Flash, SEO, and all that jazz

It’s one of those debates that never ends – to Flash or not to Flash. And one of the big arguments against it is that Flash is difficult (if not impossible) to properly optimize for search engines.
Now, we *all* know that’s not exactly true. Flash isn’t *impossible* to SEO properly. But it’s definitely more difficult to optimize, it’s rife with accessibility issues, and people (frankly speaking) just tend to suck at it. Flash is a powerful tool, and adds whole dimensions to a browser’s UI capabilities. There’s no question about that. With all that power, though, comes a tendency for people to overdo their UI, trying to “be creative” and they end up coming up with – to quote someone I just read – crap. All very unfortunate, because it gives Flash a really bad name.
Personally, I avoid Flash unless a project has a very specific need that can only be filled (or is more easily filled) with Flash. Full-on Flash websites are a thing of the past, hybrid sites with Flash elements, a thing of the present (and possibly the future.) As SEO gets more complex, and the technologies surrounding it get more complex, the landscape may change. Until then, this very handy flowchart will help you decide whether or not to run the gun and use Flash:

Special thanks to The Google Cache for making me laugh so hard this morning I almost spilled my coffee. Almost. That stuff is worth its weight in gold…

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