Minggu, 16 Maret 2008

Don't Have A Flash Website If You Want Search Engine Results

Beauty does not always sell. A large number of clients are keen on having more Flash on their web pages, because these graphic animations make the website look more attractive and eye-catching. There are web design companies that try to convince you that a Flash site sells. Fortunately or unfortunately, the irony is that a Flash site may make the site look cool, but it will work against you if you want your website to make money.

Flash is a software program that creates cool and jazzy special effects and animation to make your website attractive. There are some websites that have Flash elements included in the website, or at times you may see some websites that are totally done in Flash. However, common business sense advises you to stay clear of Flash on your website for the following reasons:

1. Flash makes your website slow: If your website is Flash oriented, it will take time for the website to be downloaded. Though there are broadband and DSL users, you cannot negate the fact that there are way too many consumers who are still using the dial-up connection. You can imagine how annoying it will be for prospects and people in general when the site takes way too long to appear, purely because of the Flash animation. Please do not be swayed by the talk of designers who may say that they can fix the slow download speed problem by making chunks of Flash animation appear instead of one big file. This will actually worsen the problem, because you will have to wait for a big file to appear each time you click on an appropriate button or go to another part of the website. You will find it worthwhile to leave all this trouble and go to another less jazzy and flashy site.

2. No Flash intro please! The Flash designed intros are like a curtain-raiser to the main website. However, these intros are quite annoying for most people and they try to hit the skip intro button in a bid to get to the content of the website. Sometimes there is no skip intro button, which makes people skip the website instead. The Flash intro is good only if your business is making a huge amount of money and you do not mind making the website look extra glamorous.

3. What happened to the content? If your website depends on Flash design, then there is a fair chance that there will be less content. The truth is that the content is the driving point of web-business. The cool design and the Flash animations are the peripherals - you can do without it. However, the core or the essence of your web business is the content; you simply cannot do without it.

4. Search engines do not favor Flash: If you have chosen to skim through the first three points, you have to really get this into your system- search engines that bring the business to you avoid Flash sites. To program your HTML file, you write a code that makes the Flash file play. The tragic part is that search engines cannot deduce or read this file or its contents, and that is the reason they do not index your site. In other words, search engines have no alternative but to ignore your well-made Flash website. The only way you can survive in the sea of search engine rankings is if you have content-rich text with appropriate keywords and phrases. Only this will help you find yourself in the top four or five pages of search engines.

Search engine optimization is the art of building web pages with appropriate content that are both amiable to search engines and user-friendly to the general public as well. You may use Flash animation and graphics in appropriate places on a web page if desired, but they should be minimal, with adequate HTML content.

The spiders or search engine programs are capable of doing only two things: reading the HTML code and searching for text. They simply ignore the non-HTML code. The Search engines always try to categorize pages by text, and not by images. The first thing any SEO professional will do before researching keywords or reworking your copy is study your web site code. If the web page is full of Flash animation, graphics, JavaScript and other razz-ma-tazz, then the chances of ranking in search engines is next to nothing. The spiders will never be able to find your site, let alone add the pages to the search results pages.

You should also be aware of the fact that some Internet users do not have the Flash plug-in installed on their computers, and are thus not able to view the fruits of your labor. There are some who are averse to downloading software, or there are some who have no knowledge of Flash, so stay clear of investing money in a Flash site and losing out on business. The text and content is the way toward your goldmine. Build a plain and simple HTML website. Keep your links in text form without having any drop-down menus or JavaScript buttons. Please be aware that in a bid to stop unnecessary blocking of traffic and breaking accessibility laws, the mighty search engines have also started to impose fines. Do not manipulate the search engines. Instead, strive to build a website that goes well with the search engines rather than going against them. A picture is definitely not worth a thousand words as far as a search engine is concerned.

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