What are Frames?

Frames- or an IFrame (Inline Frame) is an HTML document embedded inside another HTML document on a website. The Frames HTML element is often used to insert content from other sources, like an advertisement, into a Web page. Although an IFrame behaves like an inline image, it can be configured with its own scrollbar independent of the surrounding page’s scrollbar.

A Web designer can change a Frames content without requiring the user to reload the surrounding page. This capacity is enabled through JavaScript or the target attribute of an HTML anchor. Web designers use IFrames to embed interactive applications in Web pages, including those that employ Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), like Google Maps or e-commerce applications.

The content and links within iframes are not typically crawled and indexed, and credit is definitely not attributed to the page where iframes are embedded. Because the content within the iframe is attributed to the source URL and not your own page, iframes do not offer any inherent SEO value for your on-page optimization. When it comes to iframes and SEO, they appear to neither directly help nor hurt your on-page search engine optimization. There are still several viable uses for iframes in web developer.


As a general rule – iframes are not good for SEO. It is important to keep a couple of things in mind.

  • Google likes original content
  • Google likes a good user experience
  • Google likes mobile – as it makes up more than 50% of the searches on the web.

Back in  2008, hackers seeded Internet search results with malicious IFrame code, leading to IFrame overlay attacks on many prominent websites, including those for USA Today and ABC News. The attackers inserted IFrame code into the saved search results of legitimate websites. When a visitor clicked on a link from the compromised search tool, he would be redirected to a malicious website by the IFrame code. The unsuspecting user’s computer would then be vulnerable to the automatic download of malware.


« Back to Glossary Index