Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 26th, 2009

Flash Isn’t SEO’s Best Friend

A tempting method to draw traffic to your site is to load it with graphic animations to catch the eye and attention of a potential conversion. But just like in the game life, beauty doesn’t always prevail. A large number of businesses make the simple mistake of over-utilizing Flash on their site because web design companies have sold them on it. Despite what they may have said, a Flash site may look cool, but it can work against you if you are out to make money online.

For those who are unfamiliar with Flash, it is a software program that can create special effects and animation to spice up your site. There are some websites that use minimal Flash and do well, but other websites are significantly, or completely, build in Flash. This is bad for your SEO for many reasons:

1. It slows down your site. Every time the site is loaded, it has to load all the Flash code, which takes time. Even with broadband and DSL, it can still be annoying.

2. Content suffers. If you have tons of Flash going on, chances are content is being sacrificed. Content is the driving force of online business, you cannot live without it. There may be a balance, but it is a fine one.

3. Search engines don’t like Flash. In fact, they can’t read Flash and try to avoid these sites all together. The search engine spiders are capable of two things: reading HTML code and searching for text. If your site is all Flash, you are out of luck.

In case you missed it, search engine optimization is about building web pages with appropriate content that is both appealing to the search engines and user-friendly to the real people who will visit and actually buy your stuff.

Please Note: Flash may be used on a site tactfully, but it should be minimal and applied in appropriate places with adequate HTML content.

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