Why are agencies still building sites in Flash?
I don’t get it. Haven’t they gotten the message yet? Flash web sites are still 99% bad. They annoy people by making them wait for content. Flash web sites are not well indexed by Search engines. Flash web sites are not user friendly. If your code is not well optimized for spiders, your web site is invisible to Search engines. I know Creative Directors love Flash. They think holding an audience captive to witness their brilliance through animation is what Creativity with a Capital “C” is all about. But trust me, it’s not what people want on the web. (With a capital Not).
Worse, if your web site has an index page message like this one:
(This is the page (with logo removed) that I got as the first position on a Google Search results).
It is probably the first page a potential client will see when they try to find you in Google or Yahoo. A message that says “Sorry, if you don’t have the latest version of flash player we just think you’re very uncool and don’t want your business. Go away.”
Nice way to treat clients. (And it’s not just the small little agencies out there doing this…I found this message when looking up a MAJOR agency just the other day.) Unbelievable it is. And embarrassing…for them. From an agency that should know better (I won’t name names here to protect the innocent, namely myself.).
So come on Art Directors, Creative Directors, Agencies of the Future…get the message! Don’t create a web site entirely from Flash. It’s probably the number one no-no in the SEO bible (if one existed, and if it did, it would be written by Danny Sullivan and even he says don’t do it.).
Here’s a great overview of Why Flash is Mostly Bad
Of course, you can use some Flash on a page, like a nice little Optional section of a web site. But please, don’t create the entire site in Flash. Please!
Jacob Neilsen (the grand-guru of web site design usability) said it almost 9 years ago in his now famous post…and it’s still true…A web site built with Flash is 99% bad. In spite of the fact that Google can now crawl Flash sites, building them entirely in Flash is not a good idea. Indexing and optimizing on a site are not the same thing!
It’s like designing a sports car using foam rubber. Sure it might be easy to do. Sure it might let you do really cool things. But trust me, it’s not going to be durable and have the kind of functional resilience you need in a sports car! It surely can’t support dynamic database driven content that gives users what they really want – which is content that they really want.
The web is really all about control. Your visitors want control when they are browsing. They don’t want to give it to you. Flash is hijacking that control from them and forcing them to watch a presentation from you in a way you envision your message.
Web 2.0 …and Web 1.0 for that matter (get with the program) is all about handing over the control of your message to your audiences. (Our friend Richard Bush got it right on that one.) Your brand belongs to them, not you. Let them own it.
However, for those of you who are going to insist that designing web sites entirely in Flash is the optimal display our your design-Godness, then, please by all means make sure you at least understand how to get your site properly indexed in the search engines. Otherwise, no one will ever find you. And that just makes you look bad.
Other Flash SEO Resources:
The Creative BackLash
OK, so I’m expecting it. What’s your take?
Filed under: Creative, Design, Internet-Digital, Search/SEO | 6 Comments
Tags: Creative, Internet, SEO, web design