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I'm developing an internet facing site using SharePoint 2013. For some parts of my homepage I need dynamic parts which I have to decide between Web Parts and Apps.

I've heard that SharePoint Apps load in iFrame and this is not good for site's SEO.

How much is it true ? How can I decide between apps and Web Parts ? and how SharePoint Apps has affects on SEO ? Is there anyway to use app parts and at the same time preserve SEO?

thanks in advance

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It is very true that apps (App Parts) load in an iFrame. That as you say will affect the SEO of the site.

In classic Webparts it is up to you how you render the view (by rendering server side you will have all information on the page for the search engines to find)

Regarding SEO and iFrames:

Can Content in iframes Help My SEO?

The short answer is no, not really. Once again, the content and links within iframes are not typically crawled and index, and credit is definitely not attributed to the page where iframes are embedded. Because the content within the iframe is attributed to the source URL and not your own page, iframes to not offer any inherent SEO value for your on-page optimization. When it comes to SEO, iframes appear to neither directly help nor hurt your on-page search engine optimization. Source

The problem in a SharePoint App scenario is that you most likely would like the Search Engines to crawl the content also in iframes, which most of them do not do.

Workaround (not App specific, but iframe specific):

Despite the mentioned SEO-limiting qualities of Iframe, there are other solutions to Iframe which are friendlier with search engine crawlers. If you are using Iframes to present the information on your site, use content from another source. Search engine crawlers can detect the source of the information and they are not labeled duplicate by the crawlers. Instead, they will give the credit to the original source.

Another way to counter the SEO limitation is by writing your own keyword-rich, relevant and useful content, and post it on your website using a tag which can be customized with a scrolling function to look just like the Iframe that was there before. Instead of pulling content from another website to the Iframe, you can use your unique content posted on your own website. Your visitors will barely notice the difference but Google’s engine crawlers will suddenly see you as a valuable source of unique and interesting topics and Google will rank you accordingly for that.

For web developers or programmers, they can use server-side or client-side programming, which requires a more advance understanding of programming principles. Using this solution, the content will appear as though it originated from the page even if it is being pulled from another source. In effect, the content will be crawled and it could improve the page’s rankings with Google. While this solution is possible, it is considered a Black Hat SEO technique and therefore not recommended.

To sum it up, if the foremost interest is SEO, Iframes should be avoided by all means. It can only help with your SEO efforts if you are pulling the content from your own website or domain to display on other pages. This can be useful if you want to share info on multiple pages without the risk of getting labeled as duplicate content. It is also important to make sure that you maintain keyword-rich and crawl-able content on your site. If you are using Iframes on your site, you should always check to see if the pages have been crawled. You should remove the content from the Iframes if they have not been indexed. Place the removed content from Iframes on the web page (out of the Iframe). As everybody knows, strong on-page content will help boost the site’s rankings. Source

  • thanks for your answer but unfortunately I didn't get what you exactly meant by your first line. If you don't mind please clarify that with more explanations – Pouyan Jan 20 '14 at 6:46
  • When you place an SharePoint app on a normal page, you place what is called an AppPart (this renders in an iFrame) – Robert Lindgren Jan 20 '14 at 7:17
  • I've edited my question. HOW does this iframing affects SEO ? and HOW can I have both app parts and save SEO ? – Pouyan Jan 20 '14 at 8:44
  • Updated my answer. It is very hard to overcome the limitations with iframes not being crawled – Robert Lindgren Jan 20 '14 at 9:37

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