Google Improves Flash Handling – Is It Enough?
The Good News
Google started to improve it’s ability to index Flash content a couple of years ago. Now it can see content within Flash files so it can index that content. And it can follow links within Flash content as well. So Google can now tell what lies within an all-flash website.
The Bad News
This will still not allow all-Flash websites to compete well with HTML web pages. Why? For one thing, Flash is too slow loading, especially for smart phones, tablets and dial-up users. This is especially disadvantageous considering Google’s emphasis on page download speed as an important ranking factor.
With a Flash website there’s still a lack of unique URLs which means no one can link to an internal page in an all-Flash site. Instead everyone has to go through your home page and follow any necessary navigation to get to the content they’re interested in. That conflicts with Google’s current emphasis on user experience as a ranking factor. You also lose many rankings factors associated with individual page titles, link anchor text, site maps and more.
So, What to Do?
- Use Flash, but only as individual flash elements on your pages.
- Don’t embed navigation to other flash content within your Flash content.
- Construct your site with individual HTML pages.
- Be sure to take advantage of all the HTML ranking factors available to your HTML pages.