Anyone who uses the internet on their smartphone has run into this error message when wanting to watch a video “A plugin is needed to display this content”. This annoying error is because Adobe Flash is not installed on your phone. And it shouldn’t be! The Flash Player is dead. It bugs out, requires constant security updates, and won’t work on most mobile devices.
And if inaccessibility wasn’t a good enough reason to do away with Flash, now Google has come out with an update to their algorithm to display on search results that certain websites may not work on your mobile device. And while we were unable to find an example of this in a search result, we cannot think of a worse thing to deter visitors from going to your site.
Modernizing a website so that it can still have dynamic content is easy. Google has highly recommended responsive website design since 2013. As of April 21st, 2015 Google released an update that lowered the rankings of websites that are not mobile friendly, while raising the rankings of mobile friendly websites in search queries performed on mobile devices. Considering how much people use their mobile devices to find everything these days, it is hugely important to ensure your website supports a mobile interface.
Some websites are using a workaround that would bypass this warning message by creating a non-flash custom landing page, specifically targeting mobile devices, which simply say that their site will not work. Google may find a way to work around this but, for now, you still may be surprised when you find that dead-end of Adobe Flash. Responsive web design is now best practice and it’s no longer a question of should you optimize but how quickly you can catch up.