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Flash Support Added to Google Instant Previews

Instant Previews, lets users see a snapshot of a search result before clicking on it. Google now made a change that Instant Previews now supports Flash.

“When the preview for a page is generated through our regular crawl, well now render a snapshot of any Flash components on the page. This’ll replace the “puzzle piece” icon that previously appeared to indicate Flash components, and should improve the accuracy of the previews,” explains Google.

“However, for pages that’re fetched on demand by the “Google Web Preview” user-agent, we’ll generate a preview without Flash in order to minimize latency. In these cases the preview will appear as if the page were visited by someone using a browser without Flash enabled, and “Install Flash” messages may appear in the preview, depending on how your website handles users without Flash,” Google added.

Here’re some guidelines for using Flash on your site:

  • Make sure that your site has a reasonable, seamless experience for visitors without Flash. This may involve creating HTML-only equivalents for your Flash-based content that’ll automatically be shown to visitors who can’t view Flash. Providing a good experience for this case will improve your preview and make your visitors happier.
  • If Flash components are rendering but appear as loading screens instead of actual content, try reducing the loading time for the component. This makes it more likely we’ll render it properly.
  • If you’ve Flash videos on your site, consider submitting a Video Sitemap which helps us to generate thumbnails for your videos in Instant Previews.
  • If most of the page is rendering properly but you still see puzzle pieces appearing for some smaller components, these may be fixed in future crawls of your page.

Flash Instant Previews

[Source: Webmaster Central blog]

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