Contact Us

Welcome to ineedhits Blog

Welcome to the ineedhits Search Engine Marketing blog, where we share the latest search engine and online marketing news, releases, industry trends and great DIY tips and advice.

Monday, March 30, 2009

4 Major Reasons Why SEO and Flash Still Don’t Mix

Posted by @ 1:00 am

seoflashIn June of last year, Google announced they had improved their indexing of Flash files – and web designers around the globe rejoiced. Many web designers love flash because it frees them from the creative shackles of HTML and can give them the “WOW” factor when presenting new websites to clients.

Unfortunately, while flash sites may look great, they’re a nightmare when it comes to SEO. Google’s improvements in flash indexing did help some flash sites to rank, but most of the fundamental problems with flash still remain.

Below are 4 reasons why I believe small business owners should avoid building flash based websites.

1. Different Content is not on Different URLs
Because your content is all contained within a single SWF file, there are no additional pages for Google to index and this severely impacts things like bookmarking your site, analytics etc.

2. Basic SEO Tags are Still Missing
While Google can read text from within SWF files, most of the time, basic SEO tags will be lost. Examples of these are link anchor text, H1/H2 tags, image alt tags and bold text. Missing these tags is going to have a negative impact on your ranking.

3. Not All Browsers Have Flash Installed
If the user does not have flash installed, or is using a device that doesn’t support flash (eg: Apple’s iPhone) the content is going to be lost completely.

4. Flash Doesn’t Receive a Lot of Links
There are a number of reasons why flash sites don’t earn as many links as HTML pages. Some of these reasons include:

  • Less social media links because users can’t link to content within your site.
  • Less blog/news links because users can’t easily quote your text.
  • Less one way links from resource websites because specific content is not on a separate URL

Overall, I believe the benefit of building a slightly more interactive flash based website is far outweighed by the negative SEO impact it can have. If your website designer is determined to use flash, ask them to use it sparingly rather than designing your entire site with it.

Thanks to SEOmoz and Search Engine Land for some great insight on this topic.

Tags: ,

Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

Discussion (3 - comments)

[...] Matthew Elshaw has recently come out with a post about the negative sides of Flash, especially for small business owners. [...]

By Content Website - Blog Archive » Do You Have Flash Content? - - March 30, 2009

Hey.. All these reasons explains the complexity of seo for flash. But, it is not so tough to optimize these pages for SEO. We just need to have good SEO strategy. Moreover, let us hope that Google or Yahoo come up with solutions that enable flash optimization. The first steps for this was taken by Google along with Adobe last year.

Let us hope for the best!

By Dax Turner - April 1, 2009

[...] Google is making some good progress at indexing Flash content, SEO for Flash is still in its infancy, and, if your application depends on SEO to succeed, you better stick with well known URLs and HTML [...]

By To Flash or to Open Web | Bits And Buzz, by Jeremy Chone - June 25, 2009

Add Your Comments


Keep up to date with the latest from our blogs.

Subscribe to all blog posts

The Newsletter

  • New Posts
  • Popular
  • Comments


More in Tips & Advice (331 of 480 articles)

The position of keywords in your website's URL's has always been a bit of a grey area, but Google's Matt ...