In the past, I’ve communicated that Flash, while useful for creating rich web experiences, is the scorn for anyone looking to rank well based on content within Flash movies. Search Engine are just unable to crawl & index this content.
Well, as of July 1, 2008, things have changed.
Check out Vanessa Fox’s article on SearchEngineLand.com regarding Google & Adobe’s partnership to enhance the search algorithm to crawl & digest Flash content. Mark this date; everything has changed.
The Flash Developer in question presented at a local Meet-up this week. A topic that was brought up repeatedly was Flash and it’s impact on SEO. The developer, who appeared (to me) to promote Flash sites stated that the lack of “on page” elements to optimize was countered by eventual links into the sites.
I’d like to offer a counter opinion. I’ll limit my soapbox to SEO, and not touch upon usability.
Flash was deemed 99% bad by Jakob Nielsen in 2000. Since then, the design & developer community has reigned in the wild, excessive, and non-standard use of Flash. It has now become an effective tool used by the web community.
I’d still like to counter the Flash developer’s remarks that on page optimization is not important, links are enough. The developer also stated that his work gets ranked.
So I perform a very brief test on his statement (the developer might know something I don’t). One of the sites in his portfolio is reytracer.com. I searched on the term “Ray Tracer.” The site was ranked; #20 (page 2). Here is how the search result appears in Google: