Make frame site search-engine friendly?

  • DuffMan
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My site uses frames, and I hear that causes problems for search engines.

If I made my index (first page loaded) a little welcome screen with no frames, would that allow the page to be found better?

Any tips/tricks appreciated!
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Moving this to the general search category. (I'm not a supporter of frames so I'll have to leave it up to someone else to give you an answer and that's probably the best place to get one.)
  • Bompa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

DuffMan wrote:
My site uses frames, and I hear that causes problems for search engines.

If I made my index (first page loaded) a little welcome screen with no frames, would that allow the page to be found better?

Any tips/tricks appreciated!



I don't know where you heard that, but I don't think frames are
a problem for search engines, what would be the problem?

Bompa
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I guess the old adage about search engines having trouble indexing sites is out of date; however, Google does mention that frames cause problems.

Code: [ Select ]
My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed

A. My web pages have never been included in the Google index.
Google is a mechanized search engine, which employs robots known as 'spiders' to crawl the web on a monthly basis and find sites for inclusion in the Google index. Please review the basics of submitting your site to learn more.

1. Reasons your site may not be included.

Your pages are dynamically generated. We are able to index dynamically generated pages. However, because our web crawler can easily overwhelm and crash sites serving dynamic content, we limit the amount of dynamic pages we index.

You employ doorway pages. Google does not encourage the use of doorway pages. We want to point users to content pages, not to doorways or splash screens.

Your page uses frames. Google supports frames to the extent that it can. Frames tend to cause problems with search engines, bookmarks, emailing links and so on, because frames don't fit the conceptual model of the web (every page corresponds to a single URL). If a user's query matches the site as a whole, Google returns the frame set. If a user's query matches an individual page on the site, Google returns that page. That individual page is not displayed in a frame -- because there may be no frame set corresponding to that page.
If you are concerned with the description of your site as seen by search engines, please read "Search Engines and Frames". It describes the use of the 'NoFrames' tag, which is used to provide alternative content. If, instead of providing alternative content, you use wording such as "This site requires the use of frames" or "Upgrade your browser", then you are excluding both search engines and people who use browsers with frames turned off. (For example, audio web browsers, such as those used in automobiles and by the visually impaired, typically do not deal with frames, which are a visual mechanism.) You can read about NoFrames in the HTML standard here: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/present/frames.html#h-16.4
  1. My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed
  2. A. My web pages have never been included in the Google index.
  3. Google is a mechanized search engine, which employs robots known as 'spiders' to crawl the web on a monthly basis and find sites for inclusion in the Google index. Please review the basics of submitting your site to learn more.
  4. 1. Reasons your site may not be included.
  5. Your pages are dynamically generated. We are able to index dynamically generated pages. However, because our web crawler can easily overwhelm and crash sites serving dynamic content, we limit the amount of dynamic pages we index.
  6. You employ doorway pages. Google does not encourage the use of doorway pages. We want to point users to content pages, not to doorways or splash screens.
  7. Your page uses frames. Google supports frames to the extent that it can. Frames tend to cause problems with search engines, bookmarks, emailing links and so on, because frames don't fit the conceptual model of the web (every page corresponds to a single URL). If a user's query matches the site as a whole, Google returns the frame set. If a user's query matches an individual page on the site, Google returns that page. That individual page is not displayed in a frame -- because there may be no frame set corresponding to that page.
  8. If you are concerned with the description of your site as seen by search engines, please read "Search Engines and Frames". It describes the use of the 'NoFrames' tag, which is used to provide alternative content. If, instead of providing alternative content, you use wording such as "This site requires the use of frames" or "Upgrade your browser", then you are excluding both search engines and people who use browsers with frames turned off. (For example, audio web browsers, such as those used in automobiles and by the visually impaired, typically do not deal with frames, which are a visual mechanism.) You can read about NoFrames in the HTML standard here: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/present/frames.html#h-16.4


So I would say that it is probably a good idea to employ the noframes tag and it would be a good idea to include a link to the page containing the frameset on each subpage in case a person comes directly to one of your them via a search engine result. That way they won't wind up on an "orphaned" page like this one and not be able to see your main navigation links:

http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~cbence/starter.htm

However, they also mention that they don't encourage the use of "doorway" pages which I think refers to the kind of entry page you mean.

