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Framed pages and search engines

Found a great thread... from 2001


Automan Empire

7:52 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm starting an ecommerce site in a large, competitive field. Fulfillment is provided by a rather exclusive drop-shipper. There are a few software companies with well integrated software tailored to this application. The catch is, they seem to feel its better to use a frame on the main sales page to integrate with the supplier database. They say it "can be done" without frames, but seem to prefer using a frame.
The home (front)page is where the shopping takes place. On the site, I'm going to have areas with technical tips and articles to put my page far ahead of the competition as far as becoming an "authority" site. Each article page will link back to the framed homepage.
My question is, what is the current state of search engine treatment of framed pages? Will the search engines ignore the entire site due to the frame on the front page? Will they like all the article pages but eschew the main page? (Much more acceptable) Will they list the front page content outside the frame only? (Have extra relevant content on front page or leave it bare-bones for buying?) Or has the issue of framed pages not included in search results recently become irrelevant like so many other things technical?
I expect to get a lot of links to my unique articles over time, but there is no sense building an ecommerce site that is summarily rejected by search engines. The software company and web designer seem to think that it's a non-issue, but from their perspective it doesn't matter what traffic I get after they build the site, and not everything they say jibes with what I've been reading on Webmaster World. Should I let them use the frame or insist on a non-framed page?
Thank you.


11:11 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I use iframes and my site is indexing well.

A good robots.txt file should ensure that unwanted files dont get indexed


8:01 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Generally,it's best to avoid framed pages. However if you do go with a framed page, you'll wanted to include a footer on each content page that contains links to the home page. The individual framed page can get listed but is often orphaned because the individual page does not have a header, footer or logo. Those items are usually found in the frameset.

Hope that helps.


3:45 am on Feb 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm going to have areas with technical tips and articles to put my page far ahead of the competition as far as becoming an "authority" site.

All I have to say: name one "authority" site with frames (ok, on a off-chance that you know about MSDN library website - name two).

Frames are better left in last century.

Ofcourse engineering says its ok, they don't understand SEO and eCommerce (I've been there). 99% of framed sites I've seen fail simple usabily test for different screen resolutions.

Automan Empire

5:30 am on Feb 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the input so far.
To clarify, there will be a logo and navigation at the top of the page, along with some text about what we sell. The middle is a frame containing the ecommerce module linked to the suppliers system, which displays the product and handles the inventory checking, shopping cart, etc. At the bottom will be a redundant set of navigation buttons and some more product information. This is the *one page* that will have a frame but its the *money page*... all the content pages will have links to this main page, and I expect unsolicited links will link to the content pages. Will this entire page be ignored by search engines, or just the part inside the frame?

Most of the competitors also seem to go with the frame concept. I can't say I've found many in SERPS to compare framed vs not... you get 8 million+ hits for "widget parts." A lot in the field seem to go with PPC and paid text links... getting to the top of SERPS is a tall mountain indeed. (A lot seem to also be pretty unsophisticated about ecommerce too... I feel like a kid on the way to the candy store :D )


3:10 pm on Feb 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If I am understand you correctly, your money page is what is being framed. So, the money page is not on your domain it belongs to the supplier. Therefore that page is mostly likely already indexed. The framed page will most likely get indexed, but as Akesl stated, frames are an old way of developing web pages and are not recommended for SEO.
I personally don't use frames and have not for several years.

Also, is your goal to get the money page ranked? If so, you could build lots of inbound links with targeted linked text. But once again, overall notbody uses frames who is trying to achieve high ranks.



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