Staff Writer: Jessica Ross
Every so often a representative of a search engine will talk about how they are going to index Flash. Web designers get excited because more clients will want the more expensive Flash and search engine ranking service consultants get a bit cranky because more of their clients won’t understand that there is still a need to focus on SEO cornerstones for their website to succeed.
There are neat tricks you can do with Flash, but it’s just a topping or a spice. The actual meal is your content and what your search engine marketing service provides. You can’t make a whole meal out of a little bit of basil. That’s just what you add to make the meal taste great.
While on Flash you can have neat interactive content and maybe a game, how does that help your business? You will be getting lots of traffic to your site, sure, but are they there for your product or service or the game? Will all that extra “fun” content chase away proper business? A website is somewhat like a portfolio and shows potential clients how professional you are. If it’s making noises, has puzzles, and it’s hard to determine if you’re as serious about your work or product as they are.
A typical business doesn’t necessarily need Flash, they could use HTML with Flash accents. One reason not to base your website with Flash is that not every viewer is going to have Flash installed. Cell phones and even the iPhone and iPad cannot load Flash. Those sites just show up as a little blue cube. Another reason for not using Flash is that Flash-based sites only use one URL for the entire thing. It’s also a bookmarking and analytic program nightmare. Your viewers won’t be able to just bookmark the one page they wanted, but the whole site, then redid through for the page.
When searching for sites that deal with Flash in Google’s search engine, you will most likely come up empty or with very few results. The ones you will most likely pull up will have something in their Meta description that matched your search or the site had some info in an HTML page for users who lack a Flash Player Plug-in.
Search engines do not reference words in a Flash file for basic searches, they only look for .swf files (which are the files Flash typically uses). Say your website has a movie to explain your product or service, the search engine won’t let you search for quotes from the video and pull up the web page it’s on. However, if you search your quote and add .swf you will pull up the Flash file alone, not your website. Google does seem to have indexed Flash, just not in a way that is helpful to your site.
If you only care for Title tag traffic, Flash is for you. Just know that those searching for products/service might not pull up your site in searches.