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How is a page ranking with no content except for a frame?
CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 8:27 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

There is a site at the very top of a local service search I watch and the ranking page itself has no content and is just

<html>
<head></head>
<frameset>
<frame SRC="LINK TO REAL WEBSITE" >
</frameset>
</html>

Somehow this has ranked, and continues to rank for the past 6 months without any backlinks and just the code above, for a VERY competitive term, even above #*$! directories.

Anyway care to guess HOW?

Now, I thought G was weary of IFRAMES?

 

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 8:59 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

From the SEO perspective, on the page displaying a frame (or iframe) the content of the frame does not count towards the content of the page, rather it is part of the page whose URL is being framed.

Looking at the code sample above, is this all that there is? I mean there is no <title>, meta description etc in the head section either? If so, what is the title of the page displayed in SERPs ? (exemplify the title please in your answer)

You say there are no backlinks, but I am wondering whether there possibly may be some as no backlink tool can show all backlinks to the page.

If there is no backlinks, no page title, no meta description, no other content than framing another page then I am also puzzled.

Is the domain perhaps an exact match domain (or partial match domain)?

Another question - the website which is in frame src, where does this site ranks in your search? Does it rank on its own merit for this query?

<added>
Another thought - there could be a site that has backlinks and is 301-ed to this site, this could perhaps be one possible explanation.
</added>

The code sample above is an example of frames and not iframes (inline frames), but in the context of member's question I think this is not important.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 9:15 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>>Looking at the code sample above, is this all that there is? I mean there is no <title>, meta description etc in the head section either? If so, what is the title of the page displayed in SERPs ? (exemplify the title please in your answer) <<<<

That's all the code there is, the FRAMED site (sorry your correct its not an IFRAME is of ANOTHER domain framed...the title in the FRAMED site is the one that shows in the SERPS as "COMAPNY NAME - MAIN SERVICE - TARGET AREA". im going to PM you the link because its insane to me!

>>>You say there are no backlinks, but I am wondering whether there possibly may be some as no backlink tool can show all backlinks to the page.<<<

Yea I think you are right I don't have a tool that's 100% and I just found a link from a directory.... but even with backlinks that's seriously dodgy to be ranking at the top no?


>>>If there is no backlinks, no page title, no meta description, no other content than framing another page then I am also puzzled. <<<

Don't forget framing a site on ANOTHER domain name lol

>>>Is the domain perhaps an exact match domain (or partial match domain)? <<<

No

>>>Another question - the website which is in frame src, where does this site ranks in your search? Does it rank on its own merit for this query? <<<<

Not that I can find, no
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:29 pm (utc) on Aug 16, 2013]

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 9:28 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I should point out the im seeing this level of quality site dominate other searches in other areas, all terrible, terrible quality sites, some others with just an "IMAGE" for content, the pages text is written onto a single image used as a "background".... (unless you looked at the code or tried to highlight the text you wouldn't know)

This is why im so peed, I realise a lot of people complain about other sites but these sites have no right to be in the top 100 results if any sort of onsite quality was taken into account yet the score at the very top?

I cant even improve my sites to compete because the sites at the top are just god awful.... Whats my motivation to improve my sites when the more I do the worse they rank in favour of these? I can only think I need to make my sites BAD to get them ranking based on some of these results?

My sites would have cost a good 1k-2k a couple of years back but these freebie drag and drop sites are just laughing all over my (passes every online test with flying colours) hand coded sites....

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 9:36 pm (utc) on Aug 16, 2013]

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 9:36 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well the only thing I can think of is that this could perhaps be a case of 100% frame. I do not know much about 100% framing a site, but there was an interesting discussion on this back in 2009 which may be worth reading: [webmasterworld.com...]

As I said, I am not an expert in framing area but it seems fully framing a site was something that used to work back in 2009 and perhaps it still works now.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 9:44 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't know much about framing a site either [not something I do] but I thought it would be good to post a JavaScript Frame Buster in case there are those who read here having an issue with a site being framed, because as long as a visitor has JS running they will land on the correct site regardless of which site ranks for the content.

This is usually a standard installation in the <head> of my sites and those I work on:

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

I should note: If there are cases where a site needs to be framed [EG by a press release] the above code will need to be omitted/removed from the home page.

Dymero



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 9:48 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is interesting because Google isn't (officially) supposed to have the ability to crawl frames and iframes. I was researching this the other day when Matt's widget warning came out, as there are a few major folks who have do-follow links in widgets.

It's actually not so surprising that they might be trying to develop this ability, given the increasing prevalence of iframes on sites with video, embeds, etc.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 10:10 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I guess there is no point reporting them to google as they aren't spamming to get to the top, its just the algo giving props to the sites that don't even try anymore?

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 10:22 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is interesting because Google isn't (officially) supposed to have the ability to crawl frames and iframes.

I'm not sure about this.

Technically, they have the ability to detect URLs and to <frame> or <iframe> another page there must be a source URL involved and they definitely have the ability to crawl URLs [can't have a search engine without detecting and crawling URLs], so they do [and have for a long time] have the ability to crawl <frame>d and <iframe>d URLs.

There has been a question for a while about what "counts" from <iframe>d sources and the most recent tests I've seen show they are not only spidered but also pass link weight. Source: [seroundtable.com...]

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 10:36 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I find interesting is that there is a page that 100% frames another page from a different domain. Lets call the first page "holding page" and the second page "framed page"

OP said that the page that is being returned in SERPs is holding page which has nothing in its html other than frame src code with the URL of framed page.

