The Search Engine Professionals at Rank for $ --- In business since 1997.
Back to our Homepage SEO Tips that will make a big difference in your rankings and our most popular ** How To ** section The most common myths about SEO -- Read what the experts have to say about today's most common SEO myths and misconceptions Frequently Asked Questions to Search Engine Optimization and Positioning Search Engine Optimization Industry News -- Stay in tune with the most recent developments in search engine technology and the SEO industry Contact Rank for $ales today and get your site's rankings high in the engines-- Right where they should be!


Search this site

Optimizing a framed website

November 28, 2003

For some reason, even today, there is still a lot of controversy in establishing whether or not to use frame technology when building a new website. This controversy is certainly well founded, since, apparently there seems to be many site designers that still use it, even if that's not a very good idea anymore. In this section, you will learn all you need to know to get any framed website properly listed and optimized for the major search engines.

To be fair, let's just say that a framed website can actually 'sometimes' be of help in its necessary updating needs and many web designers decide to use frame technology for this very reason. They can be even more useful for maintaining very big web sites that have a lot of content spread over 500 or more pages, although I don't necessarily agree on that assumption.

However, and as you are about to find out, framed websites usually create many problems and complications for most major search engines in use today. This article will show you the pitfalls and the mistakes that some Webmasters do in implementing their framed websites, in lieu of "search engine-friendly" websites. It will also show you the right way to do it, if you still want to go ahead with this idea.

What constitutes a framed website?
The easiest and surest way to determine if a site is framed or not is when its left-hand navigation menu remains stationary while the information in the centre of the page moves either up or down. Furthermore, some models of framed sites sometimes include a company logo or image at the top or sometimes at the bottom that also remains fixed while the rest of the page moves in either direction. Some models might also include links or navigation buttons in that same stationary section. When you see any or all of these characteristics, you are then dealing with a framed website.

Today, anywhere on the Internet or in good technical books, you can actually read a lot about search engine optimization (SEO) that basically says using frames on any website can actually be similar to a bad spell on that site simply because most major search engines will not navigate the frames or its simply impossible for them to crawl or spider. In such a case, these same people will tell you that such a framed website will never get indexed or optimized properly.

That statement is actually both true and false at the same time. It IS false if they are used correctly. But, by the same token, it's perfectly true if the frames are in effect used improperly and are search engine-unfriendly, as most framed websites are. Happily, there are ways around these limitations.

When implemented correctly, a framed site can be 'almost' as good as a site without frames and can hopefully deliver results that could be considered reasonable, as compared to what the site delivered previously. However, if your site isn't designed yet, I would still suggest you do it with search engine-friendly technology, in other words, stay away from frames!

Why do search engines hate framed websites?
In this section, I will explain the main reasons why most framed websites fail to get indexed properly on the major search engines that use crawlers such as Google. When we look at the HTML code of a common framed web site, we usually see the TITLE tag, the META tags, and then a FRAMESET tag. The major search engine's crawlers and spiders such as Google Bot and Freshbot are all programmed to completely ignore certain HTML code and instead are directed to specifically focus on indexing the actual body text on a particular page.

But with any typical framed website, there is just no body text for the search engine's crawler to begin with, simply because the text is located on the other pages of the site, what we call the inner pages.

If you want to know what search engines see when they get to a site using frames, this is what they see:

Fill out your e-mail address
to receive our free newsletter!

"You are currently using a web browser that does not support frames. Please update your browser today in order to view this page."

This is almost the equivalent of putting a sign on your door that says: "If you cannot read this sign, its because we are permanently closed for business". Yet, this is exactly what search engines "see" when they get to a framed website!

Here is a little test that will prove what I just said is true: while at your keyboard, try a search on Google for the following query: "does not support frames" and you will actually discover about 2,800,000 web sites are found by Google! That is a lot of wasted Web pages that could bring in a LOT of sales...

In order to fix that problem, if you use that otherwise wasted space to effectively include important keywords and key phrases, and in fact adding some body text that is rich in sales copy, that will in fact make a big difference in helping make these framed sites rank higher in the search engines.

