Will Flash bring you down?

I’ve been asked this question numerous times and it may have been because people have misinterpreted something I’ve said in the past – “Flash based websites are a bad idea.” What I was getting at here was, having “exclusive” Flash websites is not a great idea – and here’s why…

When the Google spider is crawling around the web, you want to make it as easy as possible for it to navigate your website. This is done through your linking structure and/or your nav bar. Google needs to be able to follow your links to find your pages, so it can index them.

If you’re using exclusively Flash based menus and your website is Flash heavy, Google can’t read this. There’s nothing for it to grab hold of. You need content on your page. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to discard Flash completely.

Flash can help engage users and when used well it can look great. That is equally important because it can make your website more sticky (help retain visitors longer) and hopefully convert visitors to buyers. So Flash isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

It’s important to follow the standard rules of thumb for on page optimization: make sure you choose the appropriate keyword, put it in the title tag, and meta description. Put some content on the page and the text in it; you also want to have crawlable links so the spiders can follow them around.

With all that that said and done, like all things SEO, you can still rank pure Flash websites simply by using enough back links. The fact is, if you’ve got enough back links, you can rank just about anything!

A good rule of thumb though, is to make sure you have that good on page optimization, have the crawlable links and some content on your site.

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