Just be friendly with Both, Search engines and Visitors
A search engine friendly web site design generally based on content/text and html navigation which can be easily indexed by search engines robots.
What exactly search engines is looking for and what actually visitors are looking for? It’s a big question. Search engines have bots to index any website or a web page. And, wants a simple content based site having useful navigation links which can be easily read by its bots or spiders. Flash, frames and Java Scripts are not for search engines' food, and hence cannot be read. But visitors are human beings and can read everything which can be seen on a website i.e. Images, flash animations, Java Scripts or any other trick /component used by a web designer or developer.
Search engines are the best way to get online leads. And if you are going to make a website for online business, you really need to check all search engines guidelines, constraints and facts. So that, website can be easily indexed by major SE’s like Google, Yahoo and Live Search and can be found in searches. Search engines are really strict with the tricks like cloaking or doorway pages (unethical techniques) created purely for ranking purposes and often generated by software to fool search engines. So, don’t go for it.
Now, it also depends on the business, if it’s a media driven or entertainment website, it is obvious to have some exciting flash animations or movie clips for visitors. But that’s not for search engines; they are not going to index those files but on the same lines thee videos can also be searched with Video Search provided by major Search engines including Google, Yahoo, AltaVista and MSN.
Have you heard about metacafe.com? Its a source for movies and clips and is tagged by search engines on a regular basis. What’s apparent here, is that site navigation has been easily indexed by Google (we can see it by cache report by Google) despite the fact that it is video intensive. Search Engines algorithms are totally depend on key (word) relevancy. So, web site should contain all relevancy factors. By adding relevant keywords in the content and keywords as links in the web page, you can give the best SEO way to website for high rankings in search engines with the targeted keywords.
Images, pics and some of flash animations are general in the website. It will be totally worthless if you have travel website and have no image for the destination offered in the web site. Images can be optimized by “alt tags” with the relevant keywords for the image included. After all, we have image search option available on all major search engines.
Search engine friendly website design means a HTML site navigation, use of header tags (H1, H2,..), better placement of images with alt tags and relevant content placement and coding.
So, don’t worry about including videos and images. You can be found with Video Search and Image search but yes, frames and flash files can’t help you in search engine rankings. Frames can cause problems for search engines because they don’t correspond to the conceptual model of the web. And try to use Flash only where it is needed.
Give your visitors the information which they’re looking for…