Flash is Google’s friend, only the Users left to convince

Voices within my network were raised earlier this week when Google published they have managed to further crawl flash websites. In short Google is proud to announce that they are able to crawl text within Flash better than before. Nothing wrong with that. Actually, there is nothing wrong with Flash at all. It is the misuse by retards that is the problem with Flash. You know, Flash don’t kill websites… people kill websites…

To few people have been taught how to properly include Flash files. People are also lazy and thus don’t care to learn more technologies than one. This leads to an excessive use of Flash where CSS3 and HTML4 (not the over hyped and still not accessible HTML5) do a better job. The benefits of jQuery shouldn’t be exaggerated either. jQuery is wonderful when used in a user friendly manner.

What makes me tick however are the inconsistencies in Google’s message here. I agree with Hessam’s comment (scroll a bit amongst the comments or Cmd+F hessam). The biggest problems with Flash aren’t solved just because Google indexes the websites. Flash still:

  • Renders horribly, if at all in mobile devices
  • Loads slower than I take a shit
  • Has a tendency to give too much freedom to designers giving users a series of ADD experiences

However, Flash is pretty darn shiny if used correctly, with a fallback and with a Mobile, Print and web CSS. But now I am missing the point again. Let’s go back to the inconsistencies in Google’s communication. Have a look at the first 10 minutes of this 60 minute I/O talk from Google.

Don’t they repeatedly say: “There is no text on this website”?

Same goes for all Flash websites out there. Regardless of what’s in the SWF file, these websites have no text on them. And regardless if Google can crawl the website or not, it takes them a hell of a lot more time to crawl a heavy Flash website than it does a standard HTML website.

But HTML websites tend to look so pale… bah…

But what do the users like? Let’s have a look at the top 50 most popular websites online.

Users like:

  • Google.com
  • Facebook.com
  • YouTube
  • Yahoo
  • Microsoft Live
  • Baidu
  • Wikipedia
  • and it goes on…

Users don’t seem to crowd to design heavy websites do they? What are the users looking for then… if they are not looking for good looks? They are looking for good content. Looks are secondary. Most designers get it wrong anyhow. They want the “picture” to look nice. Not to be functional. In Flash you can make the prettiest things. But they are a pretty image. Not a functional website.

If you design a good looking website based on the full image of the website rather than the parts. Then you do better in drawing a painting. However, if you make each one of the parts look and work well, then you have the correct components to help the user USE your website.

Regardless how good looking your website is, you need to have users actually wanting to use it. Not only look at it. Especially with the modern and social web. You NEED to have a website that is not only indexable in more than one way, but you also need users to interact with your web content in order for it to organically get shared between users through their different networks.

Anyhow… I just needed to be a part of the discussion…

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