Don't use Flash unless you have to

Sorry if this seems obvious.

I have just rewritten a website for City Lodge, an Auckland accommodation NZ website.

The new site looks almost exactly like the old site, except it's done in HTML instead of flash.

When evaluating the job, I saw a nicely designed 5 page flash website, which had a few rollover effects and a splash page. The splash page had to go as a matter of course, but rollovers can easily be replicated using Javascript. Except with Javascript, things degrade a whole lot better, and search engines can still see the content they need to see.

The indexing of the site is just yuck.
City Lodge Google indexing


By converting the whole site to plain XHTML / CSS, and using Javascript for rollovers, I think we have gone a long way towards getting this site indexed properly. We also added some on-page SEO, and will be doing some links in due course, and perhaps this site might start to rank again.

Flash based websites

Flash based sites are great in the right context - Hell Pizza is still my favourite example of a flash based site that has shit on-page SEO but still manages to rank top of Google NZ for "pizza" (presumeably due to links). We can forgive any SEO mistakes by the fact that the website is just so great to use, and fits so nicely into the whole Hell brand. Despite being several years old, this site is still several notches above any NZ competitor.

You couldn't get that level of interactivity and animation using Javascript.

For everyone else - if you don't need the level of animation that flash gives you, consider using Javascript to get the effects you need. Using libraries such as jQuery or you can add some fairly decent eye candy to your site and still be spider-friendly.
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Tags: on page seoFlash SEO"on page seo" "flash seo"