What is a NoFrames tag?

The noframes tag is an HTML element that had been available for browsers and web bots that did not support frames. However, the noframes tag and the related frame and frameset elements are not recognized by HTML 5.0, because they can have an adverse effect on accessibility and usability.

The primary use of the noframes tag was to provide a message or some alternative content for browsers that did not support the frames or frameset elements. Although the noframes element is not necessary, it is recommended practice for whenever a frameset or frame element is used for a web page.

The following is an example of the noframes tag being used within the frameset element:

<frameset cols=”25%,75%”>
<frame src=”https://www.web1media.com/navigation_menu/” />
<frame src=”https://www.web1media.com/frame_content_1/” />
<noframes>Your current browser does not seem to support frames. We recommend updating your browser to a version that does accept frames.
As an alternative, you can click here to go to the designated content directly.

tag is a fallback tag for browsers that do not support frames. It can contain all the HTML elements that you can find inside theelement of a normal HTML page.

Most professional web developers rarely use frames and framesets today, so noframe elements are rarely necessary. In addition, as mentioned above, HTML 5.0 has deprecated the frame, frameset and noframes tags.

Using NoFrames for SEO

Although most browsers today do support frames (making noframes tags nearly obsolete), many search engine bots and spiders still do not. That is why most search engine optimization (SEO) experts avoid frames and framesets altogether.

However, if frames are absolutely necessary, SEO professionals can mitigate the problem by doing the following:

  1. Ensuring that the actual URL of the content displayed within the frames is submitted to search engines.
  2. Using the noframes tag to include a link directly to the URL of the content displayed within the frames.
  3. Using the noframes tag to provide a detailed description of the content displayed within the frames.

Unfortunately, some SEO practitioners have exploited (and abused) the noframes tag for more negative purposes: using them for invisible keyword stuffing and indirect content scraping. For example, they can create web pages and sites with no original content, but instead just displaying content from other sites. They then use the noframes tag to stuff keyword-rich content  that is invisible to most browsers (and human visitors to the web page), but is read and indexed by most search engine spiders.

In so doing, these SEO amateurs and black hat practitioners violate three of Google’s most pressing issues when it comes to search optimization:

  • Lack of original content or, worse yet, use of scraped content
  • Hidden text
  • Keyword stuffing

There should be no doubt that this is considered SEO spam and will expose the website to search engine penalties, particularly from Google. So noframes tags should not be used for this purpose. In fact, web developers should simply avoid using frames altogether.


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