My website is being outranked by another third party website through an iframe of my website. Their website is featuring my website through an iFrame on a basic page. This page consists of a header, iFrame and footer.

Canonical is set for my website. They are ranking for keywords from my website and I no longer show up on google for most keywords.

Could I be demoted as Google has deemed this website more trustworthy? or better? or is this negative SEO at work? I have found hundreds of sites that are direct clones of mine, could that do something?

I guess I'm grabbing straws looking for the cause.

[EDIT] Our website is in YMYL health-related industry; we currently do not have our articles medically checked.

The website outranking us is a legitimate health business in the US and is recognized in their field. They have for a long time provided some of our content to their users through an iframe. Our website is older and has many more backlinks. Our website: over 1K external BL. Their website: 3 external BL

  • 6
    Have you implemented anything to prevent other sites from framing yours? This question on Stack Overflow has quite a few possible solutions: Frame Buster Buster … buster code needed Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 2:11
  • 3
    Most up to date solution is to use http headers to deny frames. See this answer in the thread Stephen linked: stackoverflow.com/a/31288040/2234742 Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 7:56
  • 1
    Thanks will look into it, I haven't tried this as yet as many other legitimate business websites provide their users our website through iframes. We used to get just over 3000 to 4000 visits a day through iframes. Now that our website is ranking through another website majority of traffic is through iframes. Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 4:15
  • 1
    @lastditcheffort "many other legitimate business websites provide their users our website through iframes." - If certain other websites are permitted to do this then you need to add this information to your question as it significantly changes the focus of the question. Is this 3rd party site that is outranking you one of these "allowed" sites? "I have found hundreds of sites that are direct clones of mine" - by "clones" do you mean they are embedding your site in an iframe, or are they literally "cloning" your site?
    – MrWhite
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 14:29
  • 1
    Ok, it's just that any 3rd party tool isn't necessarily going to give an accurate representation of the number of backlinks that Google sees. Which can really only be determined by the backlinks report in GSC (which you can only access for sites you control).
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 2:13

2 Answers 2


If the iframe URL is ranking better than your intended page you could use it to put your content on.

Use a subdomain to serve your iframe content and you can keep the entire subdomain out of Google’s index.

  1. Create subdomain to serve iframe content and disallow crawling.
  2. Move content to iframe URL
  3. Redirect old URL to the iframe URL

I am very curious how this happened. My guess is that the iframe URL started to acquire links or Google likes the URL better. Hard to say without more information.

Alternatively, you could use the current URL and redirect the old iframe. About the same either way but why fight what is ranking?

  • 1
    It sounds to me like their entire site is being framed, not that they have content that is intended for an iiframe. Commented May 4, 2021 at 6:14
  • Why would you use an iframe for an entire site? Do you mean header footer everything or just page content?
    – keepkalm
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 6:18
  • 1
    It sounds like some other site is effectively stealing their content by created a copy of the site by using it in an iframe. Commented May 4, 2021 at 7:04
  • @StephenOstermiller “many legitimate business websites” are serving their url as iframed content. It sounded more like their marketing tactics when i read it. They want to still serve iframed content for them is what it sounds like.
    – keepkalm
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 7:10
  • OK, i'll buy that. Commented May 4, 2021 at 7:11

I agree with @keepkalm. The most reasonable explanation for an iframe to outrank (or rank at all to be fair) is that they have significantly more links to this page than the page you are competing with.

  • And it sounds like they are using these iframes on multiple sites to drive traffic. So it is basically widget spam.
    – keepkalm
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 6:21
  • Our website: over 1K external backlinks. Their website: 3 external backlinks. Our website is also over 5 years older Commented May 31, 2021 at 0:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.