Frames And SEO
Q:After reading the latest WebProNews Article about Search-Engines dropping sites, I felt I had to ask a few more questions.
I hope you are able to help.
FRAMES - My web-site uses frames as it is quicker to load pages with the header and TOC (Table of Contents) static on screen rather than load them up again every time somebody clicks a link to another page. Is this a problem with search engine optimisation and does it lead to SE's ranking you lower in the listings.
You didn't say what your rankings are for your most important keyword phrases. My first rule of thumb is never to mess with success. If you have top rankings for your keyword phrases, I wouldn't touch the site. But since you're writing in, I'm going to assume you're having some ranking problems, so let's go on. :)
Yes, frames can be a problem with search engine rankings. However, like most "problem" design strategies, there ARE work arounds. Since Google is so important in the search engine world these days, let's see what Google has to say about frames. This information was taken from Google's Webmaster area on why your pages may not be indexed.
"Google supports frames to the extent that it can. Frames tend to cause problems with search engines, bookmarks, emailing links and so on, because frames don't fit the conceptual model of the web (every page corresponds to a single URL). If a user's query matches the site as a whole, Google returns the frame set. If a user's query matches an individual page on the site, Google returns that page. That individual page is not displayed in a frame -- because there may be no frame set corresponding to that page."
Your best bet when working with frames is to use the <noframes> tag, because you're making SURE that the engines have something to index when they get to your site. Plus, you need to make sure to include links to additional pages within your site in the <noframes> tag so the spiders can find those interior pages and spider them.
So, let's look at your <noframes> tag:
<p><i><b><font color="#FFFFFF"><img border="0" src="image003.jpg"
<p><i><b><font color="#FFFFFF">This page uses frames, but your browser <Robin>
doesn't support them.</font></p>
<!-- www.toolshack.com web tools statistics hit counter code -->
ntz=new Date();if((location.href.substr(0,6)=='https:') ||
screen.colorDepth+'&rs='+escape(screen.width+ ' x '+screen.height)+
'redirector.asp?acct=comlinkents">');document.write('<img border=0 hspace=0
'vspace=0 width=88 height=62 src="'+nhp+'://counter.hitslink.com/'+
<img border=0 hspace=0 vspace=0 width=88 height=62
<p><i><b><font color="#FFFFFF">Please Click on the link
<p><font color="#FFFFFF"><b><i><a href="corporate.htm">Click here to
I've highlighted in red the text that the search engines can see when they crawl your site. Not much in the way of "keyword rich," is it?
Okay, here's what I would do. I would create a "mini site" within the <noframes> tag that contains keyword rich text about your site. Then, I include links to the important interior pages of your site in that <noframes> tag. Make sure you have at least 100 words, but 250-300 would be better. I would put this keyword rich content at the very beginning of the <noframes> tag. Then, I would follow it with the HitsLink code.
Frames do not cause the engines to give you lower rankings, but you do need to make sure you give them content to spider and links to other pages within your site.
I don't know whether you submit interior pages of your framed site to the engines or just the main page. I'm looking at your casino.htm page right now, and I see that you are using the title, description, and keyword tags on the page. But, what if someone finds that page outside of your frames? You're not providing a link back to the home page. You'll need to include a home link at the bottom of each of your pages, to where your viewers will be able to navigate your site. By clicking on the home link, the viewers are taken back into the frames and all is well. Be sure to use the "target_top" command to keep your visitors who enter from the index page from getting into a new set of frames if they click on the link back to the home page. (To see this in action, go to your main page -- http://www.comlinkentertainments.co.uk/ -- and click on Disco. Scroll down and click on Main Menu. Just LOOK at those frames!) Here's the tag that will prevent this from happening:
<a href="index.html" TARGET="_top">Home</a>
You *are* using a Main Menu link on the bottom of your disco.htm page -- GOOD! You just need to make sure you do on every one of your pages. I wouldn't name that link "Main Menu" though. I would name it after your important keyword phrase, like "Additional suppliers of top quality corporate entertainment," or whatever. The point I'm trying to make is to USE your valuable link text by including your keyword phrase in it whenever you can.
Q:The reason I am worried about this is because as a small entertainment company I need all of the web-site listings that I can get. I am continually optimising my web-site using META CONTENT, META DESCRIPTION and META KEYWORDS but I feel that it is not helping.
On the frameset page, you aren't using META description or keyword tags. Here's your section of that page:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 5.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<title>Com-link Entertainments, suppliers of Top quality corporate
entertainments based in Nottingham, East Midlands.</title>
I would move the <title> tag to the top of the <head> section, get rid of all of the other META tags, and add META description and keyword tags. META description and keyword tags are only one very small piece of the search engine pie these days, but I still use them. You can NOT depend on them to help you much with rankings, however.
Also I use hitslink.com for my web-stats, as this is an external webstats site, does this also discriminate me with SE's Listings.
No -- but again, I would put the code underneath the important content in your <noframes> tag.
Please take a look at my site and let me know if there is anything that I can do to help get better listings on the Major SE's.
Here's the good news. Your site has a 5 out of 10 PageRank with Google. I know, I know. This isn't exact rocket science, but it is always something to pay attention to. You only have 4 links pointing to your site in Google (proving that quantity isn't what counts!), 153 in AlltheWeb, 14 in AltaVista, and 7 in MSN. (I checked it at LinkPopularityCheck.com:
If I were you, I would work toward building that link popularity, paying attention to authoritative, important sites in your keyword focus. Remember that QUANTITY isn't what we're necessarily after -- it's QUALITY. Read this article on 131 legitimate ways to build your link popularity -- available in both e-book format and in HTML:
Go to http://www.searchengineguide.com and click on their listing of search engines and directories. This is basically a "search engine of search engines/directories." Search for your keyword phrases, and see if you can find any "vertical" engines/directories to submit your site to. Vertical engines and directories are on one topic only, like FindLaw.com. They are often popular sites, and they're good ones to target for building link popularity.
And remember: always use your important keyword phrase in the link text when you're requesting a link from another site. You want the Web community to know that your site is about your keyword focus. VERY important.
With all of those interior pages, you have great potential for optimizing them based on their specific topics. Try to have at least 250-300 words on each page --
Always keep this in mind: your goal is to build valuable content for both your users AND the search engines. Never forget either group. Both groups want valuable content, so give it to them!
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Robin Nobles conducts live SEO workshops
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