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Google Announces Mobile Flash Warnings Appearing In More Languages
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Starting in July, Google implemented a new program to notify mobile search users if a website's homepage uses Adobe Flash to display content. Mobile users using Google to search the web on all iOS platforms or Android 4.1+ will see a warning that says "Uses Flash. May not work on your device" next to search results, and the option to try the website anyway or learn more about why Flash may not be appropriate for some web platforms.
A Google representative, Pierre Far, said on his personal Google+ page, "If your website still uses deprecated technologies that don't work on mobile devices, it's already well past the time to update it." As a solution to the problem, Pierre Far went on to say, "Use HTML (5), JS, and CSS as they are the only technologies widely (and sometimes solely!) supported by all devices."
Google's mobile flash warning started as an English-only notification, but has now made its way to Spanish, German, and Japanese search result pages and a 'pilot' program to see if the warning effectively detects Flash on all foreign language sites is also in place. The goal is to implement the warning on all of Google's search platforms definitively by the end of the year.
The warnings display in all languages with access to Google search by detecting the search result's origin and displaying the warning in the user's native language.
General Flash Content
For web-masters whose websites are not primarily coded in Flash, there's not much to worry about just yet. Websites built on HTML and CSS that have small amounts of Flash content separate from the basic functionality of the website are currently immune from the Google search warning. While Google hopes to eliminate Flash content because of its difficulties displaying on modern web browsers and on mobile devices, sites containing Flash are still showing up normally in search results for now.
Lower Search Results
Google is hoping to encourage more developers to move away from Flash in the coming months by threatening lower search engine rankings for those that resist the change. Google says it has a commitment to maintaining a quality user experience and Flash technology is disruptive in more ways than one. Developers resistant to changing web development practices will start to suffer traffic losses from lower search engine results.
More information about the change to Flash restrictions is available on Google's Web Fundamentals blog. Lists of best practices for coding for a mobile environment are available in English, German, Spanish, and Japanese.
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