With the rise of tourism in Sri Lanka I see many websites coming up related to hotels, beach resorts and boutique hotels, and most of them are created mostly using flash. Problem with Flash websites are not limited for search engine optimization. There are many other factors about Flash websites that leads to less visitors and low sales. Even if you manage to get visitors to your websites, using search engines or referrals, you are more likely to piss off the user with too much Flash. Below are few problems of Flash heavy websites.
Flash is Not Search Engine Friendly
Although search engines have evolved and they have improved crawling of Flash content, still they can't properly identify Flash content. So if your website is Flash heavy then you will have trouble ranking in search engines. If you are using Flash then make sure to add some text content to the website as well. Proper titles, meta description etc become even more important in Flash websites. Also the preview function in Google perform poorly for Flash websites, Especially if the object takes time to load. Since I do SEO in Sri Lanka, I frequent come across sites like these and they sure are hard to optimize for search engines.
Flash Increases Load Time of Websites
Flash object take some time to load, so visitors with relatively slow Internet connections will have trouble viewing your site and more likely to leave your website. Load time is not a factor in Google ranking algorithm as well, so it can hurt your rankings and potential customers.
Flash Object Do Not Pass Validation Tests
Flash object will not pass website validation and usability texts. If a website is not properly validating then you are likely to miss some visitors, especially if your content have a global appeal. Properly validated websites are more pleasing for the users and tend to speed up the website as well.
No Consistent Support Across Browsers
You need a Flash player to view Flash content, and although they are available for free, not everyone will go on to download players just to view your website. Also Flash content doesn't perform consistently across all browsers and can break your website according to the browser version of the user.
Difficult to Navigate and to Find Necessary Information
A Flash websites is difficult to navigate compared to a traditional websites and since information is embedded as images in some cases it will be very hard to find the necessary information for a user. For example if you are showing your contact details as an Flash image, then a potential user might never find those information if he doesn't have a Flash player installed.
How to Fix Problem With Flash Websites
The best way to fix the problem with Flash websites is to reduce the Flash content. Flash it not something bad, the correct lead to beautiful websites and attract more customers. These are especially useful in hotel, beach resort and entertainment industry, where visually pleasing websites attract more customers. Also try to add descriptive text within your Flash object because search engines are getting adapt at reading them.
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section.