Thursday, September 18, 2008

Working with Frames

Working with Frames

Many websites make use of frames on their web pages. In some cases, more than two

frames would be used on a single web page. The reason why most websites use frames is

because each frame’s content has a different source. A master page known as “Frameset”

controls the process of clubbing content from different sources into a single web page.

Such frames make it easier for webmasters to club multiple sources into a single web

page. This, however, has a huge disadvantage when it comes to Search Engines.

Some of the older Search Engines do not have the capability to read content from frames.

These only crawl through the frameset instead of all the web pages. Consequently web

pages with multiple frames are ignored by the spider. There are certain tags known as

“NOFRAMES” (Information ignored by frames capable browser) that can be inserted in

the HTML of these web pages. Spiders are able to read information within the

NOFRAMES tags. Thus, Search Engines only see the Frameset. Moreover, there cannot

be any links to other web pages in the NOFRAMES blocks. That means the search

engines won't crawl past the frameset, thus ignoring all the content rich web pages that

are controlled by the frameset.

Hence, it is always advisable to have web pages without frames as these could easily

make your website invisible to Search Engines.

Making frames visible to Search Engines

We discussed earlier the prominence of frames based websites. Many amateur web

designers do not understand the drastic effects frames can have on search engine

visibility. Such ignorance is augmented by the fact that some Search Engines such as

AltaVista are actually frames capable. AltaVista spiders can crawl through frames and

index all web pages of a website. However, this is only true for a few Search Engines.

The best solution as stated above is to avoid frames all together. If you still decide to use

frames another remedy to this problem is using JavaScripts. JavaScripts can be added

anywhere and are visible to Search Engines. These would enable spiders to crawl to other

web pages, even if they do not recognize frames.

With a little trial and error, you can make your frame sites accessible to both types of

search engines.