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Marketing With Frames - Part One
by Brian D. Chmielewski
Clinching prime positioning in the major search engines is a
formidable task. Some sites reach stardom, while others fail
miserably. Keywords, ALT tags, META tags, body text, keywords, TITLE
Tags - there is much to consider when optimizing a web page for search
tool submissions. Some Webmasters perform thorough competitive
research, keyword-triggering analysis and have vast knowledge of HTML
to spring their site into respective ranking, while others
accidentally secure a decent ranking. When a web site uses frames,
optimization is complicated further, since frames-challenged engines
cannot ingest all of your site's sensitive information.
Frames are used essentially for the purposes of managing navigation.
Frames also simplify the Webmaster duty by centralizing any changes
that need to be made to the navigation structure. Instead of altering
the link configuration on every web page involved in a navigation
restructuring, frames allow Webmasters to change a single file, or at
most, a handful of files, to systematically replace the old with the
new. This is especially handy with large web sites. Commanding the
navigation of a web site can be accomplished without using frames,
it's just that some site owners just prefer this approach.
Inasmuch as frames simplify the duty for the Webmaster in altering a
site's navigation structure, they also create a classic problem for
marketing a web site in the search engines. Search engines cannot
properly index your entire site. Pages that employ this approach
typically have three separate frame windows. If you are unfamiliar
with this, take a look at the
uPromote web site.
The left frame contains our major
navigation, the top frame our logo and newsletter signup and the third
frame contains the content for the page being retrieved by the user.
The content for these frames actually comes from three different pages
and is blended together according to the instructions of a fourth
master page, also called the frameset page.
How many times have you noticed, 'Sorry, you need a frames-supported
browser to view this site' as the description listed for a web site at
your favorite search engine? Upon indexing frames, most search engine
spiders only see the master page. Spiders do not make independent or
complex decisions about where on your site to get the data for
indexing. They don't understand the instructions on how to produce the
frame layout. So, you have to offer some direction for the spider. The
first step is to place your keyword-sensitive information within the
NOFRAMES tag. This will allow your important copy to be read.
Placing META Tags into to your master page solves the problem of
posting inappropriate descriptions within the engines. Don't place the
META tags into the navigation, advertising or logo frame. This only
serves to confuse things more for your visitors, since they could
potentially read your search listing description and click-through a
link that is pointed to a non content frame. META tags are not
supported by all of the search engines, so this is only a partial
solution. This also doesn't make it any easier for users that want to
view your site but are without a frames-supported browser.
Another common problem associated with frames is that many sites do
not offer links within the NOFRAMES area to other pages within their
site. This sends a message to the spider that your site is comprised
of one page, keeping it from crawling past your master page. You could
have hundreds of content-rich pages within your site, but without
links for the spider to follow, they become invisible to many search
engines. A NOFRAMES page with META tags may earn you a position in the
engines, but once someone click through toyour site, wouldn't you like
them to experience it in all its splendor? Ensure this by offering a
link to your main or home page on every NOFRAMES page throughout your
It is also important to use keywords and descriptive text to generate
relevancy for your site in any search engine that doesn't support META
tags. The prime focus of the text should be to tell your human
visitors about your company, so using keywords should be a natural
extension of this.
When organizing your HTML, place the NOFRAMES content immediately
after the first FRAMESET tag. Placing it here allows your valued
keywords and copy to appear near the top of the page, making it some
of the first information fed to the spiders for indexing. To avoid
browser incompatibility issues with this tag, you should not place
this information above the first FRAMESET tag.
Create TITLE tags for every frame page. The information contained in
your frame titles will not appear when being retrieved by your site's
visitors, but it will be noticeable to search spiders. TITLE tags are
the most important component for indexing, so use them. Place the BODY
tags within your NOFRAMES tags. Taking this approach ensures that the
body tags are clearly marked for any browser or search engine spider
that is seeking the information contained within these tags.