Flash SEO refers to the improvement of the ranking positions in the results of the search engines by optimizing the animated contents of a website. This is necessary because many Flash contents prevent a good ranking position rather than improving it.
On the one hand, this article is dedicated to the problems that Flash content causes on websites. On the other hand, we would also like to show you how you can eliminate these problems and improve your ranking with the help of Flash SEO.
What does “Flash” actually mean with Flash SEO?
But before we get started, we would like to explain briefly what the term “Flash” actually means. First, the word translated from English into German means “Blitz“. However, this translation does not necessarily help you immediately.
Flash is a software from Adobe, which displays multimedia content such as pictures or graphics in animated form. To view this Flash content you need a special player, the Adobe Flash Player. If this is installed on the computer of the website visitor, there are no problems whatsoever when playing the contents. However, there are enough obstacles you should be aware of when using Flash content on your website.
Problems with Flash content
Of course, animated content on your website is nice to look at, looks good and can enhance your website. Nevertheless, you should be aware of what the use of such content entails: Namely not only positive things!
On mobile devices such as mobile phones that have the IOS or Android operating systems, the SWF format cannot be played because it is not supported. So if a user visits your website via his mobile device, he cannot see the animated displays at all and sees only half of the website content. Google punishes websites that are not optimized for mobile access by giving them worse ranking positions.
Long load time
The Flash contents may take a longer time to load completely. For many website visitors, the long wait is more nerve-racking than pleasant and does not leave a good impression.
Many internet users have to install a plug-in and constantly update it to get the Flash content of the websites displayed at all. This means that for the optimal display of the content, an effort must be made by the visitor, which is not necessary with other file formats.
The search engines can neither record nor index what is displayed in the Flash content. The responsible web crawlers can only index visible content such as texts based on HTML and include it in their ranking. However, the text is “hidden” in Flash animations, so valuable content for search engines is simply lost.
In a Flash file, such as a video, a lot of invisible links can be inserted, which the web crawlers finally index. This so-called “Flash Bombing” is used by some people to get better ranking positions with their website. This is possible with those search engines that mainly consider the quantity of links as the decisive factor for a good ranking.
Measures from Google
Google wants to address the indexing problem of Flash content. The search engine has been improved for several years. Now it should be able to index most content from Flash files and the results are promising. However, Google’s algorithm and bots need to be further refined until they can best handle the SWF format and its content.
So it remains to be seen how the whole thing develops.
Flash SEO – You should be aware of this
There are some tips that you can follow to still create a well-positioned website that provides Flash content for the visitor.
Don’t design your entire website in SWF format. Write additional text, design the page in HTML, insert images with appropriate captions. With such additional content, search engines can also find something on your page, which they can save in their index. You don’t have to have everything graphically displayed on your website: You can also achieve visually beautiful results without it. Flash is more suitable for design elements and less important content.
Do not pack the complete page content into one huge animated file. If you want to display several contents graphically, divide them into several small files and distribute them on your HTML pages with text.
Each SWF content should have at least one heading and a corresponding graphic caption.
If you want to provide text in a Flash format, play it safe and also provide the corresponding text again in HTML. This way it will not get lost for the search engine and visitors without Adobe Flash Player.
Do not use Flash format for the navigation of your website. If you do want to do so, you should make sure that every page is accessible without the Adobe Flash Player. You can achieve this, for example, by setting up an alternative HTML navigation or providing a sitemap …
… or you create the complete website again in HMTL format. That’s a lot of work, but in the end it is of no use to you or your website visitors if half of the valuable content cannot be found, displayed and/or indexed.
All about Flash SEO
Now you are familiar with the pitfalls of Flash content.
Of course they are nice to look at and improve the overall impression of your website. They are colorful and bring some life and dynamics to the often boring website content.
And with our tips you are able to avoid the problems of Flash content or at least not let them become a disadvantage for your search engine ranking.
If you want to be on the safe side, use this Flash content sparingly or leave it out altogether.
Even without them, it is possible to create beautiful websites and contents that are easy to understand for the visitor.
We hope you enjoyed reading our article and that you were able to take one or two valuable tips or hints with you. See you next time, we look forward to seeing you!