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As a praxis, all external content on our site is put in iframes to lower the risks of any external parties injecting stuff to our users. We also do it to make sure our content shows up before banners, to make the site feel quicker.

We now have an external script running which we want to put in an iframe, but it does not have any visible content to go with it so I want to put css "visibility: hidden;" on the iframe.

I read in a forum somewhere that search engines will lower the rank of a page, or even drop the page, if a iframe has "the minimal size of 1x1px".

Will a search engine lower the rank of my page if I have a hidden (or 1px big) iframe?

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2 Answers

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No, it will not affect your ranking but, from a search engine optimization point of view, the use of the iframe is problematic for several reasons. Mainly, whenever a search engine spiders the content that’s within an iframe, the search engine will normally link to the iframed page itself instead of the page it is housed within. This is not optimal for keeping the attention of search engine spiders.

It should never be used as an integral part of your site, but as a piece of content within a site. Usually, if you can do it without an iframe, that is a better option. It all comes down to the problem you are trying to solve.

With that said, if you are limited to HTML and have no access to a back-end like PHP or ASP.NET etc, sometimes an iframe is your only option.

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Luckily the content in this iframe is not something we need spidered since it doesn't have any actual content meant for users. It is a script keeping track of user behaviors, an integration with an external partner. Thank you for your answer –  Skurpi Nov 23 '12 at 8:23
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Very hard to talk about rank since most Search Engine alghoritms are pretty much a secret for obvious reasons.

But it seems iframes are not detrimental at least acording to this post: http://www.convonix.com/blog/search-engine-optimization/iframes-seo-friendly-crawlable-optimization-google/

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