The Great Frame Up (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust ActiveRain)

Services for Real Estate Pros

Most domain registrars offer a free feature called "forwarding" or "framing" or "masking". At first blush, it seems like a quick and easy way to setup a custom domain that displays your content. You don't have to do anything on ActiveRain, you get a cool domain that shows your blog, and everyone wins. Maybe. Let's take a closer look:

<frameset rows="100%,*" border="0">
 <frame src="" frameborder="0" />
 <frame frameborder="0" noresize />

(Example HTML code to embed my gorgeous blog in a frame on the fictitious

How does this feature work? It starts with your domain registrar hosting a small html file containing a snippet similar to what you see above. This method of embedding a "page within a page" carries no SEO benefits and could, at worst, hurt your standing with search engines.

Strike One: If you look carefully and know some basic HTML, you'll notice that your domain registrar chooses the title of this page. Instead of your carefully crafted blog title, complete with relevant keywords, you're stuck with a bland URL.

Strike Two: When your content exists within a frame, you lose the powerful links that we so carefully craft on your behalf. For example, you can find this blog post at The link is rich with keywords that help boost your content to the top of search results. When you're "framing" content, this benefit is completely lost.

Strike Three: Search engines hate frames. They're a bygone technology from an era long since passed. Most "crawlers" can't (or won't) traverse frames. In my example, Google will not assign any value or PageRank to the domain because it has no real content — it just points to ActiveRain!

Strike Four: Tangentially, "framing" content on ActiveRain creates a security problem for our users. Imagine: a member visits my example site at When they click on the login link, they don't see the familiar URL and security padlock — they see my custom domain name. With the proliferation of "phishing" attacks and other online "confidence games", our priority is to keep ActiveRain a safe haven for our users.

Write without reservation and continue sharing your knowledge with the world — we'll take care of the arcane SEO bits.

Comments (36)

Brad Andersohn
Retired Executive Director of Education at eXp - Boulder Creek, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Rich - get back to work!!  lol!  Thanks for clarifying this Jorgen, there are a few members that need to know about this, I hope their eyes make it this way and are opened.  :-)

Jan 27, 2009 07:00 AM
Becky Brand
Shorewest Realtors - Oconomowoc, WI

Wow - over my head but I get the jist of it.  Beyond that I get the real message - trust Active Rain!!!  And if nothing else I look forward to reading a post like this one in 6 months and getting it all!

Jan 27, 2009 07:58 AM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Thanks Jorgen, this tip is helpful.  I've heard that frames were bad, but this clairifes it, and other things.

Jan 27, 2009 08:42 AM
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

Well over my head and now I am wondering if that is why half my domains have no real page ranking. 

Jan 27, 2009 09:40 AM
Chris Cliff
DDIY Home Renewal - Lynnwood, WA
The Home Repair and Painting Guy

Yeah, it amazes me the amount of out-dated HTML that I run into out there.  Frames of course are the biggest bone head mistake of them all.  Of course my favorite one is pages with poor spelling and grammar.  I mean come on...  Mine isn't the best and I occasionally miss something, but to let sales pages sit out there looking like crap with misspellings and worse, then be directing traffic to them? 



Jan 27, 2009 09:41 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Interesting post, but it's a little too "techie" for me.

Jan 27, 2009 10:03 AM
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

Me too, too techie for me.  I haven't framed anything here yet.

Jan 27, 2009 12:14 PM
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Ditto to her comment:


My head is spinning.  On the plus side, I understood a whole lot more than I would have 8 months ago. 

01/27/2009 02:10 PM by Christine Donovan Costa Mesa Real Estate (Broker/Attorney) 800-610-7253 (Donovan Blatt Team - Donovan Group Realty)


My brain could explode with all of this tech talk.  I just had my husband read it and he "gets it"!  I'm so thankful that Active Rain takes care of all of us dummies, lol.  Thanks Jorgan!  I hope I get to meet you when I come to Seattle!

Jan 27, 2009 12:14 PM
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Thanks Jorgen I didn't realize it until I read your blog but this is stuff I needed to know.

Jan 27, 2009 03:31 PM
Roland Woodworth
eXp Realty - Clarksville, TN
eXp Realty

It is always good to hear about the ins and outs of the confusing SEO world.. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 27, 2009 03:38 PM
Jason Neumann
Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd. - Kelowna, BC
Realtor -

Jorgen, thanks for the informative post.  Take care and happy blogging!

Jan 27, 2009 05:30 PM
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

I never even intended to be a Realtor...everything, to me, is luck & pretty much unintentional, due to my inability to really grasp the nuts and bolts of everything in life. As long as it's working and I like it, I stick around. And I'm never the last to leave. I count on all you smart folks to keep sending smoke signals. Thank you!!

Jan 27, 2009 09:47 PM
Shuki Haiminis - Boston, MA

Def something I did not know...thanks for the post!

Jan 27, 2009 09:53 PM
Emily Lowe
RE/MAX Homes and Estates, Lipman Group - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

I don't think I understood quite all of that, but thanks for writing it anyway - I'll come back when I have more time and try to soak up more of it!

Jan 28, 2009 02:45 AM
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

Jordan, I am actively looking at adding a blog to my website and appreciate the information above. Not that I am sure exactly what to do with it at this point but believe I know what to ask and/or send in an email before making any decision.  If you have any recommendations I am very interested.  Thanks again for the post.

Jan 29, 2009 10:47 AM
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

I read the beginning twice.  Tried for a third time and realized it wasn't making a difference.  I'll just have to go along with the moral of the AR.

However, I agree with Rich...McConaughey doesn't have anything on you!

Feb 20, 2009 01:59 AM
Cathy Tishhouse
RE/MAX Showcase Homes - Royal Oak, MI
Royal Oak Real Estate

I definitely trust AR and appreciate that I found you when I did!!  But I wish I understood your description of framing to understand if my websites do that. As with everything here, I end up learning it after being really confused for a while.  I will have to study it and go check out my other sites.  Thanks for giving me something new to spend hours on LOL

Feb 21, 2009 01:20 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

I believe it if you say so!  Actually it makes sense.  Sort of.  Kinda.  Bottom line... stay with AR on outside blogs. Right?

Mar 26, 2009 12:42 AM
Joke Explainer

It's funny because chickens don't drive cars.

Apr 01, 2009 07:00 AM
Jim W

So here's a late add to the list but since we are talking about SEO and Framing, is there a worry about reversing this idea? Say you have a client who wants to have some external links on their site and they want those links framed to carry a header with their logo and link back to their site. Such as surfing for images in google and linking out to view the image.

Question being, is there any right or wrong way to do that that may or may not help/hurt your SEO efforts of linking. Obviously inbound are the important links we all talk of but outbound do carry some weight... what happens to those if they become part of a link that goes something like:

Just curious?

Jan 26, 2010 03:11 PM