We have a website with video content delivered from a video studio and hosted on their site since we don't want to load our server with it. The content we are embedding is payed for and we don't to rank the videos (since they are hosted elsewhere and we embed them) but to rank our posts with the videos in them.

The pages in the website aren't just with the embedded videos, it has a brief review of the video inside it also.

Explanation of the concept and construction:

Site example.com has an iframe:

 <iframe src="http://www.example.com/steve.html"></iframe> 

Inside the file steve.html which is under the same domain example.com

there are the meta tags:


And in the body there is another iframe video embed code from the external website.

Now my questions are:

Is this considered cloaking?

Would we be better off without the nofollow/noindex as now Google cant see the iframed content and where the video iframe is in Google eyes appears a big nothing?

Any suggestions?

Edit to clarify it a bit here:

We have a post Example.com/review Inside it there is an iframe (example.com/iframespace with no follow/noindex) inside this iframe (example.com/iframespace) there is another iframe of the video embed code.

Would the iframe with the nofollow/noindex affect the post example.com/review which contains the iframe?

  • 1
    Just to clarify... do you have an iframe ("another iframe video") within the first iframe'd content?! Does the first iframe contain the review/text content etc. This isn't "cloaking". Cloaking is serving different content to search engines and users, you are serving the same content.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 7:35
  • Sure and thanks, let me clarify it a bit (it is a bit confusing). I have updated my post to illustrate better how things work and added also the question "Would the iframe with the nofollow/noindex affect the post example.com/review which contains the iframe?" Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


No, the NINDEX, NOFOLLOW on the embedded iframe will not effect the page it is displaying on. As they are neither on the actual page, nor within the <head> section of the pages source code.

I know this from experience as I have used this technique before where I had content that must appear on the page, but was duplicate content, so I didn't want search engines to pick up the content as appearing in the page.

Moz.com also recently recommended this as an option when combating duplicate content: Handling User-Generated & Manufacturer-Required Duplicate Content Across Large Numbers of URL

However your robots. meta tags are incorrect, they should be withing a single tag:

  • Thank you very much, so you don't see any problem with this approach right? Wouldnt Google see this as cloaking? Since we hide content from SE and show it to visitors? Also, do you think that having the videos in the noindex/nofollow would make my posts seem of low quality since google would only see the short reviews under them (approximately 600-800 character reviews) or could they still rank? Except the videos, the reviews and articles around them are content that people will like so I imagine there would be no problem for them to rank if visitors return and engage correct? Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 12:39
  • +1 for correcting the ROBOTS meta tag. That's very important because Google says that they take one or the other (maybe the first, maybe the last...) but they do not combine their content, so having more than one and all not being equal, you cannot know what Google will pick. Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:34
  • @Jack Stanson. No, Google will not see this as 'cloaking'. You are showing Google the same content that you are showing other visitors.
    – WebPro Sam
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 0:55

A while back, I wrote an article about cloaking on the Internet.


Maybe that will shed some light about the technique and what search engines really do not like.

Note that the fact that a page is marked as NOINDEX does not mean search engines won't access the page, far from it. How do you think the spider would know that the page has a NOINDEX in its <head> tag? So in other words that page is perfectly visible and recorded in Google's system. Only it won't appear in the index because you asked it not to do so.

Cloaking happens, and that's what search engines do not like, when you return completely different data to Google and to a User (as w3d told you in a comment.) So if I go to your website page:


And you detect I am a Robot from Google, you actually show the contents of example.com/happy-robot.

If you do not detect that I am a Robot, you show me the contents of example.com/this-instead.

That is definitively cloaking (assuming that the contents of /happy-robot and /this-instead are different.) For Google, it is difficult to determine that such happens without some human intervention, but I'm sure it quickly detects such problems.

In regard to IFRAMEs and cloaking, they do similar things as the content of the IFRAME could show X to the Google robots and Y to a user. So they will check them too. Again, if X and Y are not the same thing, then cloaking it is. In what you describe, you show the same thing to both users and Google so again you're good.

Note that the NOFOLLOW, just like the NOINDEX, means that juice is not passed, not that the search engines won't follow the link (and count it, etc.) So the IFRAME of the video inside your local IFRAME will be detected and checked out in time.

The one thing that really prevents Google robots from reading a page is the robots.txt file. In that case, they do not access the page (mainly to save resources, although they may have undisclosed systems that check those pages "secretly" to verify a few things... but legally they probably have to have humans do it for them.)

  • Nice contribution Alexis, so would you say I should block the folder from robots.txt which includes the files containing the iframe to the other websites? Or to have inside the file steve.html to have it nonindex nofollow? Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 21:20

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