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Avoid Things Search Engines Hate

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2007

Dealing with Frames

Frames were popular a few years ago but they’re definitely not in anymore. A framed site is one in which the browser window is broken into two or more frames, each of which holds a Web page. It’s very un-Web 2.0ish.

Frames cause a number of problems. Some browsers don’t handle them well — in fact, the first frame-enabled browsers weren’t that enabled and often crashed when loading frames. In addition, many designers created framed sites without properly testing them. They built the sites on large, high-resolution screens, so they didn’t realize that they were creating sites that would be almost unusable on small, low-resolution screens.

From a search engine perspective, frames create the following problems:

  • Some search engines have trouble getting through the frame-definition to your actual web page.
  • If the search engine gets through, it indexes individual pages, not framesets. Each page is indexed separately, so pages that make sense only as part of the frameset end up in the search engines as independent pages.
  • You can’t point to a particular page on your site. That is not good.

This may be a problem in the following situations:

Link campaigns: Other sites can link to only the front of your site; they can’t link to specific pages during link campaigns.

PPC campaigns: If you’re running a pay-per-click campaign, you can’t link directly to a page related to a particular product. I highly recommend you stay away from frames in PPC. I’ll give some examples soon about some PPC case studies I’m going to run.

Placing your products in shopping directories:  In this case, you need to be able to link to a particular product page. Frames don’t let you do that.

Search engines index URLs aka single pages: By definition, a framed site is a collection of URLs, and as such, search engines don’t know how to properly index the pages.

Overall there is no reason to still use framed pages. If you are still running sites you created a few years ago, I recommend you revamp them.

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