How to Use Flash in Top Ranking Pages
 by John Heard

How to Use 'Flash' in Top Ranking Pages
...and prevent your Web design team from screwing up your SEO —by John Heard & Joshua Fricke

good_vs_evil.jpgIn the world of SEO, not all Flash is evil. A Flash banner here, or a Flash slideshow there, can provide exciting content for your visitors without harming your rankings! It can also make your Web page look really cool.

On the other hand, building your entire Web page or site in Flash is simply dumb SEO/SEM because you put your site at an automatic ranking disadvantage. You also handicap your ability to generate conversions (sales, leads, newsletter signups, etc).

All too often, when a creative design team embarks on a Web site project, they're overflowing with eagerness to build an ultra-modern looking site using Flash as their basis. In most cases they're completely oblivious that their masterpiece will torpedo any chance the site has to rank well in the search engines. That's because search engines just don't "get" Flash.

Now, if you own the site, no big deal—you simply give an all Flash site design proposal the big thumbs down and send the designers back to the drawing board. However, if you're part of your company's SEO team or an outside consultant, you're often expected to somehow make the flash heavy site rank well.

Well, if you can't talk them out of it, we've got the ammo you need to make sure that your site's Flash design stays SEO friendly. Let's review a bit about what the SEs see and do with flash content...

Why Flash is Bad

When you create an entire Web page in Flash, you've locked all of your text and links into a format the search engines can't read or crawl. It's as if you built a Web page, took a screenshot of it, then used that image file as your page rather than the page itself. The search engine spiders simply cannot "see" the text because, technically, there isn't any. So now you're forced to create an alternative way for search engines to interpret the content of your page...

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