Noframes Tag

If a website is structured using frames, then the <noframes> tag can and should be used. It defines an HTML section, which can be viewed by a visitor when they cannot see the contents of the frames.

Problem with frames[edit]

There are two issues with frames that justify the use of the noframes tags. First, there are browsers that cannot handle frames. Users will not see the contents of these areas. Moreover, search engines cannot properly handle frames.

You can help visitors and search engines with a noframes tag. It is a specially defined section that only appears when the frames are not loaded. Thus, something can be displayed to the visitor even if they cannot see the content of the frames.

It is recommendable, for example, to embed links in this area which will not direct you to the content of the frame, but to a new webpage. That would make it possible to provide the same information to the visitor, just not quite as compact.

Code sample[edit]

  • The position of the noframes tag should not be chosen arbitrarily. The section belongs before the last </frameset> tag, i.e. the end of the outermost frameset.
  • Anything that would otherwise be contained in a <body> is (< h1>, < p>, etc.) would go between the <noframes> and </noframes> tags. It should however be noted that the content is usually displayed only by simple browsers because better browsers will display the frames. Therefore, complex content is unnecessary.
  • In compliance with the XHTML standard, a body element must be included within the noframes element.

Example code:

<frameset cols="250,*">
  <frame src="my_navi.htm" name="Navi">
  <frame src="page1.htm" name="Content">
      <p>We are working with frames on this page.</p>
      <p>Since you cannot view frames, you can choose links here:<br>
      <a href="my_navi.htm">Navi</a><br>
      <a href="seite1.htm"><b>Content</b></a><br>
      <!-- other --></p>

Relevance to SEO[edit]

One goal of SEO is to keep visitors on your site once they have found their way there. Therefore, the noframes tag plays a very important role. If not used, then the visitor will leave the site immediately if frames don’t get displayed. The ability to provide these visitors information using the noframes element, should always be used. Nevertheless, such users may get a different concept of the webpage than is actually desired and that may result in conversion losses. It should be generally well considered whether the use of frames in a project would be of benefit.

It is also important to pay attention to how crawlers work. If frames are used, it cannot be guaranteed that the content of the frame is assigned to the right webpage.[1] However, the content of the noframes element can be indexed. Therefore, it would be advisable to accommodate important references and do some work with keywords.