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SEO Basics – Flash, Frames, Java Script and Other Sins - No Frames, Please

SEO results In the previous article I talked about how search engines cannot read Flash. A website designed entirely in Flash unfortunately provides search engines with no content. Without content it makes it very difficult to achieve any kind of search engine ranking. From an SEO perspective, there are three other major "sins" perpetrated by website designers that also seriously interfere with rankings. These include the use of frames, java script and image navigation systems.

Let's examine the issue of frames first. If you look at Google Information for Webmasters — Regarding frames, Google specifically states the following about websites that use frames:

      "Google supports frames to the extent that it can. Frames can cause problems for search engines because they don't correspond to the conceptual model of the web. In this model, one page displays only one URL. Pages that use frames display several URLs (one for each frame) within a single page. If Google determines that a user's query matches the page as a whole, it will return the entire frame set. However, if the user's query matches an individual frame within the larger frame set, Google returns only the relevant frame. In this case, the entire frame set of the page will not appear."

See Google Webmaster Help Center Does Google index sites with frames?

When a search engine spider tries to crawl a site that is built in frames, all it will see is the links to the pages within the frameset. It does not understand how to view the frame layout properly. When it tries to navigate to the information that is easily viewed by the human eye it runs into a wall, which is the next frameset. The information is ignored, and only information within the noframes tags is read (information which a frames-capable browser will ignore). Remember how I said that even your slow cousin, Bobby Joe, is really smarter than a search engine?

Unfortunately, the information contained within the noframes tags is typically somrthing like "You must be using a frames-capable browser to view this information." So much for relevant content.

So, what’s the solution to this frames problem? If a search engine can read the content inside a noframes tag, then it makes perfect sense to insert your content there. If you have taken the time to carefully craft 1,000 words that describe your topic — balanced with just the right keyword density and emphasis, of course — shame on you if the search engines cannot read any of it. If you really must build your site in frames (perhaps Martha simply insists that she will not be happy with any other website design than the one produced by Easy Site Frames Wizard) then at least give the search engines some information. Use a noframes tag.