I’ve long advised clients that there are few good reasons for a splash screen of any type on any website that outweigh the problems they cause. They are widely hated and have sometimes strong impact on search result. Well if there was any doubt that Google may treat these sites differently, this should put an end to the debate. Google are again testing a “skip intro” link on the search results.
Why would Google do this? Well, most likely they are reading survey results like this.
Professional Flash designers should rejoice too. Why? Because the layperson user associates “Flash Web Design” with “Splash Screens” over and over again in my conversations. By obliterating these ridiculous things you will also benefit from improved perceived value among potential clients. I do not develop Flash sites but occasionally contract flash “components” out to developers. Flash should be used where its platform offers a unique advantage to the user of the site and, in turn, to the business running the site. It should not be used to pad the portfolio of designers wanting more eye candy to show off.