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Frame Busters and Google's reaction
Vs. active scrapers, hijacking, adsense fraud - which one to use?
Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 1:10 pm on Jan 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this isn't a classic for most of you guys.

But since I just noticed about two dozen companies that show a site of ours in frames as if it was one of their own "pages", it kinda ticked me off. Yeah we're popular, I know I should take this as a compliment, but considering the problems this can cause I'll skip on that. I don't want to run around contacting people and see if they reply either.

It's a first time for me.
At least the first time with having to consider how search engines will react.
Last time I added a frame buster was nine years ago I think...

So, the question is simple.
Now I know several frame busters, and I'd like to ask whether you have any idea on which one to use, and if there are any bad implications on ranking with either ( or any ) of them.

I'd assume Google does NOT discourage frame busters, for it solves a lot of possible AdSense and hijacking fraud, but also, googlebot might not even run that script, and Image Search may also give off some warnings. Not that the site has any images indexed.

So, the frame busters I knew/found:

-----------------

1.: W3C

<script type="text/javascript">
if (window.top!=window.self)
{
window.top.location="thepage_the_buster_is_on.php"
}
</script>

-----------------

2.: ...

<script type="text/javascript">
if (top.location!= location)
{
top.location.replace(self.location.href);
}
</script>

-----------------

3.: WW had this:

<script type="text/javascript">
if( window!= window.top )
{
top.location.href = location.href;
}
</script>

-----------------

3.5.:

<script>
if (top.location!= location)
{
top.location.href = document.location.href ;
}
</script>

-----------------

4.: And this...

<script language="JavaScript1.1" type="text/JavaScript">
<!--
if (parent.frames.length > 0) top.location.replace(document.location);
-->
</script>

-----------------

That's all that can be considered from my list.
Any ideas?
Or better yet, experience?

 

vordmeister

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 10:06 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use number 4. It seems to work reliably and still allows use of the back button. I've never noticed any SEO issues with the code even in image search.

Nikke

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 10:43 am on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Im using yet another one for every site I manage:

if (window!= top) top.location.href = location.href;

65% Google traffic in the referrals. Lots of image search results as well.

topr8

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 12:22 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>I'd assume Google does NOT discourage frame busters

yeah, search engines don't read the javascript anyway, so it doesn't even know about it

remember even when in someone else's frameset your own page still has its original unique url

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 10:59 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

How about reporting the adsense violation of TOS via DMCA report? Adsense is cracking down on scraping publishers. See this thread:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 11:19 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

topr8, my sentence reads as follows...

I'd assume Google does NOT discourage frame busters, (...), googlebot might not even run that script (...)

My concern here was mainly about a manual check. As in, would the site be seen as doing something unethical by adding a frame popper script ( since this WOULD make it escape Image Search for example. There are no images though ).

The other point is that I recently catched a few threads here and there about Googlebot starting to not only crawl but even decipher CSS and JS. Although I think it's pretty much scare tactics, plus a few bloggers trying to drive themseves visitors, can't say I feel it's gonna stay that way.

Trinorthlighting, well, yes. Might just happen. Although I'm the kind who likes to deal with such cases in a way that involves the least amount of human contact ( and thus error ). In the old days I would have contacted the sites on which I noticed this. Now I don't even care about anything else than bleaching my sites pure bright white before there's any kind of trouble.

( Yes, I know how a frameset works. How it works, theoretically. Today Google requested the obligatory "http://www.mysite.com/http://www.myothersite.com/" page from one of our servers for the first time, thus I popped up another can of soda and celebrated my arrival to the club. When it comes to Google indexing, I'm not at all confident theories always perform as promised. )

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 12:09 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

DMCA complaints are quick and easy. Basically you type up a letter and drop it in the mail. Google does take action against people who scrape. A lot of people think google does not care, but that is not the truth. If its an adsense scraper that is violating copywrite laws google can be sued as well as the publisher because original content is covered by copywrite laws. Remember, google is profiting off those pages as well.

A recent court case is forcing google to crack down on the adsense sites that are scraping.

DMCA links:

[google.com...]

Adsense TOS

[google.com...]

Trust me, the more they are reported the more of them will be put out of business.

mirrornl

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 12:48 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

thanks again trinorth,
erm
would it be any help to fill out a "Counter Notification" if a website is (completely) removed from the index without any good reason?

