Adobe was the first company to introduce the concept of plug-ins to software (Photoshop), to open up Post Script standards, now they are opening up Flash so that search engines can crawl the files. Kudos to Adobe! This is wonderful way to enhance a powerful tool. You’ll have the power. Now, keep in mind though that with all “great power comes responsibility.” I know many designers who were able to discourage their clients from indulging their vanity in an all flash website because it “wouldn’t be visible to the search engines.” They won’t be able to do say that anymore. You can read hear about what allows flash to be indexed by the search engines.
I’ve seen Flash elements improve websites, I’ve seen all Flash websites that were both engaging and usable, but those sites are rare. Search engines may now be able to index the content in Flash, but does it mean that the Flash content is useful in converting visitors to sales? If you are looking for leads, subscriptions, or sales, then traffic is simply a means to an end, not the end.
Even advertising sites want people to click through to their advertisers. If what you create is sexy, cool, [insert any other positive adjectives here], but the content fails to attract attention, interest, build desire, and call your visitors to action, then you are wasting your time and their time.
You are playing a misleading numbers game where visitors are numbers, not people, and sales today is NOT a numbers game. In a recent A/B test with a client, we were able to reduce the homepage abandonment by 28.57% by substituting a flash element, with a static image. This change reduced load and wait time, it listed product benefits immediately, and we didn’t have to hope people would be patient enough to see the right part of the Flash animation. It also helped boost sales, since before the test so many people left before they got past the home page.
Please use Flash it really is a powerful tool.
Just please remember to make sure you measure the impact on your bottom line first. Search engines are great; but they don’t register, subscribe, or have credit cards to buy from you.