Should I Use Flash On My Website?

Many website owners want to build their business website using Flash to WOW their visitors. The problem is that flash content doesn’t get indexed by the search engines and therefore your site will not gain high rankings. Search engines only index textual content, not images, video or javascript. It may be possible to get your flash site ranked if you have lots of high quality links pointing to your flash web page however it will take a great amount of effort. Also there is no guarantee it will work because you’ll be competing with non-flash sites.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Flash

According to Google:
Search engines are text based. This means that in order to be crawled and indexed, your content needs to be in text format. Any content you embed in these files should also be available in text format or it won’t be accessible to search engines.

Use rich-media technologies like Flash primarily for decorative purposes, and instead use HTML for content and navigation. This makes your site more crawler-friendly, and also makes it accessible to a larger audience including, for example, readers with visual impairments that require the use of screen readers, users of old or non-standard browsers, and users with limited or low-bandwidth connections such as a cellphone or mobile device.

Where to Use Flash on Your Website

1. Headers

Perhaps you want to rotate a number of different header images on your site to give visitors an overview of your products and services. Sometimes a picture is able to describe what you have better than text. Don’t just rely on the images but include a paragraph or 2 of descriptive content as well containing your main keywords so the search engines will index your site.

2. Images embedded in your content

Images help break up the monotony of your content. You can also enhance your content by included flash next to it (ie left or right aligned).

3. Flash slide show

This is a great way to showcase your products. For instance you may want to create a flash slide show so visitors can easily navigate your photos. If you want Google to crawl this page include a paragraph of text at the top of the page and add your meta tags.

4. Splash page

This is when a site displays a “splash screen” that links to content deeper within the website. Make sure you have an HTML link on the front page that links to a non-flash page so visitors can navigate the rest of your site.

Even though Google can index the content of some Flash files most other search engines cannot. Therefore don’t use Flash for navigation. Instead use HTML and CSS so your site will be accessible to a larger audience.

Flash should compliment your website not dominate it.

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