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Adobe Flash is all but dead and Google is putting the final nails in the coffin by dropping support for Flash-based ads in favor of ads coded in HTML5. This isn’t happening immediately, but Google announced its intention to move to HTML5 by January 2017 in order to give advertisers time to transition.

As part of this transition away from these ads, Google will no longer allow Flash formatted ads to be uploaded to the Google Display Network starting June 30th of this year. Up until then, you can still upload any Flash-based display ads you’ve been working on and they will continue to run until January.

Google notes that you should update your display ads before either of these dates for best performance, and that video ads built in Flash will not be impacted by the change.

The death of Flash is likely to be dragged out for quite some time, but this is a big loss for Adobe’s format. Adobe’s player only accounts for 5% of mobile and web video seen last year, but it has still been a major part of major online ad networks. If these ad networks no longer accept Flash, then Flash loses its one last thing keeping it relevant.

Adobe Flash and mobile devices go together like oil and water. Since the release of the first iPhone it was clear that Flash, Adobe’s multimedia based web site technology, would not be coming to cell phones any time soon.

Years later, after the release of several generations of smartphones and the release of tablets, and it is even clearer that Flash is all but dead and will never be a part of the modern ‘device agnostic’ approach to web design. Unfortunately many webmasters still use it.

flash-serp-note-border-300x107That may not be the case for long, as Google has stepped up their fight against the technology. Google announced that starting today they will be warning mobile searchers when the search engine’s algorithms detect a web site is not supported on the device they are using due to Flash.

Rather than outright omit sites utilizing Flash from the search engine – which would garner heavy criticism – those using smartphones and tablets to search may see a warning that allows the user to attempt to view websites using Flash or to look for alternate search results.

The warning reads “Uses Flash. May not work on your device. Try anyway | Learn more.”

It seems pretty unlikely that many users will choose to press on knowing that the site likely won’t work for them.

In lieu of using Flash, Google highly recommends updating to HTML5 and upgrading sites to support that technology because it works in mobile devices and desktop browsers alike.

Google’s Keita Oda, Software Engineer, and Pierre Far, Webmaster Trends Analyst said, “fortunately, making websites that work on all modern devices is not that hard: websites can use HTML5 since it is universally supported, sometimes exclusively, by all devices.” Google simultaneously launched two new resources to help webmasters make the upgrade:

  • Web Fundamentals: a curated source for modern best practices.
  • Web Starter Kit: a starter framework supporting the Web Fundamentals best practices out of the box.