I must submit a site for a client. The home page is just a flash splashscreen. How does this effect my submission? There are no keywords on this page or anything to tell the engine what the content is.
Should I submit this page or only the page with the real content.
p.s. i hate splashscreens, but that's what the client wanted against my advice.
Here's an idea.
Create a borderless two frame frameset where one of the frames is "0" pixels or maybe "1" pixel in height. Then, use the NoFrames area of the Frameset to optimize for that page.
For more detailed info see http://spider-food.net/frames.html
I would only submit the content pages...
I.e if we build a flash site for a customer we will make the flash intro index.html and then the real page index_2.html then just submit the domain.cmo/index_2.html...
If they insist on having the intro then thats what they are gonna have to live with.. Its no biggie anyhow just make sure you submit as _2.html...
I agree with Cloughie, you are better of submitting your first content page, especially if the site is goign to be reviewd by a human as it will rank much higher if it has good quality content.
As to creating a framset, I would stick well away from that. Read the article which is linked above, part of it says:
"Nevertheless, frames do pose unique 'problems.' Many spiders can't read them. There is always a danger of a visitor opening up one of your prized pages outside the frameset. And viewers who find a page they particularly like within your frameset will not be able to bookmark it."
It is taken out of content though so you are better of reading the whole thing!
I agree with JK on this one, frames have been given a bad rap. However, if used correctly they can help you get over a multitude of design restrictions. The default page of a site is the one given most importance by search engines so every effort should be made to use index.html rather than any sub page.
A simple <base target=_top> tag in the header of the page loaded inside the frame will return things to normal when the user clicks a link so they can bookmark, etc as normal.
I use frames a lot and they're great.
Frames are extremely inaccessible though. Blind users have no way of realising which is the active frame, and often cannot even jump from one frame to another. If used, do you guys ALWAYS make good use of the NOFRAMES tag?
I guess I've always been a little "pro" frame. The first web site that I ever saw as "art" was created by Glass Dog if any of you are familiar with his work. And my home page (not Spider Food) is pictured in the Dreamweaver 3 Bible Gold Edition as an example of how to make frames scale.
Anyway, that site is composed of 11 frames, and for my top two keyword phrases (which are competative) it ranks #1 and #2 on AltaVista. It ranks #1 on Google for the same two phrases.
The entire ranking is based on the NoFrames content, and link popularity for that site is practically zero. So, that kinda gives me a good idea about the power of noFrames content.
You do raise a great observation, however, about the blind audience. I'm not really sure how to overcome that obstacle. Hopefully someone else will come along with some suggestions. That would be great.
As I see the main problems with frames has always been:
- some spiders can't crawl them
- inablity to bookmark specific page
- problem of the page turing up in a search query and the page being called outside the frameset.
In any case, for Flash sites in paticular outside of cloaking I'm not sure how else you can get any qulaity spider food on the page.
I sure am open to suggestions though.
Good thread. :)
In view of the original post being about getting over the use of Flash on a home page, a 100% frame is the ideal solution as optimised text can go in the noframes tag for the spiders while the viewer sees the Flash in a page loaded inside the frame.
We always use text from the site itself and incluse a link back to the main site content just in case users get to see the noframes part.
This method is ideal for sites which don't use frames but need to use a home page which isn't search engine friendly for whatever reason.
The next stage with frames is to create a site where each link goes to a seperate frameset page which loads the appropriate content and includes noframes content rather than just loading the content into the existing frameset.
Much more work for the designer though and I've rarely seen this implemented. In theory it would work well as search engines could crawl the whole thing through links in the noframes.
Or am I just dreaming :-)
I think on the linking to frames example what would happen is that you would just continue feeding the spider more NoFrames content.
With the exception of Google and AllTheWeb I've not had much luck at a deep crawl from a spider following links in my NoFrames content. But perhaps that is just me.
This is a cool thread though.
I have really enjoyed reading this thread. It gives you many of the pros and cons of using frames, which will always cause dilemas with the different engines.
Many times your clients dream is not what the search engines want. So in turn you have to figure out a way to please both. You have heard in this thread that the index page is preferred by the search engines which is true. I have been extremely successful with pleasing both the search engines (bot and human) and the client by making 2 index pages. That would be index.htm and index.html
When your .com is typed in the index page shows up. But if you have two index pages as explained below, then the .html page is used as your default.
Create the index.html page for the general public and human search engine editors. this is the page that comes up when your .com is typed in.
Make the index.htm page your content rich page for bot type search engines. When your site is listed it will just be the domain and not include the index.htm which will cause the public to view the correct page.
Please share your thoughts with me on this method. As I said I have had great success with this method. The phrase "content is king" still holds true, so if your flash splash page doesn't add something special to your site by making it more interactive, than I would say it probably won't go over well with the human editors.
HBS Internet Marketing