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NOFRAMES on Google

Posted on 2004-09-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Reading through the Google blurb they state that they can generally follow frames and then recommend the use of NOFRAMES (for other Search Engines?)
The question is does anyone know if Google spiders just the NOFRAMES, just the Frames or both the frames and NOFRAMES.

Thanks
Steve
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Question by:mouatts
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12000799
I presume you read the Google info on frames from the section in Webmaster Info (http://www.google.com/webmasters/2.html#A1).

Basically, Google will spider whatever pages it can access (both the frames and the noframes).  It is very important to provide convenient navigation through your site so that users and search engine crawlers alike can find their way around (one reason a text-link based sitemap is always good).  The problem with frames comes into play because Google might index the different frames as individual pages and, depending on the relevance of its content to the user's Google query, might return one frame as a result rather than a whole multi-frame 'page'.
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by:humeniuk
ID: 12000848
To clarify re. navigation: Google and other search engines may miss individual frames if it is merely contained within a page with frames if it does not have any presence in the website other than withing that frame page.  This is because the website navigation in that case might logically point the user to the frameset page (which calls up other html pages to fill out the frames) and not to the frame page itself.  So, as I said, Google will crawl anything it can find, but under conventional frame usage, it can easily miss frame content.
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by:mouatts
ID: 12001047
I understand how to set the navigation up etc. What I am looking for is proof that it is looking at either or both. Typically this might mean a site that has a frameset page with a noframes that actually leads down a seperate path to that of the frameset. eg frameset uses \frames\page1.html as one of its sources which subsequently leads on to \frames\page2.html. Meanwhile the initial noframes section has a link to \noframes\page2.html.

The indexing or not of the two directory sets will provide the proof of what is actually going on.

Steve
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12001160
In that scenario, it is conceivable that Google will follow the path that leads from the noframes option and lose the path from the frameset option.  If you have a lot of content down the frameset path, you will want alternative navigation to back up the frameset navigation, ie. a sitemap.
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by:mouatts
ID: 12001290
Yes I know its conceivable thats why I asked the question!
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humeniuk earned 2000 total points
ID: 12001319
Google says that it does the best it can to index frames and as with anything else, they're probably getting better at it all the time.  Perhaps a better answer would be, "they try and have mixed success, but don't count on it."  Additionally, if you are using noframes to provide different content rather than an alternative access to the same content, you are making it harder for them to do something they already do imperfectly at best.
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by:mouatts
ID: 12002300
Yes I can read. But what I am looking for is proof. Looking at your profile you haven't even got a web site so with all due respect you are not in a position to provide that proof.
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 12002394
Yes, and your profile doesn't say that you breath, but I suspect that you do.  Actually, I have a few websites of my own and manage/admin a few others  :-)

You are right that I've never felt it necessary to do experiments seeking concrete proof as to exactly what parts of frame/noframe pages Google spiders.  Nevertheless, I did try to be of some assistance with the information that I do have on the matter.  Clearly, you don't need my help, though, and since you already know about the SEO limitations of frames, you are undoubtedly privy to their numerous design limitations and shortcomings.

Good luck in your search for enlightenment.  I wish you well.  With all due respect, I also hope that you acquire some manners and humility along the way.
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by:mouatts
ID: 12367086
As the only answer just regurgitated the references I had already read I'll get this question deleted.

Steve
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Author Comment

by:mouatts
ID: 12371297
No actual answer has been given only references to various texts which in themseleves do not give a definitive answer.

I've ended up conducting my own test but it will probably be another few weeks before I know the outcome. Which I was hoping to avoid hence the original question.
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