One of the best ways to hide your website from Google is to create it in Flash. Of course hiding from Google also means you are hiding from website visitors. Sound like a good business strategy? Of course it's not.
Since 2003 we've seen the popularity of Flash rise and fall. Google and Adobe even tried to work together so Google could read the words inside of Flash files. It seems like their joint effort never realized its full potential.
Within the last 9 years, our industry--the jewelry industry--saw many stores set up very beautiful looking Flash websites but later realized that their website yielded no return on investment. Additionally, a very large part of the customer audience could not see Flash on their mobile devices as the popularity of iPhones and iPads grew. Apple's Steve Jobs was always very critical of Flash and asserted time and time again that Flash would not be supported on his devices--and that decision did not prevent his products from flying off the shelves.
Many jewelry vendors also embraced fully functional Flash websites. For a while there was no better way to show jewelry in beautiful detail. Among those vendors were SimonG, David Yurman, and TAG Heuer.
As HTML 5 grows popular, we have many more options available for creating animations or customer interactions. We simply do not need Flash any more.
We switched on the incognito feature in Google's Chrome browser to search for "jewelry stores" to see how many Flash websites were found. The good news was that it wasn't until page 8 of the SERP that we found a Flash site, i.e. Flash is not so popular any more.
It looks like the vendors are starting to convert their sites out of Flash too. SimonG converted their Flash site at http://www.simongjewelry.com/ to an attractive site using PNG graphics. The David Yurman site at http://www.davidyurman.com was still using Flash in December 2011, but now it's HTML 5.
As of today TAG Heuer and Rolex are still continuing their extremely interactive Flash websites; although we couldn't find anything on the TAG website that couldn't be programmed using HTML 5. Rolex, on the other hand (or wrist), has a very cool Flash feature that shows a watch with your local time.
We're not satisfied to simply tell you that Flash decreased in popularity, we really wanted to figure out if Google was simply hiding useless Flash sites from us, so we decided to search Google for "jewelry stores skip intro." The phrase "skip intro" is more likely to turn up a Flash website or Flash intro page. This is because no one wants to sit through a Flash intro more than once, if ever!
"jewelry stores skip intro" returned about 2,920,000 results
"jewelry stores" returned about 118,000,000 results.
That little test shows that there are far fewer websites using Flash.
We randomly selected 7 websites and found them all to be at least 3 years old, which makes sense considering Flash was on the decline already in 2009.