1. Because you only have one landing page. The wrong one.

August 12, 2008

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


Personally I don't understand why no one has commented on this post... I think it is brilliant.

Brilliant, Stoney.

This is a great articles and we do web design and wont use flash in any of the sites we design. We have good luck with getting high pr from Google and believe thats part of the reason.

Last time you did an ultra short post (keyword meta tag I think) a few punks flamed you. Some junk about link bait if I remember right.

Anyway, good post.

Thanks Miriam! :) (and you too Diana!)

@ cw360, it's always fun to see the people who don't have a sense of humor. Sometimes you just gotta shake things up a bit! ;-)


You hit the nail on the head and pounded it down with one stroke. I completely agree, I have turned down clients in my own business due to flash sites. Now that I am with an agency I find Flash more common, as many of the businesses are big enough and niched enough where they feel that they don't need SEO for their website. Oddly enough they are often right. Unfortunately SEO can have a big effect on PPC marketing, and most of these accounts suffer from bad keyword quality scores and thus higher click costs in AdWords.

Yes; flash by itself has one landing page, and that is a damn good quote.

But to not SEO a flash website? Why not? It's easy actually.

Doug, "easy" does not translate to being "effective". Sure, I'll grant you that you can SEO a flash website just as you would a single page of an HTML site, but often the great benefit of SEO is being able to optimize dozens (or hundreds) of pages for a handful of keywords each. Each page is an entry point bringing the visitor to the page that best represents their search query. You can't provide that kind of optimization with a single flash website.

So...er...exactly how does one optimize the one flash page? I've never had to do one. Just add title and metatags to the html? Embed the Flash in a normal html page?

Sure it's easy. Come on Stoney; you can't tell me you don't know how to optimize a flash website? It's just as easy as any other site. The catch is you simply build a full regular site along with the flash site. Easy stuff if you have the designer/programmer. You can go for as many terms as you wish. You detect the user agent and send it to the appropriate part... either flash or html, and also give the visitor the choice of whether to view the flash or the html.

But I'm still with you on this. A Great quote. If that owner isn't willing to dish out for a workable site, I just walk away and won't deal with the flash at all.


@ Doug "The catch is you simply build a full regular site along with the flash site". See, now you're not talking about optimizing a flash website at all, you're talking about optimizing an HTML site and delivering them to flash. Two different things completely.

But you make a great point about the owner being willing to pay for the HTML site to be built and optimized, if they want to get results.

Working on seo for hotel sites, I've come across some stunning creative sites designed with Flash. If the designers had thoughtfully used the Flash applications to "wow" site visitors, ie embedding in otherwise SE-friendly pages, it could be a win-win situation.

Perhaps all of you have seen the June info about making Flash SE-friendly.

Flash is a useful tool to embed into a site. But an entirely flash site is nothing more than self gratification.

@ Tina, yes, I've seen that. Which is what prompted this post. There still really is not "search engine friendly" flash. Google can read the text, but that's about it. Using flash alone, there is not way to drop visitors into specific portions of the flash site via SEO. That's because flash sites don't provide unique URLs that can be optimized for specific keyword phrases. Thus there is no such thing as a "landing page" with a flash site. The best you can do, as Doug mentioned above, is to create an HTML version of the site, optimize that and use it to direct visitors to specific flash "pages".

Flash is basically a web designer screaming for attention. Get your creative jollies elsewhere and put some brilliant copy that speaks to the visitor's needs on that landing page instead!

Susan Greene

I still encounter clients who think their home page should lead to another page. They either put a flash video your forced to watch or a map they need to click on. Talk about a wasted opportunity.

@ Susan, That's gotta be the best line yet!

@ Scott, you're absolutely right! Splash pages make absolutely no kind of sense.

@Susan: I disagree slightly. Mostly because it all comes down to the intent. Building a flash only website for Ozzy Osbourne is fine, but e-commerce is not. I think you know what I mean.

@ Scott: True!! I hate it when that's the case. A "splash" page can be useful however if you've registered a domain and are using the domain for email, it way outweighs the "site under construction" - by hosting company. But agreed. Why ever have a splash/landing page when you hide your whole site behind it?

@Tina: well... if you're going to build an SEO friendly HTML website. Why bother with the Flash version in the first place? If you're going to attract them with the HTML website, it had better WOW! them enough to send them onto the Flash version. Why not simply build a great site in HTML and use CSS creatively? Oh, was the "WOW!" Flash site built in the latest version of flash, or is it backwardly compatible?

@Stoney: I don't believe Flash will ever be search engine friendly. Search engine readable sure, but not friendly. I'd recommend not indexing your Flash for now however, especially if you have a HTML version (dupe content).

Sorry for the long post. :)

Hi Stoney, I am new to your blog post and I wanted to ask you a question about Flash being incorporated into a professional networking website? The website is currently all HTML and a design company is wanting to incorporate flash into the web site. What is your take?


@ Larry - Nothing wrong with incorporating flash into HTML at all. It's the all-flash websites that are a problem for good search engine optimization.

Hi Stoney, I've got a flash site I need to give a text link to an external site (a dofollow one). I use geturl in Action Script 2.0. Is this a dofollow outgoing link for google?
Thanks in advance!

Hi Andrew, I don't know anything about programming in flash or Action Script 2.0, so I'm not qualified to answer your question. Sorry.

hi. i didnt find the article but i was look on coments. I have desinged websites in flash and its searchable as i have taken care of meta tags which is most important for seo. plz do let me know if anything more v can do for that.


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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Why I Still Won't SEO Flash Websites