Google Is Evil in a Flash

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Despite its stated desire not to be evil, Google certainly seems to be sliding that way:

Google has been developing a new algorithm for indexing textual content in Flash files of all kinds, from Flash menus, buttons and banners, to self-contained Flash websites. Recently, we've improved the performance of this Flash indexing algorithm by integrating Adobe's Flash Player technology.

So why is that so evil? Because:

Now that we've launched our Flash indexing algorithm, web designers can expect improved visibility of their published Flash content, and you can expect to see better search results and snippets.

What that means in practice is that one of the major downsides of using Flash – its invisibility to search engines like Google - has partly disappeared. That, in turn, is likely to encourage more Web designers to incorporate it into their sites – making the experience more like television than the Internet. Flash not only takes the control away from the visitor, it renders its content opaque in terms of links. Whereas on a Web page you can generally see where you are going, Flash pages are ungiving blobs that reveal nothing of where they are taking you. In this sense, Flash is the antithesis of the Web's transparent, open structure, and Google is decidely evil to be aiding and abetting it with this latest move.

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