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16 replies to this topic

#1 Kbug44

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:56 AM

I was wondering if anyone had experience with iFrames and their SEO work? Do you use iFrames and are you getting good search engine results?

Would appreciate all reply's... good and bad. :)

#2 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:59 PM

Hi Kbug, welcome! ;)

Not sure exactly what you're asking. Iframes are not an SEO technique that I know of, and in fact can hurt your SEO efforts because the information isn't contained on your site, and therefore not considered part of your site.

From what I understand, the engines can follow the iframe and index it on the site that it's actually on, however.

But there's no iframe SEO technique that I've ever heard about.

Jill

#3 cdonnow

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:12 PM

I do use iframes on my own site for visual interest and space saving and clients that like the look have asked me to implement on their sites, but...the actual page that the iframe is on (not the page it is calling) has to have "real" text on it. So, the use of iframes needs to be supplemented. I don't know if that answered your question or not....iframes aren't really a technique to seo, but rather just "something to look at", lol...or an element of the site.

#4 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 02:30 PM

Welcome cdonnow! ;)

It also should be noted that if you use an iframe, you may want to also use the "longdesc" tag to put in the information that a search engine or lower browser may not otherwise see.

Jill

#5 Kbug44

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 04:30 PM

Hi there,

Thank you for your replys! Maybe I am posting in the wrong category. :hmm: I know it's not a technique... but was wondering if people WERE using iFrames on their websites, how their rankings were doing... if they employed different techniques to make them better while they were using iFrames, etc. etc.

Great answers though so far!! We currently create dynamic websites in ASP for clients. The front page is a wholepage (no frames) but when you click to go inside the website we do use frames. The websites get wonderful rankings (if the clients add unique content to them, work on Link Pop, etc. etc. We help on meta tags to get them started and put a lot of general content for their area.)

We are rewriting our websites to be in ASP.NET and our programmers are using iFrames instead of regular frames. I was a little leary about them so am trying to do research!

If anyone else has any hints, tips, experiences... please chime in.

#6 Mel

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:43 PM

As far as I know search engines cannot spider the content of I frames.

#7 Bill Slawski

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:31 AM

Frames are frames are frames...

There really isn't much of a difference between frames and iframes. A site with frames uses pages side-by-side. A site with iframes uses html pages within html pages (thus the "inline frames" name).

When if comes to SEO, basically the same problems exist for an iframe site as for a framed site. The target pages are difficult to optimize.

You can use the noframes element or the longdesc attribute as described in the link to the W3C specification above, but they don't carry the same amount of weight as actual content upon a page.

The main reason to use frames, whether iframes or just frames, is to have a consistent navigation system from page to page. That was why they were developed in the first place. There is no real benefit to the visitors of a page. In many ways, using (i)frames makes things more difficult for your visitors. People can't deep link to pages, which means that they might not link at all. Search engines have difficulties linking to different pages.

If you're building dynamic pages, making a consistent template for navigation from page to page shouldn't be difficult. Is there really a reason for frames on the site?

A page that uses iframes, and has links to a number of framed pages as targets would need a noframes element text alternative that covered the content of all of the framed pages. It could be quite a large block of text, and quite a difficult block of text to optimize. A similar result comes about with a longdesc that might cover multiple pages.

If you want a greater chance of success, you might want to consider not using frames or iframes.

#8 Jill

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 09:16 AM

The only good reason I can think of for using an iframe (or a frameset) is if there is content from another site that you need to show as if it were on your site. (And I don't mean stealing content.)

For instance, when I set up my seminar registrations, we use a third party registration service so the actual sign up forms are on their site/domain, not mine. I prefer it to appear to be integrated into my site and that's easy enough to do by simply using an iframe. It makes it look as if it's just part of my site that way.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work for some older browsers, so I put up a direct link to the form if anyone doesn't see one come up.

Of course, I'm not using this particular page for SEO purposes, just seminar registrations!

You can see my example at http://www.highrankings.com/register (for my past seminar...don't sign up!)

Jill

#9 qwerty

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 09:31 AM

...the information isn't contained on your site, and therefore not considered part of your site.

On the few occasions I've used iFrames, it wasn't to grab information from other sites. That's a terribly scary concept, as you'd have to keep an eye on your page all the time to make sure the source content hadn't changed. I used them to add information that I changed fairly often to a page which itself didn't change much, like sticking a "Latest News" box onto my home page. I could leave the home page alone and just update the page that was being called by the iFrame. Basically, it's used the same way you'd use a server-side include.

However, I don't know of any SEO advantage to it.

#10 burgeltz

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 03:54 PM

I really agree with Querty. I'm no frames fan, but IFRAMES are a good solution when you just want to update a portion of a page frequently. If you don't use an IFRAME, then you have to use a META REFRESH and reload the whole page.

Traditionally I've avoided using IFRAME, though, because Netscape 4 didn't understand it. But NN4's market share has drifted so low that I'd feel safe using it now.

However, I feel pretty confident saying that any content inside the IFRAME will be invisible to the search engines.

#11 Kbug44

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 05:54 PM

Thank you for all of your comments!

Yes, some of the content is updated through a 3rd party resource. Other content our clients have access to directly so frames can be easier.

#12 pageoneresults

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 05:33 PM

<iframe> is treated very similar to <frame>. With framed sites, you have the <noframes></noframes> tags to present alternative content.

With <iframe> you have the <iframe>Alternative content here</iframe> tags themselves to present alternative content. And as mentioned above, you can also utilize the longdesc attribute, although I see no reason why, when the alternative content is where you want to present that information.

The content inside of an <iframe> window cannot be seen by the indexing spider. The content between the <iframe>Alternative content here</iframe> can be seen. From a usability standpoint, it is mandatory that you provide alternative content for users with accessbility issues. Also, older browser versions that do not understand <iframe> will display the content from the alternative content area. An <iframe> can contain other block level elements within its container. So you could literally drop an entire page in there if you had to.

This is definitely an area where you need to plan accordingly. Of course if it is abused, somewhere down the line it will come back to haunt you. :thumbup:

#13 pageoneresults

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 05:39 PM

Here's everything you'll need to know about using <iframe>...

Using <iframe> Elements

#14 pageoneresults

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 02:59 PM

Since I'm currently involved with a project that requires the use of the <iframe> element, I've been doing a lot of research into its usage. It may be advisable to offer a more streamlined route to the content that appears within your <iframe>Content Here</iframe>. Something like this...

<iframe src="foo.asp" width="600" height="560" scrolling="auto" frameborder="0">
[Your user agent does not support frames or is currently configured not to display frames. However, you may visit <a href="foo.asp"> the related document.</a>]</iframe>

16.5 Inline frames: the IFRAME element

Of course you may want to be somewhat more creative with the browser support message and I'm sure you'll use your best judgment. ;)

#15 TBroadfoot3rd

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 05:01 PM

I have used IFrames much the same way qwerty has used it and so long as the page that you have created the IFrame has content for that page the spiders will index that page and not see the IFrame data, but again that data changes on a regular basis that I really don't need it indexed just present for the end user. The content that is static is what the spider sees and that is the purpose to keep static info so the spiders will index the page and still keep new data available to repeat visitors or when you need to update certain bits of information but not the whole page.

Sometimes you just want the page not all the data indexed, so it does give you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds and as Jill uses it should be an example of how to use it within the fram work of a site when dealing with external sites that you have permission to access. Though I agree that with the lack of NN 4.x browsers I did not add a link to open a new window or put in longdesc into the IFrame which I will start to think about just by chance a browser users can not see it.

As always YMMV,




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