• tjm8660

    Jill seems to be out of touch with new technologies to over come everything she’s discussed in this article in terms of SEO. What about swfAdress for making bookmarking easier? What about using a database & PHP to pull in the content and embed it into the HTML? I agree with Jill that if you don’t need Flash then don’t use it. But if your goal is to create a site that engages your audience in terms of motion, etc., then use Flash.

  • rhcerff

    Flash has been, is, and most likely always will be a pet hate of mine. A friend of mine describes the overuse of flash as nothing more than a webmaster looking for self gratification.

    Even now I would suggest that you robots out your flash sections and still have an alternative Plain Jane HTML version.

    @tjm8660 a site that engages an audience such as those looking for the latest on Ozzy Osboure, yeah. But for any business anything that takes longer than 10seconds to load, I would seriously disagree.

  • http://www.highrankings.com/newsletter/ Jill Whalen

    @tjm8660 I realize there are work arounds and new technologies, but the fact of the matter is that most websites are not making use of them, and therefore, are invisible to the search engines. At least that’s what my research was showing me.

  • netrafic

    Ive been a fan of yours for years but I have to agree, if you are going to use a title like that in the 2009 world of SEO your argument does not fly. A better title should have been – Why I Dont Like Flash Sites. I too like good old fashioned up front this is who i am and this is what i do text on the home page. But 80% of our clients coming through the door dont care about any of that. They say make it work. We do with swrf objects and/or div tags. Big G-dawg recognizes this and thats al that matters anymore. These tend to be shallow sites with no intentions of the long term view, we who work in the trenches try to bestow on those clients. But none the less you worx with whats you’s gets donchaknow.

  • http://www.beussery.com/blog beussery

    Good post Jill, the problem seems to be the lack “alternative” content (including images), lack of textual content within the actual Flash file and lack of understanding about how engines handle Flash files. For example, swfaddress uses #anchors in URLs but as you know they are ignored by Googlebot.

    Sad to say but like you said Flash still isn’t optimal in competitive spaces….

  • elchenuk

    I’d say the majority or our clients have flash on their sites either for cosmetic reasons or to portray information that is more eye catching and interactive. I can’t believe that in 2009 search engines still can’t read flash files. I totally agree that complete flash sites are very dangerous if you rely on the web to market your business, but flash strategically used in places to convey a richer message, definitely has its use in my very humble, opinion.

  • http://dianev.com DianeV

    While I, too, could do without navbars tracing themselves complete with clicking noises on page after page after page, I can think of a number of scenarios in which *pieces* of Flash would do better than plain images. For example, Flash is perfect for helping to illustrate complex situations and relationships.

    Bear in mind, too, that regular people may really like Flash. I’ve often found that to be true.

  • http://www.space150.com craigsanatomy

    You’re right on with the spice analogy. If used properly, you can do a LOT with flash in a search friendly way (see: http://blog.space150.com/2007/1/11/faust-flash-augmenting-standards). It’s not that you can’t use it, or that you have to have one flash site and one HTML site (can webmasters please stop doing that?), you just have to layer flash on top of HTML & CSS so that the searchies can still read your content in a way that makes sense!

  • http://www.antezeta.com/blog/ sean

    This article resonates with me. Much of my work is in the Italian market. Italy has a great tradition in the graphic arts and many designers have blissfully migrated to web design using Flash as the preferred platform.

    Yet Flash violates a lot of what the web is all about – Jill touches on many of the issues above. After explaining the problems with Flash (and Silverlight for that matter) for the umpteenth time, I finally took pen to paper and came up with 7 reasons to avoid Flash like the plague.

    Yes, there are exceptions where Flash usage may be the solution, such as an Ikea kitchen configuration tool. And I should note that I am talking about sites created entirely in Flash rather than an html site which makes judicious use of a Flash insert here and there.

    1) Semantic information available to search engines via html tags such as title, h1, p… etc is missing.

    2) Website reporting on Flash navigation is problematic and cumbersome (as mentioned above)

    3) Flash breaks web usability standards. Try using the back button or increasing the font size, for example.

    4) Lack of consistent cross platform support. Flash version 8 was never released for Linux, breaking many sites. Mobile device support is weak or non-existent (as Jill mentions with the iPhone). Microsoft’s Silverlight is even worse. Linux support is stuck at the obsolete version 1 while Microsoft is reading version 3.

    5) Code embedding Flash objects doesn’t pass w3c validation

    6) Some users disable Flash to avoid flash based advertising

    7) Website updates continually require Flash skills

    To my original article which covers these points in greater depth ( http://www.antezeta.com/blog/flash-problems/ ) I should also add the inability to highlight, copy and paste text, such as a business phone number and address
    . Yes, it should be possible, but often it is not. Which I think is one of Jill’s key points.

    While Search Engine reps and Adobe will point out what can be done in theory with advanced Flash techniques to mitigate the above mentioned issues, budget constraints and/or lack of developer knowledge mean it doesn’t happen in reality.