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I have to load remote content in several sites and I'd like to know which is the best technique. I know I can go trough an <iframe> but it isn't SEO friendly. I want the content to be found and indexed by Google and the other search engines.

Which is the best way?

  1. <iframe>
  2. load the content into a <div> using jquery or other JavaScript
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2 Answers

Neither approach is search engine friendly.

  1. Frames are not search engine friendly

  2. Search engines generally don't read JavaScript powered content (There are exceptions but none of them apply here)

  3. Even if #1 and #2 weren't true, it's still duplicate content (thus low quality content) and will either will be filtered out of the search results or will cause your site to suffer as a whole if you have too much low quality content (see Google Panda).

The most search engine friendly way to do this is one of the follow:

  • (recommended) Use canonical URLs to give the original content publisher proper credit for the content. This won't help you in the search rankings but it will prevent you from incurring duplicate content and/or low quality content issues. Plus you are giving credit where credit is due which is the right thing to do.

  • Block those pages completely from the search egnines using a robots.txt file, meta tags, or HTTP header.

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The other option here would be to create an XML feed of the content on your main site. This is something I am exploring for a client. It of course does require integration into the remote sites, but as far as I'm aware this would not have a detrimental affect on SEO as its just syndication.

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