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IFrames Question
How do search engines deal with them

 1:56 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have setup scrolling frames on some of my webpages as I would like to keep all my pages looking the same size.

The text that is displayed within the frames is the display of another page i.e.

My design page is called 'design.htm' my text is called 'design text.asp' on my design page I have the following code:

<iframe src ="design text.asp"> </frame>

Will search engines just pick up the text in 'design text.asp" and direct people to that page?

thanks in advance




 1:59 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I do not believe Google grabs Iframes nor does it follow links to Iframed pages.

Googleguy should be able to clarify and if Google cant follow then it should learn because I love IFrames.


 2:09 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Use <noframes> to link into the page loaded within the frame.


 2:09 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow thanks for the quick reply.

When you say Google doen't Grab Iframes do you mean it ignores them completly or it understands what they are so points to the correct page?


 2:10 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ignores the completly.


 2:10 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Use <noframes> to link into the page loaded within the frame."

How do you mean, more detail please......I'm quite new to all this


 2:12 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

NCUK, so by using Iframes I'm ruining my chances on search engines?


 6:35 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Although I don't currently use iframes on any sites, I know that several members here have asked for help because Google sends traffic to their "orphaned" iframes pages - and they need a script to put the orphaned page back into the iframe on its parent page.

Now that could only happen if Google did index the iframe page. So, because of these members reports, I'm sure that Google at least indexes links into an iframe (anchor tags with a target="iframename" attribute). The only thing I'm not sure about is the original iframe document, designated by the src= attribute inside an iframe tag.

Also, there have been several reports recently of Google devaluing <noframes> content because there is strong potential for abuse/spam there. So even if there is a problem with iframes, noframes may not be the best answer today - although it certainly worked well in the past.

I'm beating the bushes for some clarification on this, and we'll report back as soon as we have the word.


 4:10 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK - a site search here produces many reports of iframe content being indexed by Google. Also there are other reports of iframes not being indexed. Something like every other kind of content which may or may not end up in a particular Google index.

But Googlebot definitely can and does index iframe content. In fact, there are some posts here with people trying to keep their iframes content OUT of the index because Googlebot is finding it and they don't want that.

If I had a site where I wanted some insurance that Google would index the iframe content, I'd put some straight links at the bottom of the page - pointing right to the docs that normally appear in iframes.

Then I'd put a script inside those docs that slapped them back into their parent page if they were displaying as orphans. That would create a simple, direct link trail for Googlebot that should not ever be problematic. You might also include a <noscript> tag with some minimal navigation back into your main pages, just for those surfers with js turned off.


 4:44 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

<iframe marginwidth="10" marginheight="10" height="200" width="100%" name="i1">Content to be indexed here.</iframe>

According to the research I've done on the <iframe>, typically the content inside the frame itself is not indexed although there have been reports that contradict that as tedster points out above.

Also, if the users browser does not support <iframe>s, the content between the <iframe> and </iframe> is what the user will see. I tested all this back when <iframes> were first being discussed. I use them on a few sites to allow viewing of various items that don't require full pages. I think their cool, a window anywhere on the page that you want it!

That area between the <iframe> and </iframe> serves the same purpose as the <noframes> tag does.

Typically the content should be either a link to the embedded document or a copy of the content of its body. In the latter case, the copy must not include the head part (title etc.) or body tags, just the part that is inside the body element in the full document. Some suitable authoring tools or server side mechanisms could be used to make the copying automatic.

P.S. It is suggested that you wrap your <iframe></iframe> inside a <div></div> to prevent IE5 on the Mac from displaying the content inside the <iframe></iframe> tags.

<div><iframe>Content for browsers that do not support the iframe element.</iframe></div>

Remember, <iframe> is an inline element and can be wrapped in various block level elements. The <div> is suggested as the container element.


 7:41 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone


 8:13 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


Surely the use of the <div> tag would technically be hiding content even though there is not a lot of it?


 8:57 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Somewhat offtopic, but it's still related to Iframes. Is it safe to use Iframes nowadays? What versions of browsers support Iframes? I am planning to use Iframes on my site but m worried that older browsers that do not support it may turn my site into a mess. Are there other alternatives, like the <frame> or <frameset> tags which are more widely supported than Iframes?


 9:01 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Netscape 4.x does not support iframes - but there's a workaround if you need that support. Just wrap your iframes tags in a set of ilayer tags like this:


The joy here - NN4 and only NN4 understands the ilayer tag. So other browsers ignore it but render the iframe; and NN4 ignores the iframe and renders the ilayer.

IE 4 up and NN6 up all support iframe, as do all other modern browsers.


 9:26 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

What does the <ilayer> tags do? You mean the Iframe content will show up in Netscape 4.x if i include the <ilayer> tags and otherwise if i do not? It sounds like you're telling me its okay to use Iframes. If so, I'd give it a go.


 10:18 pm on Jun 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anyone been successful using the IFRAME "longdesc" attribute to have a search engine index the contents of the IFRAME?




 11:40 am on Jun 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

IE 4 up

No -- IE 3 up

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