Flash – a plug-in software that once helped internet users watch multimedia content, execute rich applications, and stream audio and video on their computers – has been staring at its death since long. The software is disabled by default in Chrome (starting in version 76), Microsoft Edge, and FireFox 69, and now Google has announced that it will move on from Flash in indexing for Search soon. The move will expedite the software’s demise.
In 2017, Google put a limit on the background Flash elements on Chrome, and following Adobe’s announcement of ending support for Flash in July 2017, it announced that it would remove the plug-in from its browser by late 2020. The primary reason for this was that most vendors are integrating capabilities, like support to play animations, media, and actions, directly into their browsers. These capabilities were once provided by plug-ins like Adobe Flash. Fun Fact: the Flash runtime, which plays Flash content, was installed 500 million times in the second half of 2013.
‘Google Search will stop supporting Flash later this year. In Web pages that contain Flash content, Google Search will ignore the Flash content. Google Search will stop indexing standalone SWF files. Most users and websites won't see any impact from this change. Flash, you inspired the web. Now, there are web standards like HTML5 to continue your legacy,’ Dong-Hwi Lee, Engineering Manager at Google, said in a blog post.
As already mentioned, the Google Chrome 76 blocks Flash by default in the browser. However, users still have the option to switch back to the current 'Ask first' option until 2020. The option can be found at chrome://settings/content/flash. Google has been pushing users to use HTML5 and has encouraged websites to stay away from using Adobe Flash. It says that by not using the Flash, users would be able to enjoy 'faster, safer, and more battery-efficient browsing experience.'