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Rankings killed by iFrame?

     
4:26 pm on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi

Recently one of my sites ranked top 10 for a competitive World Cup phrase. The phrase definitely was a contender for Googleís QDF model.

The day of the opening game, I included an iFrame with dynamic content. Within a few hours the page dropped to position 31st. After 24 hours, we removed the iFrame and our ranking returned within 12 hours.

Iím still baffled by this. Can an iFrame cause a penalty? If so, does the size and position of the frame matter?

Thanks
D
4:38 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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hmm...does an iframe cause so many issues? The facebook widget that several people use on their blogs is based on iframe...but no one complained so far...

but this is an interesting observation.
7:39 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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maybe it was slow loading, dragging the speed of the page down. if lots of people started bouncing out then that might have reduced your ranking.
8:48 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Iframes have caused occasional problems in the past. There was one case in 2008 that was discussed on Google's forums - and Matt Cutts described this situation:

Essentially, our search algorithm saw a large area on the blog that was due to an IFRAME included from another site and that looked spammy to our automatic classifier. I believe that this bug has been fixed now. We also added additional safety checks to the relevant system that would escalate to an engineer if this site had the same issue in the future.

[groups.google.com...]
Another thread here, also relevant to the topic: Does iFrame impact Google SERP [webmasterworld.com]
9:27 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I use iframes in a network of sites displaying data from a centrally maintained database and have never noticed any ranking drops resulting from this. Some pages have up to 8 iframes hooking in data panels.

I don't know if this is relevant, or even the correct protocol, but I nofollow the iframe code as the content would be meaningless in SERPS as standalone data.
10:43 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The facebook widget that several people use on their blogs is based on iframe...but no one complained so far...


Actually, I was just about to complain about that myself...

I don't know the Facebook like button affects google serps, but it does slow down page load speed.

Does anyone know how to get rid of the iframe part of the Facebook like button and just make it a static link? I know that would remove the dynamic content (user photos and number of people who like the page) but I think that iframes should be avoided if possible.
10:27 am on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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maybe it was slow loading, dragging the speed of the page down.


londrum - that's a good point and certainly a possibility. The parent page is flat html and very fast. The iFrame isn't slow but in comparison might be regarded as heavy.

I don't know if this is relevant, or even the correct protocol, but I no follow the iFrame code as the content would be meaningless in SERPS as standalone data.


Simsi - Can you no follow an iFrame? Do you mean you no-follow the links within the iFrame?
10:55 am on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Simsi - Can you no follow an iFrame? Do you mean you no-follow the links within the iFrame?


No - the actual <iframe rel="nofollow" etc etc></iframe> code, but like I say, I don't know if that is correct protocol.
9:12 am on July 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Simsi - I don't think that will work. The iframe isn't a link so putting rel="nofollow" on it will do nothing.

It would be like having:

<div rel="nofollow" etc etc>Content with links</div>


For argumentís sake, I've set this up as a test. I'd be interested to see what happens.

Thanks
Donal