Google stops indexing Flash content

Alex Alex 30 October 2019
Google stops indexing Flash content

Adobe Flash will be excluded from indexing Google searches later this year. The search engine giant will ignore any Flash content in the future and no longer display SWF files in the search results.

The iconic, curving f on a red background will be familiar to most internet users - Adobe Flash has brought the web to life with its animations. It made it possible to watch video clips, interact and play a variety of browser games. But Flash is technically obsolete and has long been considered a security risk. Already in 2017, Adobe announced that it would bury the Internet veteran in 2020. Since then, it has already died several small deaths. For example, users of all major Internet browsers must manually enable the plug-in, as it is still tolerated by Chrome, Firefox & Co., but disabled by default. Now, Google has decided to completely ignore related content in the search results.

The end of an era

As Google announced on its official blog, the search engine will cease to fully support Flash content by 2019. This means in practice that files in SWF format will be ignored by Google in the future. However, this step on the user will not have much impact - this is also due to the decreasing number of visitors to websites with Flash content.

Web browsers like Chrome (from version 76), Microsoft Edge as well as Internet Explorer and Firefox (from version 69) have already disabled Flash. By the end of 2020 it will no longer be possible to activate it manually or use it in general. As Microsoft announced, however, the close cooperation with Adobe will continue.

Adobe bows its decision to discontinue Flash with new, more innovative and secure Web standards such as HTML5, and responds to the declining demand for the once-popular platform.

The full blog entry can be found on the Google homepage.

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