Q&A – Google Sitemaps and Frames

    March 27, 2007

Dear Kalena…

I have two sites; One www.alpine-property.com is top of Google rankings for all my chosen keywords, it has no frames, daily updated content and lots of inbound links, so not surprising.

My other site www.alptitude.com is the dunce. Frames, static content and just a few inbound links. I have keyword friendly text in the no frames tag and a simple site map. I also have a few pages of no frames content, these are the pages indexed by Google. I obviously know how to fix this, but the time required to rewrite the site in a no frames way is very large, it has a lot of transactional code on a linked secure server which I use to run the business.

In the meantime I am interested in the effect of using the Google Sitemap tool. Will this eliminate the frames problem? The Google FAQs about this ask me to submit both the frameset url and the url of each target page. This sort of suggests that they will be able to index all the content.


Kalena’s Answer:

Dear Steve

Thanks for the caffeine. The answer to your question is yes and no. Sure, Google might be able to index your frames pages outside of the frames-context and eventually match up your content and work out what your site’s about. But why make it so difficult? And why take the risk when you can spend a little time bringing your site into the 21st century and ditching the frames?

It’s not only search engines that the frames might offend. Searchers tend not to like frames-based sites either and unless you start taking your site seriously, you can’t expect visitors to. It’s not that difficult to replace your frames pages with more modern code.

If you want to continue pretending it’s 1997, at least check Danny Sullivan’s Search Engines and Frames Tutorial to make sure your frames pages are optimized as much as possible. Follow the instructions on Google’s Webmaster Tools for frames-based sites, create an XML sitemap and track the indexing of all your pages to see if the framed ones get indexed. My bet is they don’t.