Google bans Flash ads



Once the girl that everyone wanted to be seen at the party with, Adobe Flash received another nail in its coffin last week.

From June 30, Google will no longer accept AdWords display ad creative created in Flash. And from January 2 next year, existing Flash ads will no longer be shown in Google’s ad networks.

Why should you care?

For a while now, Google has been encouraging advertisers to use HTML5 for animated display ads. One reason for this has been security issues concerning Flash, which is reportedly easy to hack. Another is that most mobile phones (all iOS phones and tablets and all but a handful of Android devices) don’t support Flash, and ads created in Flash are instead rendered as a single static image.

For these reasons, Google has been automatically converting Flash ads for the Google Display Network into HTML5 for a while now, using Swiffy. But that will stop on July 1.

Importantly, the Google Chrome browser — used by 45% of Internet users globally — stops supporting Flash on September 1. Visitors to a Flash-based website after that date will need to manually activate Flash elements to view the content in question.

We recommend updating any Flash-based content on your websites to HTML5. AdWords advertisers, on the other hand, will need to create HTML5 display ads using Google Web Designer. For the time being, however, video ads created in Flash will still be accepted.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.