Flash sites are, in general, some of the worst performing sites on the web. They usually have a pitiful amount of search traffic and out of the visitors that do manage to find the site 50% of them will decide that they would rather leave again than bother to watch the intro and click though into the main site.
Adobe has today announced a new plugin that will allow Google and Yahoo to start indexing Flash content and help them make sense of the millions of Flash documents out there. You can get more information via Matt, TechCrunch and Search Engine Land.
The issue for me is that optimising Flash content has never been difficult and yet Flash developers still don’t usually bother. All you need to do to optimise Flash is to make sure people without Flash can still navigate the pages and read the content. That isn’t SEO it’s basic usability.
If Flash developers haven’t bothered with this in the past then it is unlikely their applications will be optimised well enough for the new method of indexing to make much difference.
It’s one thing for Google to be able to index a page and find out what it’s about but totally another for them to want to rank a particular page highly.
Flash sites normally have just one page with a whole load of content while normal sites have a unique page for each bit of content they want to rank highly. That’s why Flash sites get far less traffic and unless this changes the situation won’t change.
If design agencies see that Google can now index Flash the number of Flash sites will increase and when they fail to get any search traffic SEO’s can step in and optimise them. That’s why this is good news for the SEO industry.