An interesting question was asked in the last Google hangout with John Mueller at the 21:16 mark into the video. The question was around controlling or influencing Google to index the page of content that is embedding the iframe over the source of that content.
The question was:
If I syndicate my content to another website with an iframe how can I ensure that the iframe URL gets credit instead of the page embedding the iframe?
John Mueller said the short answer is that you cannot do that. He said “so the short version is you can’t.” He then explained you can use a rel canonical to kind of force the redirect, if you own access to the other page. He also said Google will respect the meta tag to you don’t want your pages to be iframed. But again, that is the reverse case of the answer.
Here is the video embed on this topic:
Here is the transcript of the answer:
So the short version is you canât.
In particular if a page is embedded within an iframe, within a bigger other page, then it’s possible that we will index that embedding page as well. And when we render that page we obviously see your content because it’s is visible in the iframe as well. And to some extent we may say well this is the whole page with this content on it, we will index it like that. So we could show it in search results like that.
In general we do figure out this connection between the frames version and the embedding page. And we do try to show that properly in search, to really highlight the original page rather than the just the iframe. But it’s not something where you can say I want to have both of these visible in search or generally on the web and but I prefer this specific page to actually be shown.
So things you could do if you if you’re in touch with the other website that’s using the iframe having a rel canonical on that page pointing to the actual content version that you want. Alternately if you don’t want your pages to be shown within an iframe there are options that you can put I believe in the head of a page with a special meta tag to say that you don’t want your pages to be iframed. And that’s something that browsers will will respect, modern browsers at least. And that’s something that we respect from our side as well where if we can see that a URL is being shown in iframe but actually that URL wouldn’t work and that I framed then we will respect that for search as well.
Forum discussion at YouTube.