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    Iframes, what does google make of them?


    Hi All,

    I work for a company that sells payment methods to blogs and alike. Most popular product is a small widget that a blogger can put on their site. The widget is loaded by the blogger adding a 200x300px iframe inside their site, this url of this iframe is set to one of our domains, and just loads a few drop down menus with payment options the users can select from.

    We'd like to get a backlink to our product site from anyone's site that uses our widget, we can request that anyone using the widget add a separate logo on their site with a link to us and some keywords in the alt tag, but this is difficult to enforce.

    What I'm wondering is if anything can be done in the iframe itself that google would take note of. If we added a link to our product site at the top of the widget would google see that as a link to us from the client's site, or just from our widget domain? Does google see the iframe itself as a link to us from the client's site? If so we have a problem with the widget domain not being the same as our product site domain, can the pagerank (or whatever) generated by that be forwarded onto our product site somehow?

    I realise this is a bit complex, if anything needs clarification please ask

    Thanks!
    Last edited by jirish82; Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:37 AM.
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    Ok. The best way to use iframes for SEO purposes and to pass on PageRank, is to add your link within the <iframe></iframe> tags as follows:

    Code:
    <iframe src=”http://yoursitehere.com” width=”x” height=”y”>
    Describe iframe here. 
    <a href=”http://sourcesite.com/sourcepage.html”>iframe link anchor</a>
    </iframe>
    This will add a clickable link that if users have iframes disabled , they will see instead of the iframe. Much as you would do for a java plugin or the alt attribute for images. This should be crawled.

    The only caveat is that it is assumed but not confirmed that this link will pass link juice on. Also it is important to note that the content within an iframe may be crawled and indexed but general opinion is that the content does not get crawled or indexed. The content within an iframe is also not considered part of the parent page. That is, if it is indexed, it will not be considered part of the original source page.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Crimson Penguin; Feb 10th, 2012 at 09:20 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Crimson Penguin
    The only caveat is that it is assumed but not confirmed that this link will pass link juice on. Also it is important to note that the content within an iframe may be crawled and indexed but general opinion is that the content does not get crawled or indexed.
    Update: I just did a quick google search and came across this article at the search engine roundtable where Michael Martinez has apparently conducted a test and found that Google does in fact crawl iframed pages and follows the links inside them.
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    Good stuff, thanks!

    So I'm thinking maybe put a link to our product site inside the iframe html itself, with one of our main keyword phrases in it. As we won't be able to alter these once clients have put the code in their site.

    Then the page loaded by the iframe will have our logo at the top, which will link to our product site, and have some keywords in the image alt tags we'll have control over. This article suggest they will be taken into account also. Do alt tags in image links get treated like anchor text though?

    Does that make sense? I'm quite new to this
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    This may sound crazy jirish82 but..

    Under with the code you give them, why don't you just put html underneath with powerd by "link to your homepage with anchor text"?

    or what ever little message or image you want linking to your site.

    Make it a stipulation they have to use the whole code, not that many would remove it anyways I doubt.

    Does that not make sense?.
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    Your right Darren, that DOES sound crazy. Just crazy enough to WORK!

    Currently we ask them to display our logo on their site separately, but very few of them bother with that. You're right we prob will have more luck if we just include the link with the widget code itself, most of them prob won't bother removing it, and am looking at maybe having some JS that disables the widget if the link isn't present.

    Just trying to weigh up all our options at the moment. Not even sure how valuable these links will be as the content of the pages our widget will be on won't be anything related to our industry :S
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    Originally Posted by jirish82
    Your right Darren, that DOES sound crazy. Just crazy enough to WORK!

    Currently we ask them to display our logo on their site separately, but very few of them bother with that. You're right we prob will have more luck if we just include the link with the widget code itself, most of them prob won't bother removing it, and am looking at maybe having some JS that disables the widget if the link isn't present.

    Just trying to weigh up all our options at the moment. Not even sure how valuable these links will be as the content of the pages our widget will be on won't be anything related to our industry :S
    I'm afraid I would have to disagree with Darren on this one.

    Do not underestimate what people will do to get rid of unwanted third party links. Its not difficult to just cut out the html with your link and I have done it many times using third party widgets and themes in the past. Most people don't like having 'provided by X' or 'powered by X' under their widgets and on their pages. In fact if the code is buried in complex .php pages, people will stil try to find help to remove these links.

    In all honesty, my suggestion is your best option. Although it can still be edited out of the code, it is less likely to be removed because it won't actually be visible on the page by the user (unless they have iframes disabled) and so won't mess with the visual aesthetics. You still get the link just as you would if you added 'powered by X' under the widget and the associated benefits from having the link but it is less likely to be cut out by the user as it's not visible on the page.
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    Originally Posted by Crimson Penguin
    I'm afraid I would have to disagree with Darren on this one.
    Well.. how dare you

    I think it depends what sort of people are using it, if its regular joe blog then they won't remove it, but if its a professional they may well.

    But again if he were to make it clear that it is against their TOS to tamper with the code given then it may scare off removal.

    Originally Posted by jirish82
    Just trying to weigh up all our options at the moment. Not even sure how valuable these links will be as the content of the pages our widget will be on won't be anything related to our industry
    Very good question.

    All links have a little value, a lot of little value may add up to a large value, but I also heard this can maybe have a negative effect and seem spammy.. so I will have to let someone else more in the know answer this properly.
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    Originally Posted by DarrenHaye
    Well.. how dare you

    I think it depends what sort of people are using it, if its regular joe blog then they won't remove it, but if its a professional they may well.

    But again if he were to make it clear that it is against their TOS to tamper with the code given then it may scare off removal.


    All links have a little value, a lot of little value may add up to a large value, but I also heard this can maybe have a negative effect and seem spammy.. so I will have to let someone else more in the know answer this properly.


    I would definitely agree with you on those last two points about TOS and all links have value. (hope I'm back in the good books now )

    In terms of links having a negative effect...well as long as they aren't from bad sites (porn, link farms, banned sites etc.) then any link will pass on some value. Admittedly the more relevant the link then the more google will value it but even google understands that you can't always control where your links come from and as long as your links aren't mainly from irrelevant sources such as obvious spam posts on blogs and forums, you should be fine.
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    Yeah there'd be no reason for a spammy site to put one of our payment widgets on, so at the very worst the links should be coming from a reputable but unrelated pages.

    Thanks for all the responses here! Raised some interested points
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    Actually just spotted that porn sites are one of the places you mention are not a good source of links, some of our clients will have adult sites, is that really something google cares about? Or is more about how some adult sites might engage in some dodgy traffic increasing practices that could then reflect badly on us when they get caught?

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