|Google is indexing framed pages with frameset-description + title|
Google never had any problems with indexing sites that use frames (when you know how to work with them), but the last two weeks or so Google is really messing things up. They now show framed pages with their own url, but with the description of the index (frameset) and with the title of the index or a mixture between the frameset title and the h1-text from the framed page.
Until recent the only thing you had to do to avoid duplicate content was to prevent url's with query-strings to be indexed, because they would all get the title, description etc from index.html. All content pages were indexed with their own url, title, description and content.
But now Google started indexing green-widgets.html like it used to index index.html?green-widgets.html because the description is now that of index.html. Sometimes the title is that of index.html (let's say: widget shop), sometimes it's a mixture of the h1-text of green-widgets.html and the title of index.html (let's say: green widgets - widget shop).
Besides the title all pages now start to look like duplicate content and the number of visitors is dropping fast.
Has anyone else noticed this new behavore of Google and managed to tackle this problem? (Besides not using frames.)
This is the first report of such a situation that I've heard.
If I understand you correctly, you were getting a lot of Google traffic sent directly to one of the child frames - traffic that you then served the complete frameset. And now that is traffic is dropping as Google shows all the internal frames as having the parnet frameset's title.
Mid summer, I watched a Matt Cutts video where he talked a little bit about framesets. I noticed that his language was hedged more strongly than usual - "for now this is what we are doing" and so on, with the emphasis on "for now". So it wouldn't surprise me if something has now shifted.
Until I can see more of this in action, I be hesitant to talk about any definitive way to deal with such a change. But on first impression, I'd say that there may not be anything you can do that doesn't involve getting rid of the frameset.
I gave up on using framesets a while ago - even though, at times, the internal URLs ranked very easily. I could see that framed pages were often free of the need to support lots of navigational links, and this gave them a kind of secret advantage at the time.
But after some testing, I learned that many users (maybe 40%-50%) were boggled by framesets - they just don't make sense to some kinds of minds. So I migrated away from all framesets because the extra traffic was not converting well within a frameset page.
"If I understand you correctly, you were getting a lot of Google traffic sent directly to one of the child frames - traffic that you then served the complete frameset. And now that is traffic is dropping as Google shows all the internal frames as having the parnet frameset's title."
That's correct. Only we don't just serve our visitors the complete frameset but we wrap that frameset around the content page the visitor requested.
And Google shows the internal frames as having the parent frameset's description. The title is, in most cases, a mixture of the h1-text of the requested page and the title of the frameset.