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Following links in NOFRAMES section

Can be any problems with Googlebot following links in NOFRAMES?



6:55 am on Jun 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of my sites uses frames extensively - it's necessary for the layout. I did an optimisation for SE, like copying all the content to NOFRAMES, and having static URLs for framesets for all possible pages, to make it crawlable as non-frames site. But I used robots.txt to disable URLs of frame src to avoid having unnecessary entries in the index.

Everything works as expected, the pages I have in the index rank pretty well, including #1 on some targetted phrases, but there is one problem. Googlebot seems to be reluctant to follow links in NOFRAMES section. I put external deeplinks to have more pages crawled, but it's not a good solution - I don't want to build a site map to have everything crawled, as normal linking structure of the site better reflects the relative importance of internal links.

Did anyone encountered any problems with following the links in NOFRAMES section, or the opposite?


6:22 pm on Jun 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have an impression that Google follows and indexes links from navigation frame, which has "noindex, follow" tag, rather than links in noframes tag of main frameset.


4:41 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It seems that there IS a problem!

Googlebot treats NOFRAMES content normally, uses it in ranking as a content of the page, but it doesn't follow links! It follows only FRAME SRC links and all links in frames, but does not follow links placed in NOFRAMES.

I tried to hide FRAMESET and NOFRAMES tags with JavaScript document.write, and I got immediate results - the links Googlebot didn't follow for months have been crawled the same day.

I'm afraid such use of JS is a bit of cloaking, but the content and links I put in NOFRAMES are not deceptive - they are exactly copied from frame content shown to users, so maybe I won't be banned for it. But I'm going to ask Googleguy at the first opportunity what do he think about doing such things.

My purpose is just to have framed site indexed exactly as non-framed one, I mean, without indexing separate frames. And I'm close to succeed this.


4:50 pm on Jun 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have several framed sites and have found over the years that Googloe will not follow external links in the NOFRAMES section. I believe that internal links are followed though.


9:58 am on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Interesting... My links were internal, but used absolute addressing (most people on this forum say it's better) and I have BASE HREF tag in HEAD section. And Google didn't follow them even if page has PR3 and exists for at least six months, but started spidering them immediately when I put FRAMESET and NOFRAMES tags to JavaScript.

I don't like using such tricks as I don't want to be penalized.


5:49 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

But fixing this thing made Googlebot crawling the site like crazy and my site jumped from #5 to #2 in SERPs on its main targeted phrase!

I'm still not sure was it up to using NOFRAMES or just to using BASE HREF.

I know SEO don't use frames, but if it's better for users, there has to be a way to do it perfectly, there are still many good sites using frames. And I always thought frames have advantages - NOFRAMES is like legitimate cloaking, you obviously serve different content to spider than to users - but it's clear that Google has reasons to be suspicious and avoid following the links in NOFRAMES.

MSN has no such problems and my site is #1 there for months.


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