Frames and SEO – NO, NO, NO!

Recently I was looking for an email address for a company for which I had the full company name. Easy-peasy you say, use Google!

So off I went and Googled their company name ( I won’t say whose, I am not in the habit of ‘outing’ poor web designs by other designers).

The company website was not in the first 1000 hits on Google.co.uk.!

There were plenty of hits to sites such as Applegate which had brief details of the company, but nothing for the company’s own, and probably expensively produced, web site.

And why was this?  Quite simply FRAMES!

The company’s  site, and as I subsequently discovered, all the sites in the group of companies, had been constructed in an identical manner using framesets. There was only the frame wrapper page title and almost non-existent keyword lists for Google to find and index. There wasn’t even a valid site description on the index framepage, no <NO FRAMES> statement, or any attempt to use descriptive title and alt statements on the few navigation elements.

A major problem with using frames is that if the navigation elements are in one frame, and the site content is displayed in another, then the site content, even if it does get indexed by search engines following a page-specific link from another site,  is indexed as a separate page element totally divorced from the site’s navigation elements. This means that the search engine bots cannot crawl the rest of the site.

I don’t know when the sites in question where designed but, as the problem of framed sites and SEO has been known for at least 10 years, there is absolutely no excuse for using frames on business sites which should be fully indexed to capture new clients.

In my opinion any site still using frames for its formatting is one that is not maximising its SEO potential, and for a business site that is throwing good money down the drain and any so-called ‘web site designer’ still advocating frame-driven sites to his/her clients does not deserve the title.

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