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Old 09-18-2004   #1
salientdigital
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Doorway page for a site using Frames

For various reasons I designed a site that uses a frameset like this:

headerframe
contentframe
footerframe

The site's pages currently have no meta info on any page. Obviously the content of the site goes into the contentframe, but I don't want the robots catalogging the content pages directly because they need to open into the frameset to work right. (I know there is a javascript you can use to force a page to load into the proper frameset if it is accessed directly but I am assuming that would break spiders and require re-programming every page on the site.)

My plan for SEO is to create a new, keyword-rich doorway page at a new SE friendly URL containing keyword-heavy links into specific pages on the existing site. Part of the reasoning is that this would be faster and cheaper than re-doing their entire existing site to remove the frameset and create SE friendly links throughout.

Good plan or bad plan? Thoughts?
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Old 09-19-2004   #2
Jill Whalen
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Bad plan, and no reason to go to the trouble.
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Old 09-20-2004   #3
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Ditto to what Jill said - bad plan. You should put forth the effort and redesign site without using frames. Frames are a bad idea and just plain old school. There is really no need for them anymore.
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Old 09-20-2004   #4
Jill Whalen
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Actually, that's not what I meant, David.

I was saying that framed sites get ranked easily in the engines just like any other site if you simply follow a few simple rules. You certainly don't need doorway pages just because you have a framed site.
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Old 09-20-2004   #5
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Is there any particular need for the frames?

If the header frame and footer frames were server side includes you could easily change your pages out of the framesets and not spend to much time doing it.

Even though a doorway site can work as a tool if done right. I wouldn't recommend doing it as a way to get people into the site. You'd have a hard time getting people to link to your doorway to keep it in the search engine indexes.

Anyways enough about doorways just tell me if you are on a unix or a windows server and I can show you how easy it is to change your frames to a server side include without too much trouble. You can private message me if you'd like.
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Old 09-20-2004   #6
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seomike, can you share both solutions with everyone here. Are you going to simply crawl the site and build the pages that way or something a bit fancier?
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Old 09-20-2004   #7
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I was saying that framed sites get ranked easily in the engines just like any other site if you simply follow a few simple rules.
Hey Jill maybe you should post those or link to them. They might be useful to salientdigital.
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Old 09-20-2004   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
Anyways enough about doorways just tell me if you are on a unix or a windows server and I can show you how easy it is to change your frames to a server side include without too much trouble.
This will depend on what type of files are being used. If it's an apache server then I can just tell the server to make the php engine run .htm or .html pages and I can put includes into the main .html pages and they work. If they're using a .asp extension same senario but if the site is all .htm or .html on a windows server theres no real quick fix.

Anyways here is what his frame source would look like.


Code:
<frameset rows="80,*,80" frameborder="NO" border="0" framespacing="0">
  <frame src="file1.ext" name="topFrame" scrolling="NO" noresize >
  <frame src="file1.ext" name="mainFrame">
  <frame src="file1.ext" name="bottomFrame" scrolling="NO" noresize>
</frameset>
just have to change those to in php
PHP Code:
<?php
include("file1.ext");
include(
"file2.ext");
include(
"file3.ext");
?>
then add this to your .htaccess file to run .html files through the php engine (if needed):

Code:
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .htm .html

for asp

Code:
<%
<!--#include virtual="/file1.ext" -->
<!--#include virtual="/file1.ext" -->
<!--#include virtual="/file1.ext" -->
%>
Next step would be to strip all the <html><head><title><body> tags out of the files that will be includes.

IF you have dreamweaver you can just use the find and replace tool and use regular expressions to strip the tags and uneeded info out and leave everything between the <body> </body> tags in the page.

So we'd open file1.ext hit ctrl+f and paste this:

[\w\s<>/ -="';/]+<html>[\w\s<>/ -="';/]+<body>([\w\s<>/ -="';/]+)</body>[\w\s<>/ -="';/]+</html>

in the search for field (with source code selected in the drop down) . Then add this:

$1

into the replace with field. and then click the replace all button.


if you can select all the frame files at once in the site display you can strip out the uneeded tags all at once MAKE SURE you select "Selected Files" instead of current document for this case.


(I wouldn't recommend this because you can't undo it afterwards. If you have the files open you can always do a ctrl+z and undo it)

So you should have your original frame file now with this

Code:
<html>
<head>
<title>your title</title>
<meta name="" description="">
<meta name="" description="">
</head>
<body>
<?php
include("file1.ext");
include("file2.ext");
include("file3.ext");
?>
</body></html>
instead of

Code:
<html>
<head>
<title>Untitled Document</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
</head>
<frameset rows="80,*,80" frameborder="NO" border="0" framespacing="0">
  <frame src="file1.ext" name="topFrame" scrolling="NO" noresize >
  <frame src="file1.ext" name="mainFrame">
  <frame src="file1.ext" name="bottomFrame" scrolling="NO" noresize>
</frameset>
<noframes><body>

</body></noframes>
</html>
you still have 4 different files 1 main file and 3 includes. You haven't had to change the file name for the main file.

If someone can do it better please post

Last edited by seomike : 09-20-2004 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 09-20-2004   #9
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LOL.... i dont think you can do better then that....unless you want to get funky and play with a *,100 setting in the frameset

I wish i could pass you some rep. on that but it wont allow me!!!!
Great post.......... many should read that setup for frames, well done

Cheers to u

WC
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Old 09-20-2004   #10
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Thanks SEOmike, I wish I could give you more reputation points. Excellent tutorial.
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Old 09-20-2004   #11
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Great post by SEOmike.... Assuming, though, that when salientdigital said he used frames "for various reasons," those reasons might still apply, and the site might require frames (eg, to accomodate booking engines, etc).

Framed sites can be optimized, and there are still ways of optimizing the site that are better than a big keyword-rich doorway. Keeping in mind that the basic unit of optimization is the page, create a unique frameset for each content page, and then use the noframes area. While it's possible to over-optimize the noframes area, I think it's much more prudent to keep the noframes content and your framed page content the same.

Re using javascript to reconstitute the frameset if a framed page ranks... spiders don't read javascript, so that shouldn't be a problem. I generally put enough navigation on the framed page to reconstitute the frameset.

There might be problems with making this scheme work with 3-window framesets, but I don't remember because I avoid frames whenever possible, and I particularly avoid more than 2 windows. It's definitely good advice to flatten the site if you can.

Last edited by Robert_Charlton : 09-20-2004 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 09-20-2004   #12
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Assuming, though, that when salientdigital said he used frames "for various reasons," those reasons might still apply, and the site might require frames
That's why I asked if frames were necessary up above if not now there is another option.
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