As you may be aware, Google has started labeling sites that use Adobe Flash negatively in search engine results. As we began seeing these changes about 6 weeks ago, Google has now announced that Chrome – the second most used browser in the country – will stop supporting Flash in advertising within their browser. Following the typical Google trend, lowering search engine results for sites that use Flash is the next step.
Many people already dislike Flash on web browsers (and it’s already been abandoned on most mobile devices), so it makes sense for Google’s browser to abandon it. Flash takes longer to load, it drains your battery, and it’s your phone’s mortal enemy. Being that Google’s main goal is to serve up great content to users quickly, ditching it is the smart choice.
So, if they don’t support Flash on mobile or PPC, how long until it starts to hurt your SEO?
Google has already begun identifying whether a site uses Flash in the search engine results pages (SERPS) and sooner than later we expect sites using Flash in any form, whether it be ads, sliders, or just playful animations, to begin dropping in search results when compared to Flash-free competitors.
So how do you protect against this Flash-flood of changes? Use our helpful tips to stay ahead of the curve:
Check your website for Flash
The first place on your website to begin looking is the floor plan section. Many builders have added interactive elements to engage buyers, such as virtual tours and options selectors that often utilize Flash.
The second place to check is the sliders or images used to display your portfolio of plans, community lot map and available upgrades.
If you think portions of your site are using Flash, you can easily check the source code. From there, use the “Find” function (Ctrl + F) to search for the terms “object” and “embed” to find Flash, and if you don’t find anything there, look for .swf files.
Update your Flash to HTML5
Being that Google wants you to update your files from Flash to HTML5, they’ve not only provided a tool, but a step by step description. They even went out of their way to buy a cutting edge company named Swiffy – a simple Flash to HTML5 converter to help make files available to a larger audience.
Click here to use the Swiffy tool: https://developers.google.com/swiffy/
For Support: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6249073
Contact your Third Party Advertisers
Whether you posted the content or not, you can be penalized.
If your website serves up any sort of Flash advertising, such as DoubleClick ads, Google will still see that things aren’t running as smoothly as they would like – and who wants to be punished for someone else’s mistakes?
If your advertisers haven’t yet chosen a solution other than Flash, let them know that they need to. If your advertisers choose not to update, it may be more beneficial for you to find a new provider. Additionally, if you’re promoting your homes or communities through ads on other websites that use Flash, it’s time to start updating. BDX has already started this process to try and stay ahead of the curve.
Being that Chrome is the second most used browser in the nation, home builders need to start embracing the change. Don’t stress, if you need help optimizing your website’s Flash, contact the BDX Team at Info@theBDX.com or give us a call at (866) 651-8866.