The following article outlines Pros and Cons of using frames with a deeper look at how they might affect your search engine ranking.
When designing a new website, one of your first decisions is whether or not to use frames. Frames technology allows you to have more than one web page on your screen at same time.
Typically a frames site will include a navigation menu down side or across top, with main or contents page filling rest of screen, however you can use 3, 4, 5, or more frames if there is any advantage to your site from doing so.
ADVANTAGES OF FRAMES
1) Frames can make your site easier to navigate because you can have a constantly visible navigation menu - and as you should know, easy navigation is one of most important aspects of website design.
2) Frames can make your site faster because you can include site theme (images, logo, etc..), and navigation menu, in frames that do not have to download each time a visitor looks at a new page. Only contents page changes. (Take a look at website success center at http://crosswinds.net/~webpageafrica/index.htm for an example of this. This site has 5 frames with contents frame in middle.)
3) Using frames can make it easier to design and maintain your site, especially if you have a large site. If for example you want to add a new page that is linked from other pages on your site, you simply add a link on your navigation menu; you do not have to add links on each and every page.
(However top web design software allows you to create templates which can give similar results. You create a template and then create pages for your site based on this template. Then whenever you make a change on template, web pages based on this template can be automatically updated. This is essential if you have a large site and don't use frames.)
4) Frames can make your site more interesting and can also allow you to have permanently visible advertising banners. Take a look at Word magazine site www.word.com - well worth a visit and one of most innovative sites we have found from a design point of view.
1) The original argument was that not all browsers support frames, but this must be a very small percentage now. You can get around this by including a area below your frameset. In this noframes area you include normal area and in this you place information such as a simple navigation menu and a "Sorry your browser does not support frames" statement.