So the question was - on which basis the holding page rank - OP says the holding page has no links pointing to it either.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 11:09 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

OP said that the page that is being returned in SERPs is holding page which has nothing in its html other than frame src code with the URL of framed page.

This is interesting to me too, especially since they are so far along in development, because I would think they would have the issue completely corrected by now, but obviously they don't.

My best guess is it's a "glitch" or something that was addressed at one point in time, but got "overwritten" or "over-road" somehow by another system -- In a set of code the size of Google's those things happen sometimes and I'm guessing now that it's been made public and they likely know about it they will get it fixed.

When I run into situations like this I have to remind myself Google has a big algo [technically heuristic] and in a system as complex as they have sometimes sh*t happens, but from what I've seen over the years generally when they know about issues they work to get them corrected, so I'm guessing they will take a look and find a way to correct this one too.

tangor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 3:26 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is interesting because Google isn't (officially) supposed to have the ability to crawl frames and iframes. I was researching this the other day when Matt's widget warning came out, as there are a few major folks who have do-follow links in widgets.

This isn't true. Google (Bing, and all the others AFAIK) can read frameset just fine. I have several sites that are set up as frameset, though I have more in my frameset than the barebones example above, that have placed okay since long before Google rose to dominance... and still place okay.

That said, my frameset is for my domain, not another domain. I don't believe in framing anyone else's content. So there are interesting questions asked and some speculative answers given. I don't have a clue how the OPs query ranks.

rainborick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 3:56 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

tangor's got it right. In fact, the idea that search engines couldn't or wouldn't crawl <frame>d sites dates back to the last century. Whether or not it was ever true, search engines have been able to crawl and index frames of all kinds for at least the past decade. Frames do bring challenges for search engines, and Google has changed it's methods from time to time over the years. About two or three years ago, Google announced that they would sometimes consider the framed content as being a part of the parent <frameset> page and they will often use the parent's URL in the SERPs when it's really an internal page that ranks in order to prevent users from landing on a page with no navigation. I think the OP's scenario illustrates that practice. It's not surprising that all these machinations make it difficult to diagnose the situation from the outside.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 6:16 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

http://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/34445 [support.google.com]:
Google tries to associate framed content with the page containing the frames, but we don't guarantee that we will.

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 11:32 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)


[support.google.com...] [support.google.com]:
Google tries to associate framed content with the page containing the frames, but we don't guarantee that we will.

Even when the framed page is from a different domain?

rainborick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 3:23 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

They don't explicitly say one way or the other, or even detail what they mean by the term "associate", but crossing a domain boundary with frames has traditionally been avoided by Google. Take the example in the first post in this thread: If the domain of the parent <frameset> page did not match the domain(s) used in the <frame> tags ("LINK TO REAL WEBSITE"), Google has not generally displayed the parent page in the SERPs as they otherwise might. That seems a reasonable practice, if for no other reason than to reduce content hijacking via frames. And I would be surprised if that tendency did not extend to "associate"-ing the content with the parent as well, but I can't explain what the OP saw in how the <frameset> site was performing.

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 10:31 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

The OP has stickied me with the query and the domain name and in this case I made an exception and had a look at it.

The domain ranking in SERPs (at #2) is framing another domain. As OP said, the page html of the parent (ranking) domain has nothing in it other than 100% frame. No meta tags, nothing - the HTML of the page is as OP said with the addition of the rows="100%" and no border attributes.

The SERPs show parent domain with <title> and meta description from the framed domain. The "cached" link shows the cache of the framed domain under the name of the parent domain.

The domain names are similar though and the whois shows the same owner. I am guessing that in this particular case the framing was done because of the need to drop the location from domain name (perhaps because of domain owner not knowing how to or not being able to execute 301 redirect). I conclude this because of the following.

The parent domain: BrandnameKeyword2.com
The framed domain: BrandnameKeyword2Location.com

The query for which the parent domain ranks is for:
Keyword1 Keyword2 Location

However, the website targets more locations (this is probably the reason for wanting to drop the location from the domain name).

So in this case Google is displaying the parent domain in SERPS despite parent domain not having any HTML other than frame and all SERPs info is pulled out of framed domain.

Perhaps the reason why Google behaves in this way is that there is the same whois and perhaps both domains may be in the same WMT account.

Because I would doubt that it would be so easy to "steal" the ranking from another site by purely framing someone else's domain.

courier



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 6:29 am on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have the .net of a domain framing a close friends .com of the same domain. I noticed it in Google a while ago, I cannot remember what for so I cannot get it again, but if I search for 'domain. net' it appears with the snippets and title of the 'domain .com'.

As aakk9999 has stated in the OP example when you take the Google cache from the page it has the cache of the .com and not the cache of the .net.

Notes:

1. The whois is different for the two domains.
2. They are not linked in webmaster tools.
3. The only track back to me having contact to my friend is, I have 2 other domains with my whois my friend has borrowed and put G ads onto with his account.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4602577 posted 8:17 am on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm currently away with only an iPhone so can check but does the framed site have a
A canonical link element with preference of the framing domain? (I doubt it but its the only thing I can think of as to why google would not simply ignore the framing site over the framed site?

I suppose the framed site could also have a penalty?
Still begs the question why is it ranking at the top even above google places? As I said previously its been glued here for a very long time so it can't be put down to a glitch!

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