Does "URL masking" effect SEO?

For example: masking "www.domain.com/p/page.html" to subdomain.domain.com

*Means everyone who visits "subdomain.domain.com", see "www.domain.com/p/page.html" page, but the top address bar shows "subdomain.domain.com"

Edit: I have a blogger site, and the URL-redirect-masked/Hidden Frame Mask records are created on my DNS. Currently, "subdomain.domain.com" is indexed, and I have removed the original page "www.domain.com/p/page.html" from google index to avoid duplicate.

The masking is done with frameset:

<frame src="www.domain.com/p/page.html" name=mainwindow frameborder=no framespacing=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0></frame>
  • In what way do you think it might affect SEO?
    – MrWhite
    Feb 14, 2017 at 22:29
  • Maybe URL masking is bad for SEO, so it will lower the page ranking.
    – Dorel
    Feb 14, 2017 at 23:23
  • 2
    But how can it be bad for SEO? My point is, "URL masking" (when done correctly) is entirely hidden from search engines and users. All that matters is the resulting URL that everyone sees. The underlying filesystem path that the URL maps to is entirely private, known only to you and should never be referenced in the public domain. So, the very act of "URL masking" doesn't really have anything to do with SEO. (?) "URL masking" just allows you to create a more desirable URL for your users.
    – MrWhite
    Feb 15, 2017 at 0:10
  • 1
    Unless of course I've misunderstood your question and you are referring to something else? In which case, please add more detail to your question. For example, how are you implementing the "URL masking"?
    – MrWhite
    Feb 15, 2017 at 0:14
  • 1
    I have edited the post, I wish to know if I lose SEO value by using Frame Masked (Hidden) Redirection (url masking)
    – Dorel
    Feb 15, 2017 at 7:57

2 Answers 2


The masking is done with frameset

Using a frame, often called "framed forwarding" for masking the real URL is generally bad for SEO and delivers a bad user experience.

The URL inside the frame is not hidden from search engines (or users). There are essentially two separate pages/URLs and both can be indexed. The only page with content is the inner/framed page, so this will likely be the page that will be returned in search results (if it is indexed).

I have removed the original page "www.domain.com/p/page.html" from google index to avoid duplicate.

You can't remove the inner/framed page from the index without removing the actual content from the index. Without the content being indexed then you are obviously not going to rank for anything on that page. The outer "frameset" is simply a container, by itself it has no content.

There is no "duplicate". They are two different URLs. One simply contains the other in a frame.

When the user navigates your site the URL in the address bar does not change (as you suggest) and they are unable to bookmark individual pages. This can be confusing and frustrating for users.

<frame src="www.domain.com/p/page.html"

Incidentally, without the scheme (eg. http://) on the URL this is likely to break in most browsers (historically this would have only worked in IE).

  • thank you, w3dk. I have done a javascript redirect from the original URL: "www.domain.com/p/page.html" to the framemasked URL "subdomain.domain.com", do you think it is a problem?
    – Dorel
    Feb 17, 2017 at 17:26
  • You are checking whether the document is within the required frameset and JS redirect if not? But you are still using a frame (the same frame)?
    – MrWhite
    Feb 17, 2017 at 19:31
  • I'm using "top.location.href" to verify the top URL, and it's working well.
    – Dorel
    Feb 17, 2017 at 20:48

Redirects effect SEO because they slow down response time.

  • In my case, I have removed the original URL "www.domain.com/page.html" from google index. What can you say about that? should I reindex it or keep it not indexed.
    – Dorel
    Feb 14, 2017 at 21:04
  • 1
    You should spend your time on things that actually improve your site/SEO (and this is not one of those things). Google will sort it out and index it as they think is best and I'd worry that your tweaks might be interpreted suspiciously by Google...in years past, webmasters would create keyword targeted sub-domains to try to get multiple results on a SERP for a given keyword.
    – adam-asdf
    Feb 14, 2017 at 22:16
  • A one line answer is rarely sufficient to answer a question. In this case it is particularly lacking because URL masking isn't actually a real redirect. It has SEO implications far beyond any slight loading delay. Feb 17, 2017 at 11:29
  • @Stephen Ostermiller: None of those other details (only the top 3 lines) were part of the question when I answered it.
    – adam-asdf
    Feb 18, 2017 at 17:11
  • Please update your answer then. Feb 18, 2017 at 23:02

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