Sitegeist Blog - Post

Fast websites, Flash intros and Google

Speed. When we’re online, there’s nothing like it. Click and load; fast and easy.

And then we arrive at a site with…wait for it…wait….still waiting…a Flash intro. And faster than you can say ‘skip’, momentum has been lost and we’re annoyed. A waste of our time. And there’s nothing that makes a user hit the close box or the back arrow faster than having their time wasted.

I’ve been trying to think of a legitimate use for a Flash intro. And I can’t. How about a funky designer showing off what they can do? No – not if ‘what they can do’ is encouraging their clients to build sites that waste our time.

Here it is again, in case you missed it: There is no excuse for a Flash intro.

And it looks like Google agrees. In a December 2009 interview on WebProNews, Google software engineer guru Matt Cutts hinted that Google search results might take a site’s speed into account:

“Historically, we haven’t had to use it in our search rankings, but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast,” says Cutts. “It should be a good experience, and so it’s sort of fair to say that if you’re a fast site, maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus. If you really have an awfully slow site, then maybe users don’t want that as much.”

At Sitegeist, we believe that the content on the page is of paramount importance. If the words are right, then we’re happy to wait an extra second or two for the page to load. But the problem is that we don’t know the content is good until the page loads. And we hate waiting for a slow site with bad (or not relevant) content.

So we approve of Google’s move to reward faster sites. Content and reputation are still the reigning monarchs at Google, but a dose of speed can’t hurt either.

For developers, Google has some speed tools and tips. For the rest of us, expect things to get just a bit quicker online in the next year…


Date: Friday, 18. December 2009 9:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL
Subject area: Being bad, Being good, Trends, User focus, Web dev
RSS feed: RSS 2.0
Comments and pings are closed.


  1. Typhoonandrew
    Friday, 18. December 2009 9:41

    Flash intro is an evil waste of the viewers time, and a total waste of the developers time.

    Even the pre-load in movies is something I’d like to see less of.

  2. katie_cardigan
    Friday, 18. December 2009 13:03

    Excellent post. I hear ya.

    I don’t know any industry that is messing people about with the annoying flash intro than the hospitality industry. Sure, it might be pretty, it might set the mood but I just want to find out about your restaurant so I can eat! Don’t mess peopele around with flash intros especially when they’re hungry.

  3. Zapprabbit
    Tuesday, 9. February 2010 15:54

    Like lighting your own farts in front of a person you have just met, Flash intros don’t impress anymore. It’s a sign of creative immaturity and belongs in the bin marked ‘Spinning logos and all that crap’

  4. Game changers: links and economics | Simple and Great - The Sitegeist Blog
    Friday, 26. February 2010 8:58

    […] recently posted about possible moves by Google to change their algorithm to reward faster web pages. People want stuff…fast! And while a web page’s load time is not […]

Simple & Great

Contact Sitegeist

PO Box 466
Brunswick VIC
Australia 3056

T: 1300 364 116

Search posts