MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Responding to numerous requests, Google and Yahoo have improved their ability to index Adobe Flash files.
The announcement followed Adobe's release of technology that enables search engines to crawl and index Flash files. Previously, search engines could see the files but not see what was in them.
Adobe has created a special Flash player that acts like a virtual user going through each application, going through the runtime of each application and translating it for the search engines to understand.
In turn, that means Google and Yahoo can better index textual content in Flash files of all types, including buttons or menus and self-contained Flash websites.
In the case of Google, the search engine is also discovering URLs that appear in Flash files and feeding them into the crawling system.
The technology only discovers and indexes text content in Flash files. If a file contains only images, any text in those images will not be recognized or indexed.
The introduction of the technology is a bonus, especially since not showing up in search-engine results "has been a big problem for those developing rich applications," said Michele Turner, Adobe's vice president of marketing.
Google has begun using the technology, and Yahoo plans to implement it in the near future.