Chris Faber: (02) 9716 9744 or 0418 224 784

Andy Griffiths: (02) 9876 8107 or 0407 226 472


What's so bad about building a site using FRAMES?

frames

If you read a lot about SEO you will see in the list of Do's and Don'ts references to Frames, and in most cases it's in the Don't category. And we agree with that, we don't recommend a site be built using Frames if the site wants to achieve high placement in searches and if they want to provide an easy to navigate site for their visitors.

"Hang on a minute! We're talking about SEO, so what's the issue about the 'easy to navigate' stuff."

First, we need to remember what the real point of this exercise is. If you run a commercial site you want potential customers visiting your site. SEO's first job is to get them to the site, but once they are there if they experience anything negative while interacting with the site, the potential for them to become customers evaporates very quickly.

Most modern search engine robots will get past the obstacle of the frame masking the links to the internal pages. If they can do that, assuming they can then find good content, they will index the pages and that content may be enough to get a prominent listing in some search results. So far so good.

"So what about Frames can diminish that experience?"

In most cases, the navigation for a frame-based site is held in one file, presented in a separate frame. The content is in another file and presented in another frame. When combined in the browser window they provide a complete method of seeing the content and navigating between the various content pages. When a search engine finds suitable content it lists the address of the content page only. When a visitor follows that link from the search engine they are presented with content frame only. They have no navigation options because the page has been loaded without the benefit of the frames.

In this circumstance, even if the visitor likes what he/she reads, there is no easy way for them to go to other pages within the site to get contact information or order product. In many cases, they will simply hit the "Back" button of the browser and look for the next entry in the list at the search engine.

There are some options, like javascript to detect the absence of the navigation frame and force it to be loaded. Generally these options are less than perfect. Besides, what happens if javascript is not available?

Unless you have a specific need for Frames, we recommend you avoid them. Extracting the content from the frames and producing a non Frame site is generally a simple process and for most sites well worth doing.

If you have any questions about the use of Frames or any of the issues raised on any of our pages or if you have any general SEO questions, please contact us and we'll try to help.

photo credit: Yersinia via photopin cc

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