While searching Google, you’ve probably become familiar with the magnifying glass icon to the right of each keyword listing. Clicking the icon offers a glimpse of the related page before you choose to visit it. The function is respectively called Google Instant Preview, which was released in November.
Google released some interesting news, they are integrating Flash support into Instant Previews. This enables the visibility of Flash sites within Instant Preview. Instead of the blank box where Flash files are embedded, the viewer sees an image. This doesn’t mean the Flash file will be playing in preview; Google’s new utility retrieves a snapshot of the site, and then renders the image. Posting static images of Flash files preserves search speeds, thus increasing fundamental interaction.
Web designers continue battling with search crawlers and optimization, as they are able to read Java Script and not Flash files. However, the update is not for SEO; it’s to improve the searcher’s engagement. Google has offered a list of tips for those with Flash sites, and who wish to take advantage of the new Instant Preview. These are the two most important:
- Create a version of your site without Flash, for those who are not Flash enabled. This usually requires an HTML version that will show up if the browser’s plug-in cannot read Flash.
- Keep the file size small! Maintaining smaller files increases speed and load times, this should be part of common practice even with static images and Java.
For a full list of features and tips, go directly to Google’s Web Master Tools Page.
Building a better web experience for visitors, both on and off site, are important elements of website design and web development. By incorporating these methodologies, your website rises to the top, gaining visibility in an ocean of competitors. Instant Preview is another part of optimization, and represents the proverbial carrot dangling in front of the horse.