By: Jennifer Devitt on September 1st, 2015
First it was mobile, now it is Flash. How Google and other firms are forcing companies to move forward.
Outdated software and websites. We all know that the web is riddled with them. Sometimes outdated technology can be annoying. Sometimes it can cause you to loose customers. And sometimes, it's a security risk.
Back in April, Google announced it will be changing how it ranks websites. Being April 21st Google was going to make a shift towards promoting more mobile friendly websites. As we discussed here on the blog in April, it was time for all the mobile procrastinators to get moving or loose search result status. This shift on Google's part should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Analysts reports from Thanksgiving weekend 2014 showed that 52.1 percent of Thanksgiving Day traffic was mobile. As these numbers have consistently been on the rise, what was surprising is just how many companies (big and small) avoided the shift to mobile. Even after "mobilegeddon", I am certain that are still many companies who have not made the switch to mobile.
Another major issue over the years has been Flash. Steve Jobs was notorious for despising the software. In fact, Steve Jobs has never allowed Flash on an Apple product, if a user wanted it they would have to download it independently after purchase. Steve Jobs mentions in his article the security concerns that were highlighted by Symantecs back in 2009. Yet fast forward to 2015 and Flash is still holding on, mainly on life support.
Well, enter Google. As of yesterday, September 1, 2015, Google is banning Flash ads on it's Chrome browser. Google is not alone, Firefox and Amazon have also discontinued Flash ads. In fact, more and more reports are calling for the demise of Flash due to its high rate of malware issues. Many experts are urging users to disable Flash on their computers for safety.
Yet, I have seen one article stating why "The Death of Flash May Not Be Entirely Good for the Web". The article cites concerns for online advertisers. In my opinion it will also affect small business who avoided the shift to mobile as well. It is time for companies to attempt to keep up with technology for safety concerns. While nothing is full proof, keeping up to date on current best practices, software and trends is beneficial to the companies as well as the end users. I know from first hand experience there are many retailers and business out there who think they already have a website (even if it is 10 years old) and they do not need to change it. This type of reluctance is what is forcing the hands of tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google etc to begin penalizing them in search results or by banning their Flash ads.
So I for one will not be sad to see Flash fade away, the sooner the better. Do you or your firm still use it? Have you disabled it on your hardware? How do you feel about the bigger tech companies banishing it? I know most developers (especially here) will not miss it.