Google Will Stop Showing Adobe Flash Content in Search


It’s time for a redesign if you still have Adobe Flash content on your site (and yes, we still see it from time to time).

The official word is that Google plans to stop indexing and ranking Flash content by the end of 2020.  In the Google Webmaster Blog, the official wording is that Google Search will “ignore” Flash content and stop indexing Shockwave Flash files.

Flash has been on its way out for some time now. Google disabled Flash in Chrome in the Chrome 76 release and Microsoft has decided to remove Flash support from Edge. Mozilla disabled it in Firefox 69 last September and Apple hasn’t supported it since the release of the iPhone.

Even Adobe (the creator of Flash) has a timeline for ending Flash support that coincides with Google’s timeline to stop indexing.

What is Adobe Flash?

For a long time, Adobe’s Flash Player was one of the most popular browser plugins on the internet. Flash provided a richer experience and catered to developers of animations and games for the web. Entire websites were powered by Flash and once upon a time, YouTube’s video player ran on Flash.

The problem with Flash was that it had some pretty significant security issues. Ads, malware, and even worse stuff found its way onto personal computers using Flash as an entry point. Ultimately, the product’s notorious reputation as a “security risk” stuck and web developers started using HTML5 or JavaScript instead.

How will this impact you?

If you launched or redesigned your site during the past few years, it probably won’t affect you at all. According to Dong-Hwi Lee, an engineering manager at Google, “Most users and websites won’t see any impact from this change.”

However, there are still sites out there built with Adobe Flash and there are even more that still have Flash content. If you want to rank for organic traffic (and that is almost everyone), then you really need to consider updating your site as soon as possible.

If you are worried you may have Adobe Flash content on your site and need some help removing it, give us a call. Our team can quickly scan the site and make suggestions for removal or replacement.

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