The Google page referenced is here:

http://www.google.com/webmasters/2.html

//edit

You might want to read the articles referenced by Google, particluarly the Search Engines and Frames one. They point out that if you decide to put a link to your frameset on each of your pages that you should include target="_top" inside the A tag. That way if a visitor enters your page through the frameset and clicks on it won't redraw the frames within the already existing frameset.
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

When a SE spiders the pages and you go directly you loose the navigation:

eg:
http://www.webmarketingplus.co.uk/examp ... ent-1.html

I wrote this... a frame enforcer in JS that redirects you to the homepage:

Code: [ Select ]
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
<!--
if (top == self) window.location.replace("/");
-->
</script>
  1. <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
  2. <!--
  3. if (top == self) window.location.replace("/");
  4. -->
  5. </script>


BUT it does not solve all the problems cos you cant save pages to favorites etc... and you have to navigate again from the homepage to the page that was found on SE - maybe some more complex Java Script to pull navigation. Another problem not solved is that your page views in the stats will be over stated!

The bottom line is if you have a content or shop (not a snazzy portfolio where frames is ok) YOU DONT NEED TO USE COMPEX FRAMES!

Most free webhosts and ALL paid for web hosting you can use PHP and so you can use simple server side includes. These are easyer to set up than frames and link to your navigation bar in a seprate file so if you add a new feature you can add it to your menu without changing every dam page (same goes for header, footer or banner!)

You sample.php page will have this code where you want your navigation in the HTML: (<tr><td> tags are just an example you will have to the simple html)


Code: [ Select ]

.... <tr><td>

<?php
include("/includes/menu.htm")
?>

</td></tr>
<tr><td>

<?php
include("/includes/header.htm")
?>

</td></tr>...
  1. .... <tr><td>
  2. <?php
  3. include("/includes/menu.htm")
  4. ?>
  5. </td></tr>
  6. <tr><td>
  7. <?php
  8. include("/includes/header.htm")
  9. ?>
  10. </td></tr>...


Now you do 1 page called menu.htm (or any extention it dont matter) and stick your menu html in there.

You also create 1 page for your header and do the same.

Also you can do banners in a inlcude where you change 1 file to update all your page!!!! and also the footer and anything you want really!!!!

Piss easy and it much better than frames :D

(You can do this with any server side code)
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't disagree with you Johan, but I didn't mean to start the frames vs no frames debate again because we've had it in other threads, and I think Duffman has made up his mind to have frames.

The javascript idea is interesting, but I agree that it's problematic because the user doesn't get the page they were expecting and would still have to navigate back to it. I think I'd rather give them the page with an option to restore the frameset through a link.
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

RichB wrote:
I don't disagree with you Johan.
so you agree! No your right its just it hurts me (an ex frames user) to see that a simple include tag could have replaced hours of work getting frames right!

I will contribute to this post by showing the best method of adding the no frames tag:

Code: [ Select ]

<body>
<FRAMESET COLS="25%,*">
    <FRAME SRC="nav.html">  
    <FRAME SRC="display.html">  
</FRAMESET>

<NOFRAMES>
    <a href="website_map.html">Click this to view all my pages</a>
</NOFRAMES>
</body>
  1. <body>
  2. <FRAMESET COLS="25%,*">
  3.     <FRAME SRC="nav.html">  
  4.     <FRAME SRC="display.html">  
  5. </FRAMESET>
  6. <NOFRAMES>
  7.     <a href="website_map.html">Click this to view all my pages</a>
  8. </NOFRAMES>
  9. </body>
  • massfrequency
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Personally, I hate frames... when I first started w/ web design I must say I loved it, then I realized what a problem this created for web users and search engines... I haven't used frames since 01'... for these reasons...
  • pompei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

diddo --- I'm not a fan of frames, I'd much rather scroll down the whole page rather than fiddling about with scrollbars inside scrollbars etc. Just to rehash the frames debate, I think Google is now able to navigate them (at least I see backlinks reported from pages that contain pages within frames).

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