1. Technology
Send to a Friend via Email

Frames and Search Engines

Are You Getting the Hits You Need?


Frames Don't Make Good Search Engine Optimization

I was searching for new sheepskin slippers on a search engine, and two of the results looked something like this:

The Slipper Store
 This Web page uses frames, but your browser does not support them. You must upgrade your... 

 The Celtic Sheepskin Company
 High quality sheepskin boots, slippers, moccasins, rugs, gloves, hats and mitts manufactured by us in 23 different colours in a variety of styles. Secure online ordering.

Now, if you had to choose one of those two links, which one would you choose? Well, I chose the second one, and found the perfect forest green slippers to replace the ones I have currently worn to the nub. I also was able to tell my friend about their sheepskin rugs, as she had been looking for one. And I knew that they had all that just from their MetaCrawler results.

What's the Difference Between the Two Sites?

The main difference between the two sites is the frames. The first has frames, and their <noframes> page has, essentially, a reprimand for their potential customers to get a browser that supports frames. The second has no frames and has a very strong meta description and keywords in the <head> of their document.

Framed documents are notorious in search engines. Some search engines used to simply skip framed pages. And if you do not use the <noframes> tag, many search engines, if they add your page, will have no information about it at all.

A year ago, the solution to this problem was to not use frames. There were enough browsers still out there that didn't support them, that it made sense. But now frames compatible browsers have been out for several years. Frames can be slow, but people are getting faster connections (DSL, cable modems, and so on). So, if you feel frames will benefit your site, there's no reason not to use them.

But What About Search Engines?

If you use frames in your Web site, you should use a <noframes> page. But now, instead of telling your customers to get a frames capable browser, use that section as a marketing tool. Search engines will see your noframes page, and you can have a very targeted message on the page.

The first 100 characters of text on your <noframes> page should be a clear targeted description of your site. You should use the same words as in your meta keywords, and make sure that if it stands alone on a search engine it will grab your readers and make them want to come to your site, frames or not.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.