Even though its widely accpeted in the SEO community that flash based websites are not search engine friendly, this information isn’t universally known, let alone properly understood.  A recent discussion on this topic convinced me that this subject was worth revisiting.

Put simply, the way search engines work is that when they get hip to your site (usually via a URL from another site they’re already indexing) they will index your site.  The indexing process involves the scanning the content of your site (called “crawling”) and then associating the text content and meta data to a relational database.   This is how search engines decide what your site is about and how to include it in their search directories.

The important distinction here is text.  Search engine “bots” can’t read images, let alone text trapped in images.

As FLASH content is image and animation based, its content is almost completely invisible to search engines.  Its fine to use flash for media players and cool effects, but its a very bad idea to build the site entirely in flash.  While accessibility is one thing (mobile devices, disabled users, etc can’t display/understand flash),  not even showing up in search engines is a whole other issue.

Phaseous Phact: If you want your website to show up in search engines when users search for your proucts and services (not just your company name ur URL), do not build your entire website in flash.