Flash And Your SEO Rankings

    May 12, 2003

Hi Dan:

I have recently changed the look of my website of four years, I have added a Flash page that seems to have deleted me from the search engines almost completely ( I was between 10th and 15th on almost all engines) with my URL so unique to the keywords… Hotelphotography.com. and a lot of submitting, I had good positioning.

The webmaster (and I use the term loosely) seems to have sabotaged me to “You need Flash 6” coming up when you type hotelphotography in a search engine just to locate me. You have to do it as one word to even find me. I have had the keywords replaced and their doesn’t seem to be a change. Do I need to build a page in front of my Flash presentation to get rid of the flash sabotage? I just purchased Overture, maybe that will help! Thanks in advance, Doug

Doug Castanedo


Flash is a big problem for search engines. There’s only one of them that can read flash (the FAST/AllTheWeb.com search engine does), and flash sites don’t do very well. If you move the flash off to another page, and let visitors see it if they want to, you should be back on top within a month or so. I would not put a flash as the home page, it’s annoying to many users and it hurts your search engine rankings.

Before you get rid of it, ask yourself if the Flash page is doing anything *good* for you – if it’s increasing the percentage of visitors who become customers, it might make pay-per-click affordable for you. If you decide to use pay-per-click, I would recommend Google Adwords ahead of Overture. If the flash is actually effective in getting customers interested, it might make a good landing page for your pay per click visitors.

I realize that this answer may actually generate more questions, so feel free to keep on asking!

Dan Thies

Dan Thies is a well-known writer and teacher on search engine marketing. He offers consulting, training, and coaching for webmasters, business owners, SEO/SEM consultants, and other marketing professionals through his company, SEO Research Labs. His next online class will be a link building clinic beginning March 22