around this whole SEO buzz that Adobe unleashed early this week.

I like this quote:

Microsoft has .XAML and the .XAP extensions, the second been just a zip file renamed; which pretty much are open for anyone to consume, crawl and index; all this available to the world from day 1. XAML at its end is XML and it remains XML once deployed (different to MXML that gets pre-compiled to AS3 and later to binary format for it to be published); which could allow savvy developers to XLST the markup to XHTML, provide a site map as per normal practices and best part, one the content owner, will have the chance to decide what the bot gets to see and what remains invisible.

The discussion put forward is at the end of the day, nothing has changed, the problems of yesterday still exist today and the part hat hits home for me, is the fact you don't need to hire a team of engineers to help you understand our formats - .xap and .xaml.

As for deep linking, same principals apply here for both Adobe and Microsoft; you still need to figure out how your end users move in and out of the solution you’ve built. This still requires a RIA Architect to decide how this composition comes together. Google is unlikely to automate this for us, as in the end this is what the sales pitch during this week has been.

Correct. Google isn't the magic bullet here, you still need to the same amount of work you did prior to Adobe's announcement(s). You still need to figure out how the various views/screens come together, how folks can bookmark (albeit Deep Link) to that point in time. Otherwise you will have as Gilbert outlines in this diagram:

SEO Flash

In some cases this may work, in most RIA it's pretty much a case of "guess where I live" game.

I think this last quote summarises the state of play perfectly

The problem at hand still remains unsolved (so don't think on throwing that SWFObject nor the SWFAddress code away, just yet), all that happened really is Adobe took out some insurance to keep the .SWF extension relevant through the welcoming arms of Google and Yahoo!

Read more here:

Comments (8)

  1. Lindsay Rasmussen says:

    Finally a descent response from Microsoft and one that illustrates how Adobe did search no favours this week.

  2. So, if I can summarize your post:

    In light of Adobe’s announcement you have nothing to say about .swf but rather want to take this opportunity to state (or restate) that silverlight/xaml/ etc. are SEO ready?

    I think your point (that you’ll always need to construct a design that makes for deep linking) is well taken.  But, really, your post is "Adobe’s new PR means I need to point out something not new from us"

    For what it’s worth, I think the whole SEO thing is a scam.  I mean, search engines will evolve–hopefully faster than any trickster that is selling a promise that a particular keyword renders a high page rank.  See my vid:

  3. I love the quote "take out some insurance to keep the .swf extension relevant through the welcoming arms of Google…"   The funny part is that it so craftily implies that .swf is somehow not relevant… or facing an impending doom.  But… if that were even close to true, why would you have to be making such an effort to tell people that’s happening?  Seems to me (if it were true) you could just sit back and watch it die.  I daresay your prediction is years premature.

  4. Scott Barnes says:

    Phillip your videos are disturbing.. yet i can’t stop watching them.. does that make wrong?

  5. I find it very comforting that Microsoft employees still need to resort to talking down other technologies in a failed attempt to make their own look better. It’s a clear sign that Silverlight has a long way to go, or you’d be highlighting its benefits backed up by some cool showcase applications instead. I’m still waiting for those, and particularly the ones that did not receive MS funding.

    Why don’t you show us what your technology can do, rather than sitting in your armchair criticizing? The fact of the matter is that there is no Silverlight content out there that needs to worry about SEO.

  6. tom says:

    I think the fundamental problem here is that deep linking still relates to the old web site metaphor. When we are talking RIAs deep linking makes little sense in my opinion.

    It’s a bit like saying you are going to deep link into Microsoft Office. All the user really needs to know is how to find Office… once they get there they should be able to figure it out for themselves.

    If we are talking doing web sites with Flash/ Silverlight then I think the developers have pretty much missed the point.

  7. Garry Trinder says:

    Deep Linking can mean many things to many people. In my view Deep Linking isn’t always about "Goto this URL and the application will automatically navigate you to that proposed state".

    Deep Linking can be like New York Times reader. You search the hard drive of your computer for an article, you find the article, click on it and the GUI around NYT is contextually aware of what you just clicked on and reacts.

    Same methodolgy applies with Microsoft Word. Click on a docx file and it self inflates inside Office and you’re able to not only have the document open within context, but it will resume your last known state.

    RIA and SEO isn’t something I find fitting for future, it’s again essentially kicking over the bee hive to get to the honey?..

  8. Tom says:


    That was the other idea I had but wouldn’t you assume it actually requires a framework that can be applied to all RIAs in the same manner?

    From what I know neither Flash nor Silverlight offer such a framework at the moment.

    It doesn’t sound like this would be trivial problem either and don’t expect to be seeing some that works, delivers good results and is actually used by developers on a broad scale for a very long time.

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