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SEO frames and <noframes>
is this clever or stupid
Gary_Numan




msg:3268851
 10:51 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I recently came across a site that had been 'tweeked' and altered by a big SEO company.

They had taken the original home page and put it into another htm file, then made a frame to reference that page. The result is that the home page is now showing as it was always intended to be.

Then, below this frame they inserted the <noframes> tag and stuffed the body with about 500 words of keyword rich content, plus a load of links.

I ran a quick SE simulation on this page and the spidered text and links are all taken from the <noframes> element, even though a visitor can't see any of it.

In my eyes, this is classed as invisible text, but the site owner could claim that the <noframes> tag has to be there in case a browser is used that is not frames-enabled.

So I am left thinking that this could be a very clever way of filling your page with loads of keyword rich content, but leaving the visitor with a clean and uncluttered home page.

Either that, or this is very dangerous and could get the site banned.

Question is, how would Google know this was happening unless someone from Google actually went to the site? I can't see how a spider would pick up on it.

What do you guys think?

Gary

 

Quadrille




msg:3268961
 1:38 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Stupid.

And pointless. Google has no interest in iframes, so I see no benefit. It's attempted spam, the way 'comment stuffing' is attempted spam.

It may, however, be part of a more complex link farm, which may still be there - or may have 'disappeared' when the contract ended.

Search a little wider, just in case, but remove the idiocy.

Gary_Numan




msg:3268990
 2:05 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I fully agree that it is attempted spam, but how would the search engines pick up on this?

Gary

Gary_Numan




msg:3268992
 2:09 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Search a little wider, just in case, but remove the idiocy."

Not entirely sure what that comments means.

I was only asking a question, otherwise how do I learn?

Gary

[edited by: Gary_Numan at 2:10 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2007]

Quadrille




msg:3269002
 2:25 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, I mean remove the idiocy from the site! :)

Your question is very sensible, no rudeness was intended.

As it stands, I see no way for the SEs to pick up on it - that's what's so stupid.

But if it's part of some link exchange scheme, we'd need to see the big picture to see what was happening (if anything!).

Chances are it's just an attempt to impress a naive client, rather than actually achieve anything. Unless they are so stupid they think iframes are used by SEs. People do the silliest things; packing 'comment' tags is equally stupid - but it still happens.

[edited by: Quadrille at 2:25 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2007]

pageoneresults




msg:3269010
 2:30 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, sounds to me like they are using the <noframes> element in the way it should be used.

Now, what they've put in there and how they've formatted it is another thing. If it is fit for human consumption than there is no problem whatsoever, none.

Unless they are so stupid they think iframes are used by SEs.

I believe the OP is referring to a <frameset> and not the <iframe> element. Even then, if the site in question had optimized their <iframe></iframe> following the html guidelines, there is nothing wrong with that either. And, the SE's do index what is between those <iframe> elements.

abbeyvet




msg:3269014
 2:38 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

The OP said
I recently came across a site
so,
remove the idiocy
seems an irrelevent reply - or are you saying that iframes in particular don't need <noframes> content? It isn't very clear to me what you are saying.

Should iframes have properly used associated <noframes></noframes> or not? That is <noframes> content which, for example, briefly summarises what is in the frame and maybe provides a link to a another, unframed, page?

And, although I know it isn't simply a Google issue, does Google already index/follow what is in the iframe anyway? If so, does it then ignore <noframes> content?

pageoneresults




msg:3269025
 2:51 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

And, although I know it isn't simply a Google issue, does Google already index/follow what is in the iframe anyway? If so, does it then ignore <noframes> content?

There are two different elements being discussed here. The OP mentioned <frameset>. Quadrille mentioned <iframe>, they are two different elements and the optimization technique is different.

For <frameset>...

You have the <noframes></noframes> [w3.org] element. Your optimized content goes between the opening <noframes> and closing </noframes> elements.

There is also a longdesc [w3.org] attribute for the <frameset> and <iframe> elements.

For <iframe>...

You have the <iframe></iframe> [w3.org] element. Your optimized content goes between the opening <iframe> and closing </iframe> elements.

I believe Google will index the source URI (link only of an <iframe>) but will not index the content of that source URI. That is the reason we have areas as specified by the HTML guidelines on how to best represent that content outside the <frameset> or <iframe> elements.

Then, below this frame they inserted the <noframes> tag and stuffed the body with about 500 words of keyword rich content, plus a load of links.

It does sound though as if the site in question may not being using the <noframes> element properly and to their advantage. The "load of links" bit is what concerns me. Or, did they drop a replica of the homepage in there with links to all the internal content?

Quadrille




msg:3269054
 3:17 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

My bad. :(

Mini brain storm - I read noframes as iframes. Don't ask!

If it's noframes, it's a very different matter; some people do need the noframe tag to see the page properly, so it is not necessarily misuse of the tag.

However, the intention should be to deliver the same content, overall, to the visitor (IE compensating the visitor for lack of frame content).

Without seeing the site, it would be impossible to give a definitive answer; you'd need to compare the fames/noframes version in appropriate browser settings, as seen by the visitor.

It is possible to optimize a frames site; but there are usually better ways to build a site that is good for visitors and good for SEs.

Apologies for wrecking the thread; please ignore all my previous posts. :(

abbeyvet




msg:3269158
 4:35 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, that was a wow moment! Thank you P1R!

I was totally unaware of the way to use content between <iframes></iframes>! I can't believe I never read that before - I suppose I never really looked, I don't use iframes all that much.

caveman




msg:3269214
 5:26 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

And to get back to the OP's original question, this is llike so many other aspects of SEO. It is not the use of a given page element that is a problem, but the misuse of it. Whether or not there is a spam issue here depends, as POR alludes, entirely upon how the content in the <noframes> element is being deployed.

Personally I would never, ever do this for a client IF the intent was to add a spammy array of kw's and links to the spidered doc. Sure the SE's may not pick up on it algorithmically (though I would not assume that for sure). Nonetheless, all it takes is one spam report from a competitor and an eager beaver spam cop at a SE to get the page, if not the site, toasted.

But again, it all comes down to whether the contents in the <noframes> element is abusive/misleading/spammy/etc. Same holds true for most on-page aspects of SEO. You gage your level of risk and you takes your chances.

Gary_Numan




msg:3270927
 9:04 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the replies.

It got a bit confusing there for a while, but we seem to have sorted it all out in the end.

I don't know if I am allowed to put up a link to this site for you all to look at, but the text in the <noframes> </noframes> tag is about five times longer than the visible page content, and is certainly there just to boost the on page content for SEs.

The text is relevant, but is different to how it reads on the page we see. Unless of course, you do not have a frames enabled browser and then the full text can be seen just on a blank background.

Seems like a short term win until someone finds out. That could takes weeks or years (or never)

Gary

[edited by: Gary_Numan at 9:07 pm (utc) on Mar. 4, 2007]

caveman




msg:3271147
 2:46 am on Mar 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

What you describe clearly runs afoul of SE guidelines. Mark it down as a relatively high risk tactic.

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