Should you Use Flash Content In your Website Development – An SEO Perspective

Before 2005, flash websites were a lot common than today. The internet speed was slower than today and instead of using videos on the website, companies created flash movies and used them in their website development projects. Images and animation looked pretty good at the time and the loading time of the websites was lower. But then search engines started evolving and they started ignoring the flash content from websites. And today flash movies and other content is a nightmare for SEO.

If you are looking for a flash based website development project, it will be a SEO disaster as the search engine crawlers will ignore most of the content on your website. No matter how good it is or how relevant it is, there will be very limited resources that you will be able to use if you want your website to rank better.

Website development companies have teams of expert developers, website designers and SEO experts who work together to create something that is user friendly and is able to rank better in search engines. Flash content looks very good on your website, but the downside is that you will have to give up search engine ranking for it. Crawlers and search engine bots actually index text and images of the website and then bring it up according the search keywords. This is the simplest way of understanding how search engines work. But when there is a flash animation on the website, these bots will ignore it and treat it as a blank page which can bring the website out of the top results. After some recent updates from Google, the crawlers may be able to break down and read the text but it is still not effective as reading Html code.

How to get around this problem

Most companies like their website development projects to have some flash animations. Although experts don’t recommend such practice, but if you really want to do it, treat the flash content as images or videos. Put in a lot of descriptive text with keywords describing the content. The crawlers will then catch the description text and will index the page.

If you are going for a complete website designing and development project in flash, you can still use HTML elements in the website to help it rank better. The best thing to do here is make an alternative layout of the website which will work at the backend or behind the visible flash content. This means that you will have to put in double the effort during the website designing and development stage.

Being in the website design and branding business for a long time, I would not advise anyone to develop a complete website using flash. The users love the animations but the search engines seem to have developed a habit of ignoring such content. There are only two possible solutions to this problem and I have mentioned them both, but the IT industry is evolving every day and there might be other solutions as well. Speak to an expert at our company about any other solution if you really want to have your website development project done in flash.