Frames and Search Engines
When it comes to framed sites and the effect that the use of frames by a site has on its search engine ranking, there are two schools of thought. Some people say that framed sites, if done properly, have no problems in getting good rankings in the search engines. Others claim that if search engine optimization is important to you, never use frames.
In my opinion, the truth lies somewhere in between. Yes, the use of frames does throw up a few issues when it comes to getting good rankings in the search engines which don’t understand frames. Hence, when you are designing a new site, I would recommend that you avoid using frames, unless you have a specific reason for doing so. However, if you already have a site which uses frames, all is not lost. You can still get good rankings in the search engines even though you have used frames. Furthermore, using frames also has its own advantages when it comes to search engine placement, as we shall later on. This article assumes that you have a working knowledge of frames.
Framed & Coded
Here’s what the source code of your page might look like:
<title>Put an attractive title which contains keywords</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Put an attractive description which also contains keywords”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Your target keywords separated by commas”>
<frameset border=”0″ cols=”150,75%”>
<h1>Heading containing keywords</h1>
Here, you should add a lot of content and should repeat your keywords a number of times.
More keyword rich text for the search engines.
<a href=”left.html”>Link to page containing navigation links</a>
<frame src=”left.html” name=”left” scrolling=”no” noresize>
<frame src=”main.html” name=”main” scrolling=”auto”>
A Small Problem
One problem that occurs when you use frames is that the search engines may often display one of the internal pages in your site in response to a query. If this internal page does not contain a link to the home page of your site, the user will be unable to navigate through your entire site. The solution, of course, is to add a link to the home page from that internal page. When the visitor clicks on that link, she is brought within the context of the frames.
However, simply adding a link to the home page presents yet another problem. If the visitor had already been viewing that page within the context of the frames and then clicks on the link to the home page, a new set of frames will be created in addition to the frames already being used. In order to solve this problem, you have to use the TARGET = “_top” command in the link, i.e. the HTML code for the link would be something like Go to our home page.
Wrapping Things Up
As I mentioned earlier, there is also an advantage to using frames. Since most Internet users are now using frames enabled browsers, it means that not many people are going to know what’s present in your NOFRAMES tag. This allows you the repeat your keywords a few more times in the NOFRAMES than what you could have done if you were writing a page which humans would also see (of course, don’t repeat the keywords too many times – that can cause your web site to be penalized for spamming). You can also avoid using tables, graphics etc. which you would otherwise need to use if humans would also view that page. However, it is debatable whether this small advantage is sufficient to justify using frames.
Sumantra is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. For more articles on search engine placement, subscribe to his 1st Search Ranking Newsletter by sending a blank email to mailto:1stSearchRanking.firstname.lastname@example.org or by going to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com