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I'm in the process of making a new site and I'm to the point of figuring out exactly how I want to do the navigation. Because of how I'd like it to look, I was looking at making a small flash navigation menu. But if I do that, google can't follow the links, can it??


Is there a way to have google still be able to follow along, and have flash menus??

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I'm almost sure that google won't follow links in a Flash navigation menu.


Still, it just occured to me that you could place empty links (<a href="page.html"></a>) somewhere in the body of your page and google will probably follow them. Or make a link with just a small dot (<a href="page.html">.</a>) and make it's font really small and the same color as the background. That way the link is there and Google will follow it but your visitors will not see it. :)

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No google wont follow flash links, but you can be just as sneaky, and actually help thoose who have disabilities.


At the bottom of your page, there should also be a text menu, something like:


| Home Page | News | Forum | Help | Contact me


etc, and each should have a <A> tag with the correct link. It should also match the top menu layer of your flash menu.


Google will then follow these and you will still gain the ratings due to links at the bottom.


Flash can't be read very well by screenreaders, hence the text menu at the bottom is just perfect as it solves two problems with one stone



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... you could place empty links (<a href="page.html"></a>) somewhere in the body of your page

I would be careful doing this as Google *may* interpret these empty tags as spoofing attempts and ban you. I am not stating this as fact because I don't know, but if I was Google I'd be suspicious. :D

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Straight from Google's mouth:

Technical Guidelines:


Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as Javascript, cookies, session ID's, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.


Now having read that, I know that flash links can be followed (and subsequent pages indexed).


Now having said that, I would always recommend adding 'hard' links to a page. As Jim said, you could add these far below your site so they would not add, or in this case detract, from you visual presentation.

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Flash Tags mean you *expect* your audience to be able to see them, too.


I have Flash installed but I've had trouble getting around sites that use Flash Tags.


Another way to help Google, is create a site map and submit the site map where it goes down the pages ...then you don't have to worry about the actual pages because it has the sitemap to spider through.

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