2

I have a book-length document that is typeset with the LaTex typesetting system (It's a markup language popular for science and math typesetting.)

A custom script runs a program called HyperLatex that transforms the source for the book into both a PDF e-book, and a set of linked HTML pages. This generated site formats only the content, so for each chapter, I have a hand-written HTML shell page that holds all my branding boilerplate, navigation code, Google ads, etc... The script simple injects the HTML content for each chapter inline into the corresponding shell page. Voila, book and website are automatically in perfect sync with one command.

The problem is this: AFAIK I've never had a web search hit! Apparently the iframe makes the content invisible to search engines. I'm not a Web programmer (obviously!) Is there some other kind of HTML container that would let me do this, but not render all of my content invisible to the search engines?

1

You are going to need a scripting language such as PHP to generate html pages from the content of the iframe. The content's html code will need to reside directly inside the shell pages when it is served to search engines.

On the shell page, instead of displaying the iframe, the scripting language will generate html code for the shell page content area.

The shell page code will be similar to this:

<html>
<body>
<?php $latex_content; ?>
</body>
</html>

HTML Output to Search Engine:

<html>
<body>
<p>LATEX CONTENT</p>
</body>
</html>

Instead of the iframe Method:

<html>
<body>
<iframe></iframe>
</body>
</html>

The iframe method only includes an <iframe> tag in place of the content when the page is served. The search engines won't reference the frame because the iframe content is far to dynamic for the search engine to know that it's going to stay the same.

Another way to get search hits will be to put some static html content on the shell page that will lead users to your ebook. That way you can still use the iframe for the book. The book's contents won't be indexed in this scenario so you'll still be missing a good deal of potential traffic.

  • Thanks much for the reply. I've canned the iframes. We'll see how that affects search activity. – Peter Coates Jul 17 '14 at 1:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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