How to properly use the noframes tag
There actually is an HTML tag called the noframes tag and when properly applied, will effectively offer what the search engine spiders actually need: important text data they require to properly include that page in their index. If a person really has to use a framed website for whatever reason, then it's very important to use the noframes tag correctly. Evidently, doing all these necessary steps will be useful only if the information on the site's homepage is carefully written and makes strong use of your important keywords and key phrases.

Again, nothing beats the careful research and analysis of your 'right' keywords and key phrases, using the professional facilities of WordTracker.

Always remember that if you optimize a site for the wrong keywords, you will have a site that will rank high, but for search terms that have nothing to do with what your site offers! You will then receive enquiries and questions on products or services that your company doesn't even offer! In the search industry, relevancy and quality are king. The more relevant and targeted your site is, the better success you will get, and the higher your ROI will be. It's just as simple as that.

More framed website topics
So far, all the above information takes care of just the site's homepage. Now as can be expected, the rest of all the pages on your site also need to be indexed correctly. Most site designers and web programmers that elect to use frames do so mainly for ease of navigation reasons, although the same results can be achieved with other, more search engine-friendly technology, such as the use of tables. You simply include your navigational links inside the tables and its done!

One thing that is really important is to effectively ensure that all the inner pages of your site get optimized the same way, even if you don't have to deal with the no-frames tag. Once all those inner pages are optimized appropriately, after one or two Google monthy updates (dances), you should start seeing your website properly positioned, ideally, close to the top of the SERPS's (Search Engine Results Pages) in Google and most major search engines in use today.

Framed websites are made of old, outdated technology and are certainly not the best. They have serious limitations, as far as search engines are concerned. When building a completely new site, or when re-designing an old one, it's always best to stay away from frame technology. However, if you really have to, optimizing a framed website can be done successfully if the above examples and techniques are followed carefully.

Remember that the key to all of this is the no-frames tag. If carefully implemented, the no-frames tag can successfully remove many of the barriers that plague framed websites.

Fill out your e-mail address
to receive our free newsletter!

Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
President & CEO,
Rank for $ales
Copyright (c) Serge Thibodeau 2003

Unless otherwise specified, all content and material on this site is copyrighted by Serge Thibodeau of and may not be reproduced by any means without express written permission. Using my content without permission is a theft of my work. Please contact to discuss certain reprint options that would be acceptable.

You can read some of Serge Thibodeau's exclusive comments that are not posted on this website. Visit his personal blog by clicking here. For hardware, software or IT-related technology questions, it is recommended you visit

We strongly suggest you bookmark our web site by clicking here.

Tired of receiving unwanted spam in your in box? Then get SpamArrest� and put a stop to all that nonsense. Click here to get all the details.
Tired of receiving unwanted spam in your in box? Get SpamArrest� and put a stop to all that SPAM. Click here and get rid of SPAM forever!

Get your business or company listed in the Global Business Listing directory and increase your business. It takes less then 24 hours to get a premium listing in the most powerful business search engine there is. Click here to find out all about it.

Rank for $ales strongly recommends the use of WordTracker to effectively identify all your right industry keywords. Accurate identification of the right keywords and key phrases used in your industry is the first basic step in any serious search engine optimization program. The keywords you think are the best may be totally different than the ones recommended by WordTracker. Click here to start your keyword and key phrase research.

Back to the top of the page.         
Pay Rank for $ales securely with your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit card through the secure PayPal network. (Note: PayPal is an eBay company, and maintains a net free capital of US $ 50 Million).
VisaMasterCardDiscoverAmerican Express

You can link to the Rank for Sales web site as much as you like. Read our section on how your company can participate in our reciprocal link exchange program and increase your rankings in all the major search engines such as Google, AltaVista, Yahoo and all the others.

Powered by Sun Hosting          Protected by Proxy Sentinel�          Traffic stats by Site Clicks�

Site design by GCIS              SEO enhanced by Pagina+�            Online sales by Web Store�

Call Rank for Sales toll free from anywhere in the US or Canada:   1-800-631-3221

| Home | SEO Tips | SEO Myths | FAQ | SEO News | Articles | Sitemap | Contact |

Copyright � Rank for Sales 2003    Terms of use    Privacy agreement    Legal disclaimer

          Ce site est disponible en Fran�ais