What are Flash Websites?
Flash, officially known as Adobe Flash, is a technology that allows websites to display anything from animations, video, music and other content all within one contained package. Flash’s unique ability to display rich animation, graphics and audio in a harmonious way across a wide range of operating systems, browsers and devices made it a very tempting medium to create a website in.
Why is Flash Bad for SEO?
The internet is made up of trillions upon trillions of files. These files include anything from videos to photos to web pages. Of all the files on the internet, only two types exists; Text and Binary. In a nut shell, text files contain text and can easily be read. A binary file on the other hand contains codes that does not make any sense when read as text.
Attempting to Read A Text Based File
Attempting to Read a Binary Based File
As you can see from the images above, reading a text based file results in a logical representation of text that can be easily understood. Reading a binary based file results in garbled code that means nothing when read. Search engines see these files the same way.
Like photos and videos, Flash files are binary. As a result, websites built completely with Flash cannot be read or indexed properly by a search engine. This causes Flash based websites to either rank low in the search results or not a all.
Good web designers that used flash in the past, used it as a design element on a standard web page, rather then building the entire website with Flash. In this form, Flash acts like an image or other unreadable content and a search engine simply skips it and instead reads the text based content on the web page.
In recent years, even properly designed websites using Flash have become a industry no-no. With the advent of mobile devices, particularly the iPhone and iPad, Flash has become a thing of the past. Since devices such as the iPhone and iPad cannot display flash content, websites using any flash whatsoever cannot be viewed by these devices. In reality, now days using Flash on a website is not just bad SEO but it is also bad web design with regards to mobile compatibility.