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Problems With Using Frames

While frames make Web site design and navigation a bit easier, they wreak havoc on your Web site's ranking in the search engines for two reasons:

  • Half of the search engines cannot read the content contained in frames.
  • Frames increase the file size and the number of total words that make up the Web site, and thereby can decrease keyword weight.

Non-frames-capable search engines view the Web site just as if you were viewing your site with an outdated browser. This is evidenced by the large number of search engines that return listings like this:

Used-PCs. com
is your webstore for Used PCs and PC parts. This web page uses frames; You'll need Netscape or IE 2.0 or better to view them.

98% http:// www. used-pcs. com/ (Size 1.3K)

What happened here?! This is how this terrific company that sells used Pentiums at reasonable prices and operates a great Web site is listed in a particular search engine. Why? The search engine's spider couldn't read frames. Therefore, it only read the contents of the <NOFRAMES> tag. This information is returned to browsers that are not frames-capable instead of just a jumbled page. Unfortunately, the text in the <NOFRAMES> tag is often instructions to the reader that they need a frames-capable browser to view the site properly.
Note: This company has corrected their site and designed a new site that does not employ frames. Check out the new site. They always have some great bargains there!

So, how do you overcome this problem? First, if at all possible, do not design your Web site with frames. In our opinion, only very large, complex sites with many menu options and levels truly need frames.

If you insist on using frames, take measures to ensure that the major search engines' spiders can index your page. You can accomplish this by carefully using the <NOFRAMES> tag. Also, don't forget effective site titles and META tags. Just because you're using frames doesn't mean you should leave out the META tags.

It's really quite simple. You must create an alternate Web page within the <NOFRAMES> tag so that search engines have something to index. Compose a complete HTML Web page between the <NOFRAMES> tag and its end tag </ NOFRAMES>. Make sure that you include the <NOFRAMES> tag immediately below the very first frameset tag, because, as always, you want the keyword rich text to appear as close to the top of the page as possible like so:

<FRAMESET COLS=" 125,*" border=" 0"> <NOFRAMES>
<H1> I'll start the content in my NOFRAMES tag with a header tag that I'll fill with keywords</ H1>
<P> In the copy you can include all the text and HTML that would otherwise make up your Web site. Here's a link to another page, maybe one that would make up another
frame:</ P>
<A HREF=" http:// www. yourcompany. com/ otherpage. htm"> Click to link to another page</ A>
<P> And here's some more text for the search engines to index </ P> </ BODY>
<FRAME SRC=" html/ lftmenu. htm" NAME=" frame517420" MARGINWIDTH= 3 SCROLLING= NO NORESIZE>
<FRAME SRC=" html/ main. html" NAME=" main" SCROLLING= YES>

The preferred method is to include all the information from the other framed pages on this new, separate page contained in the <NOFRAMES> tag. When you design this new Web page within the <NOFRAMES> tag, make sure you include links to other pages in your site so that the search engine can spider to those pages and index them as well.

Make sure <NOFRAMES> follows the <FRAMESET> tag. Moving it up higher in the page such as in the <HEAD> section could make your wording more prominent to the search engine but would be incompatible with some browsers.

Since the extra tags to set up frames may dilute the density of keywords versus other words on the page, you should definitely consider creating doorway pages. These pages would not use frames at all, but would serve as pointers to your main site that uses frames. This solution can provide the best of both world.


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