Have you heard of the Burger Angry-gram from the factory workers at Crispin Porter + Bogusky? If not, you may have just googled it to learn more. But what do you see?
With interactive experiences built in Flash like the angry-gram, you may find one sole search result for the site itself, with many more references from other sources about the campaign. There are a few reasons for this, and they help illustrate why SEO and social media are becoming increasingly interconnected.
Typically, SEO is focused on page-level optimization. Pages are developed in anticipation of the user using particular search terms. However, an application built in Flash like the angry-gram doesn’t have the same concept of pages. The site may appear to have navigation, but a quick glance at the URL shows that it doesn’t change; as far as google spiders are concerned, this is the same “page” and will not get indexed separately.
Now, this may not be a bad thing. In the case of rich internet applications, the “application” is key. It may not make sense for a search results page to link a visitor part way into the process of creating an angry-gram: there may need to be a logical progression.
So what can you do if you want people to be able to discover your campaign?
If the steps within the application themselves cannot show up in search engine results, you can work to ensure that information ABOUT the application shows up.
Look again at the search results page for angry-gram – there are plenty of blog posts and social networking site links to the campaign. An engaging campaign like the Angry-gram has to stand on its own legs, but embarking on a social media marketing campaign can help to generate buzz and coverage, which will ultimately drive people to the site.
We caution ourselves not to judge a book by its cover, and only allowing google to index the landing page of a rich internet application forces us to do just that: we cannot get a sense of what’s inside from the search engine results page (SERP). In selecting a book to purchase, we read reviews and solicit opinions from others. Embarking on a social media marketing campaign is essentially soliciting those reviews, so that potential visitors can gain insights into what your applications offers, regardless if google itself is able to index the experience.