As a directory editor, I see a lot of submissions come in of websites that have Flash all over their website where the navigation AND content are published within a Flash container with absolutely no HTML anywhere to be found. In SEO circles, this can be a bad practice and hurt the rankings of your website within the SERPs. I have provided some reasons below why you should not let Flash take over the content of your website.
- Compatibility – Macromedia/Adobe Flash comes as a browser add on and is not included within your browser (whether it be Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) when it is first installed on your computer. With Flash being a browser add on, the user will have to manually install the add on, depending on what browser you are using, and can also vary with which operating system the user is running as well. With this premise, many users do not know that they have to manually download this add-on, and this can be quite frustrating because the user will be unable to see the content of your website.
Also note (in some cases) that Flash cannot be viewed on some well-known portable/mobile devices, such as the Apple iPhone.
- Searchability – Another reason that you should not have your site dominated by Flash is that it will be hard for search engine and directory crawlers to acquire the data they need to include within their listings. If your website is one big Flash file, the search engines/directories will not be able to grab key words and phrases that users will use to find your website. Therefore, the listing that is added to these services may end up blank, which will not be informative to the end user.
With the two points lited above in mind, please make sure that the following sections of your site are not created with Flash:
- About Us
- Mission/Vision Statement
- Site Map
This does not mean that you have to take Flash fully out of your site, because in some cases, Flash can be quite visually appealing and enhance the look and feel of your website’s usability. Just remember to make sure that you are using Flash in moderation.