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5th August 2014 |  Written by Jamie Sellars

4 IFrame Alternatives For Better Content Optimisation

Many people are unaware of how iframes can hold back your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is because anything within an <iframe> cannot be indexed and Google credits the page where the embed code was grabbed, and not the page where it is embedded.

Since the Panda update you also want to tell Google that you have a variety of good quality content on your pages, and iframes just don’t scream at the bots quite loud enough.

What is an iframe?

The word iframe is shorthand for inline frame. The HTML syntax allows you to easily embed content within your webpage.

<iframe src=”URL of page you wish to embed”></iframe>

Example of an iframe

Below I’ve listed some of the most common media being held back by the inline frames and the alternative methods you can use to embed them in order to get your hard work either seen by Google or indexed.

Maps

Most embedded maps come from Google Maps. The problem with this (you’ve probably guessed by now) is that the embed code generated for you is an iframe.

Instead of Google Maps, try Google Maps API that generates a JavaScript code:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”//maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js key=API_KEY&sensor=true_OR_false”></script>

Example of an JavaScript generated

Videos

When it comes to video there are more options for embedding than you might think. When adding YouTube videos you still have the choice of using the old embed code option that tells the bots “Hey, there’s a video here”.

How to grab YouTube’s old embed code

    1. Click  Share
    2. Click Embed
    3. Tick Use old embed code
    4. Enter your required width and height, or choose a standard size in the drop down
    5. Copy the embed code
old-embed-code-youtube

How to grab YouTube’s old embed code.

 

Another option for video is to use a service like Wistia which was built from the ground up with digital marketers in mind. They even have a “video SEO embed type” that gives your site full accreditation for the content meaning you could get a video rich snippet that points to your website increasing click through rate. An example can be seen below:

self-hosted-video-rich-snippet-return-on-digital

seo-video-embed-type

Wistia embed type.

Transcriptions

Closed captions or subtitles on videos are a must for the hearing impaired and for commuters who forget their headphones on the train. All this written content should be used to your advantage. Think of the long tail traffic you’re missing out on. By editing your .srt file you can easily create a transcription in minutes. This can be added as on page copy under your video rather than being hidden behind an iframe.

Top Tip: You can create a .srt file quickly by uploading your video to YouTube in private mode. Download the .srt file that was automatically generated. Make the necessary corrections. You can then either re-upload the .srt file or remove the time codes and use as on page copy.

If you pay for a premium service such as Wistia your transcription can be read from the embed code removing the need to add on page copy. This helps you keep a tidy aesthetic and unwanted text on the blog.

Reviews

Reviews act as a convincer to your readers or buyers as they say “Hey, this is okay, I can vouch for this”. Building reviews through TripAdvisor, Feefo, Google, etc. should be part of your SEO strategy. If you want to pick up on long tail traffic from reviews on your domain, do not embed a widget (iframe) from a third party service on your page, instead encourage reviews onsite.

Useful resources

Can you think of any other examples? Like the blog? Disagree? Let me know in the comment box below. 

ecommerce-video-tips

Your Comments

  1. Great article, Jamie. Really highlights some of the pitfalls using iFrames.

    I’ve come across some nasty iFrame implementations in the past – causes a nightmare with Google Analytics as well!

    I find the Google Maps example a particularly frustrating one as 1. Google are the ones handing these out in the first place but 2. it doesn’t take a huge effort to use a JS version.

    Google Maps JS Guide here.

    and you can do some really beautiful looking maps with the JS implementation.

    Have a look at these.

    Cheers.

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