New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO
Illustration by Richard Downs

Working with frames, iframes, and popups


From:

Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO

with Peter Kent

Video: Working with frames, iframes, and popups

There are good reasons to use frames, iframes, and pop-ups, but you need to understand the problems from an SEO perspective. There are really two problems with these things. First, as we saw with PDF and Flash files in the previous video, files designed to be placed within frames can end up orphaned, appearing in the search results outside of the navigational context they were designed for. Secondly, each framed or pop-up page represents an opportunity cost; you're reducing the number of nicely optimized pages you'll have in your web site.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO
1h 43m Intermediate Jun 29, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, search engine optimization (SEO) expert Peter Kent walks step-by-step through the process of reviewing the content and markup of an existing web site to improve its ranking in search engine results. This course offers a consultant's take on how to analyze each component—from keywords to content to code—and determine what improvements are necessary to become more visible to search engines like Yahoo!, Bing, and Google.

This course was updated on 10/12/2012.

Topics include:
  • Understanding why indexing is important
  • Using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool
  • Dealing with frames, iframes, and popups
  • Working with SEO-friendly URLs
  • Using meta tags
  • Clearing source code clutter
  • Building links within the site
  • Working with Google+
  • Reviewing page content
  • Building and submitting an HTML and XML sitemap
  • Garnering links outside the site
Subjects:
Online Marketing Web SEO Marketing Small Business Marketing
Author:
Peter Kent

Working with frames, iframes, and popups

There are good reasons to use frames, iframes, and pop-ups, but you need to understand the problems from an SEO perspective. There are really two problems with these things. First, as we saw with PDF and Flash files in the previous video, files designed to be placed within frames can end up orphaned, appearing in the search results outside of the navigational context they were designed for. Secondly, each framed or pop-up page represents an opportunity cost; you're reducing the number of nicely optimized pages you'll have in your web site.

Frames allow web designers to put several pages into a web browser at the same time, one for the title bar, one for navigation bar, one for content for instance. Clicking an entry in the nav bar frame could change the page in the content frame. They can be useful, but they caused problems from an SEO perspective. There are really two problems: First, framed pages can get orphaned, just as we saw Flash and PDF files being orphaned in the previous video. Each page is indexed separately, so if the page is found in the search engines, it won't be in the web site. It will be separated from it.

The title and description tags from the main site will be missing, though admittedly you can provide those separately for each internal page. Perhaps more importantly, the site navigation and site branding is gone. You could help the situation somewhat by, for example, adding navigation within all the framed pages, so visitors can find their way from the orphaned page to the main site. Of course that starts to look somewhat clunky and rather defeats the object of framing. There are also some JavaScript techniques people sometimes use to force an orphan page to load into its normal frameset.

My attitude is, why mess around when you really don't need frames in most situations? How about iframes? These are internal, or inline, frames, documents that are framed directly inside another document. Again, they can be useful in some contexts, but search engines will index the inline frame documents as a separate page. So again, you'll have the problem of orphaned pages. These documents will appear in the search engines without site navigation outside of the context for which they were intended.

Then there's the opportunity cost. Each iframed document could be a nicely optimize web page with a good key-worded URL, a nice title tag, h1 headings, and so on. But iframed documents are not going to be well optimized and you don't really even want them to be well optimized because you don't really want them turning up in the search engines. After all, if you can get the page to turn up in search engines, you want a page that isn't orphaned, one that is clearly part of your site and can lead people further into your site, rather than making visitors click the Back button. How about pop-ups? I'm referring here to separate, usually small, windows that open up when a link or button is clicked.

They can be very useful for providing contextual information. You often see them triggered from little question mark buttons in forms for instance. But when they are used to hold large amounts of useful content, text that could perform well in the search engines, they are a problem, for the same two reasons. They will be orphaned in the search engines, and they represent loss of useful key-worded pages that could be found in search engines. I'm not saying you shouldn't use these components, just that you should be aware of the problems they represent from a search engine perspective, and consider alternatives.

Personally, I would stay away from frames for areas of the site that you want the search engines to index. They are fine for private areas of the site. If you still want to use iframes and pop-ups, that's okay, but you may want to consider putting the content into a separate directory of your site, then using your robots.txt file to block that area. You might even use the content in two ways: create your pop-ups and iframes--that can be very convenient way to present information to users--but also have a series of pages in which you place the same content for search engines to find.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO.


Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
This course was updated on 10/12/2012. What changed?
We added three movies to keep the course as current as possible. The new movies cover rich snippets, the Panda/Penguin upgrades to the Google search algorithm, and incorporating Google+ into your marketing and search engine optimization strategies.
 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.