Flash and AJAX can be confusing to users and search engines because the same URL delivers different content. URL structure is important to search engines because it provides a means of accessing content. It also provides a sense of place to site visitors.

Even though search engines currently can't access (or have difficulty accessing) the content within Flash or invisible layers, the problem isn't always access. The problem is often content. A few years ago, Yahoo analyzed the content contained within Flash movies and Web sites and found the content wasn't really useful. Extracting the links from these layers proved more useful.

So how should Web site owners determine whether or not to use Flash or AJAX on their Web sites?

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