This post from Andy Beal caught my attention today, commenting on google’s latest feature. As part of its search results, Google is letting us skip a site’s flash intro.
So you know what we are discussing, here is an example search. Check out the [Skip Intro] link to the right of the result.
The new feature in itself I didn’t find particularly notable. However, Andy closes by saying (emphasis mine):
This suggests that Google is algorithmically detecting homepages that are all Flash, and taking it upon themselves to help you skip the intro.
What do you think about this? Great for searchers, but taking liberties with a site ownerâ€™s right to display a page as he intended?
Now this made me sit up!
This “right” Andy mentions was taken away with the advent of RSS. It brought into play a whole new way of users navigating the sites they now only rarely visit. Gone are the days when a site owner could “control” the landing page to their site, and what the user had to wade through just to get to what they wanted. Flash intros should be a thing of the past, and I don’t see why google is “taking liberties” in helping people actually get to the content they are looking for. I think site owners should see it that way also.
It surprised me, to see this question coming from a marketing blog resplendent with its RSS feeds and the like. If online marketing types are advising people to move towards RSS and social media, they need to also be explaining some of the consequences.
This also doesn’t stop a site owner from forcing users through the front door if they really want to. Not that I think that’s a good idea, but for most scenario’s, including this one, you can force it.
No it doesn’t. Though IMHO would only go further to alienate users.