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 2:00 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you have been removed from the index, log into your webmaster tools and file a reinclusion request. Make sure your with in googles guideliines.

Marcia

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 2:10 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>would it be any help to fill out a "Counter Notification" if a website is (completely) removed from the index without any good reason?

Without any good reason isn't the same as filing a counter notification when a site's been removed because a DMCA complaint has been filed.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 7:15 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Putting your site in a frame is rude, but it is easily circumvented as described in post 1. Just put the snippet on your pages and sleep peacefully.

Note that it is not hijacking. It will not affect your Google rankings (unless the framing site is so popular that it usurps some of your inbound links). It will not get you kicked out of AdSense. It is not appropriate to file a DMCA complaint; save that for the many cases where real theft has taken place.

Even Google frames your site sometimes, e.g. with the image search, or when translating a web page. They are well aware what framing is and will not get confused if they see your site in someone else's frame.

nektotigra

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 9:46 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've introduced a frame buster last Thursday, saw a 30 per cent unique hits increase and today --bang!-- got a three times decrease in traffic from Google Images.
Maybe, that's just a coincedence, but I guess Google doesn't really like frame busters.

The code looked as follows:

<script type="text/javascript">
if(top!= self) top.location.href = self.location.href
</script>

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 11:53 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

nektotigra, if it's not too much to ask, could you please keep us posted on this, and confirm that it wasn't just a temporary glitch?

This was one of the concerns I have.

Exactly because even Google uses frames sometimes, they may see a frame buster as an attempt to manipulate certain services of theirs ( converting Image Search and translation into broader site visits ).

Please see if your site is still included in Google / Google Image Search ( you can use the site: operator in Image Search as well ).

And if there has been a change since you added the frame popping script, be sure to let us know, that was one of the big questions.

Other than that, thanks trinorthlighting and everyone for the posts, they flesh out the topic to great extent.

And yes, unless there are ads outsite the frame from a different publisher ( perhaps with the title, meta adjusted to provide a similar context ), I don't see a case that the AdSense team would react on.

Thus I'll go and check.

nektotigra

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 12:13 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi, Miamacs.

Please see if your site is still included in Google / Google Image Search ( you can use the site: operator in Image Search as well ).

Yes, it's still there. It is completely included in Google Search and at least partially present in Google Image Searches.

I never used to check results in Google.Images before, so I can't tell anything about whether the number of indexed images has changed, but I got about 65-70 per cent of my images indexed.

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 12:30 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay.

Well, keep an eye out, although having ( some / any ) images in the index, means you haven't been removed from it, which is a relief.

graphxie

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 2:59 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not exactly a SEO issue, but a frame buster will break the site overlay feature in Google Analytics. You would have to turn off the script for Analytics to load the webpage and turn it back on when finished. Just something to consider if you use the overlay feature.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 5:19 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

BTW, you can modify the snippet to act based on the framing site's URL.

For example I add this IF statement before breaking out of the frame, otherwise users would be unable to do a web translation of my site:
if (location.href.toLowerCase().indexOf("whatever.com") == 0)

You could add something similar to allow Google images to frame your site, if you're comfortable with that use.

LunaC

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 6:42 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been thinking about this a lot lately to. One of my sites gets a lot of traffic from image search, so what I'd like is a frame buster that pops out of frames unless from image searches or translation (like the example above), but on those adds target="_top" to links if it leaves the frame intact.

That way image searchers aren't suddenly confused by an unexpected event (frame removal and loss of the "back to image search" link) but if they click further, my site is out of frames. To me that seems like a fair compromise.

I'd use a base target but my pages are 4.01 strict, if I go to a transitional doctype they get a bit wonky on some browsers, so targeting is out.. although in this case I think that javascript would pretty meet the spirit of the specs.

I can't find anything like that though, I think it's possible but I haven't a clue how to write javascript.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3226698 posted 6:56 pm on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Exactly because even Google uses frames sometimes, they may see a frame buster as an attempt to manipulate certain services of theirs ( converting Image Search and translation into broader site visits ).

I've been using frame busters on every site I've done for more than 10 years and have never had a problem with Google web or image search.

As for Google seeing it as an attempt to capture more visitors, well, heck, sure it is. I find G's attempt to keep more visitors using my sites' content quite rude (as was Ask when it did it for all clicked links), so I bust my pages out.

But again, I emphasize that I haven't had, nor have I heard of, any repercussions from using a frame buster.

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