Posted June 11, 2008 6:41 am by with 17 comments

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There’s long been a debate about the value of Flash, when it comes to search engine optimization. Personally, I have no problem using a small amount of Flash in any web site, it’s those pointless Flash intro screens that bug me. There’s nothing more satisfying than clicking "skip intro."

Apparently Google agrees.

Philipp Lenssen reports on a sighting of a "Skip intro" link appearing alongside certain Google search results.

At first glance, you might think it’s being triggered because it’s the only initial link on the Flash landing page. However, upon review of the actual web page, the link text actually says "Entrez"–it’s a French site.

This suggests that Google is algorithmically detecting homepages that are all Flash, and taking it upon themselves to help you skip the intro.

What do you think about this? Great for searchers, but taking liberties with a site owner’s right to display a page as he intended?

  • On one hand I want to say Google needs to stop meddling with site owner’s content. They step over that boundary far too often. On the other hand, Flash intros are usually the result of the dev team caving into the mindless client demands of “We need some pizazz up front!” and should be abolished for the sake of all webkind.

    The positive I can take from this is that Google seems to be taking steps to identifying these voids of usefulness and relevance and may even be digging past them to apply meaning to the parent domain, which is good for ranking quality from a user standpoint.

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  • Pingback: Simon Scullion » Marketing Pilgrim > Is Google Sick of Flash Web Sites? New Feature Encourages Users to “Skip Intro”()

  • I think this is totally awesome and a way of acknowledging that a Flash Intro is not only a waste of user’s time but a waste of Google’s time.

  • Once again Google thinks it knows better then anyone else. If I ownned the site, I’d be somewhat annoyed. How does Google know that flash page isn’t 1 out of a 1000 that actually has some good information. Ahh, who am I to question all those PHDs at the Googleplex?

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  • Since it is not the default link they provide and since they already provide ways for people to find subpages of sites instead of just sending everybody to homepages, I think it is fine.

    I wonder if there is a way to use something like the robots file to turn off Google’s ability to do that.

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  • I think they should make the “Skip flash” the main-link. After all, the flash site normally has no use at all. It is only annoying.
    I dont understand why people still use them.
    Or even better: Just drop them out of the google-index at all.

  • Warenwirtschaft, I have tons of content on my sites that people probably thinkj has no use at all. That doesn’t mean that Google should just ignore it completely, does it? Who gets to decide what has value or not?

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  • I am sure Google will offer some piece of code to allow you to opt of Google doing this to your listings.

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  • Looks like Google uses keyword search for this feature. May be there are other “skips”.

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  • I think skip intro function is not bad. Sometimes, I get angry with annoying flash ads.

  • Thanks all for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • I think that’s the right feature and Google takes care of users, not of webmasters, and that’s right again apparently.

  • Thank you Google for letting us know about those ghastly flash intro’s and sites. Google is just trying to make our experience better.

  • It seems that google only read the HTML links and not the flash link. so depending on how the flash introduction was done user could miss content.
    I’m against it…

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  • Since google is not forcing anyone to enter by skipping the intro I dont see the problem. They are doing us a favor by letting us bypass annoying intros that hide the “enter site” link until their totally sweet flash is done playing. I say “thanks google”! For people who don’t like it, don’t click it. Enter the site normally, they way everyone knows how to enter a site, use the big bold title link and youre all good! Money is time, and time is money, im not gunna spend money on lousy flash intros anymore!!! CHEA!

  • Wiked111

    Well i think its a great idea to give us the option, For all those against it create your own search engine and see how many people use it. Google no.1 job is to look after its users.

  • I’ve never liked flash myself. I keep skiping it! lol Go google!

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