Some web pages are created for the sole purpose of aiding websites to improve their traffic; these web pages are called doorway pages. These pages are designed to rank well for specific keywords or phrases and often feature keyword-stuffed, spammy content. Doorway pages are of very low user value.
Such pages are often easy to locate in the sense that they have been created primarily for search engines and not for humans. Sometimes such a page is copied from a different high-ranking page, but this can cause the search engine to identify the page as a duplicate one and remove it from search engine listings.
Doorway pages not only clog up the Internet but also are frustrating for the users. For instance, you come across a link to a DIY guide on grooming dogs. But when you open it, the page is selling dog food and is not at all related to its title regarding grooming dogs.
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Why Doorway pages are bad?
Webmasters use several SEO techniques created to boost search results, but doorway pages are the most frustrating one. Doorway pages often masquerade as a selection of distinct domains or a single page on a site. They pose a problem, as when a user enters a search query, it is possible that they will receive an entire list of results that end up on the same site. Such experiences are not positive for the users and make it very difficult for them to find desirable information.
How To Instantly Recognize Doorway Pages?
Sometimes, it is hard to tell whether you are hosting a doorway page. So, Google offers certain clear guidelines regarding identifying doorway pages. This way, you will neither create such pages not let someone else design them for you.
Website owners must be aware of these following signs of a doorway page:
- If the aim of a web page is to rank for a specific search term or bring visitors to a certain portion of a website, it is a doorway page.
- If a web page is focusing on generic search items but is full of specific body content, it can be a doorway page.
- If the page aggregates or collects things that could be found on the website, such as product descriptions or locations, it can be a doorway page.
- Some pages only exist to funnel users or harvest affiliate traffic without providing functional design or valuable content. These pages can also be doorway pages.
- If the page disallows the user to navigate to other portions of the website, it is likely a doorway page.
- Doorway pages are mostly simple HTML pages.
- A doorway page will hardly contain design or video elements.
How To Protect Your Website Against Doorway Penalties By Google?
1. Kill empty pages
If you have empty pages sitting around your website, it is time to destroy them. Because these pages do not contribute to what Google calls clear, unique value, and they are likely to be read as doorway pages and can harm the overall ranking of your website. Therefore, you should publish new pages only when you have content for them.
This ties into the theme of “Are your content high quality? Does it help people?” And empty pages obviously do not.
2. Improve your site navigation
This plays into the design. You should work on both navigation abilities and appearance of your site. One characteristic of a doorway page is that it makes it challenging or virtually impossible to go to more portions of the website. If you have a webpage that is not included in the navigation of your website, consider enhancing your navigation. This way, you will enable the page in question to be easier for users to navigate away from and find.
3. Focus on customer-generated content pages
Webpages that get major of their content from staff or customers are at a heightened risk of sitting idle and destroying your website’s ranking. These webpages include things such as open-to-contributors galleries and review pages. To prevent being knocked by Google, ensure that if you have such pages, they have ample content and adequate regular content to validate their presence.
If the webpages are sitting idle, you should consolidate them, remove them until you have adequate content to fill them, or run a campaign to furnish them with valuable content. This will aid Google to comprehend how the webpages add relevance and value to your website and will help avoid damaging penalties.
4. Remove duplicate content
Duplicate content is capable of damaging your website. To avoid penalties, make sure that any content on your website only appears on a single page and employ no-index tags on any important duplicate pages.
5. Beware of multiple domains
One of the leading giveaways of doorway pages is possessing multiple domains. In case you have got several websites working on SEO, make sure that each website features original and unique content and that you hold solid explanation to why you need various domains rather than a centralized, single website.
Doorway pages is one of the Black Hat SEO tactics. Google is working towards making user experience free of any disappointing doorway pages practices like not getting desired search results, not being able to navigate through a website, viewing spammy and unrelated content, etc. Google is not only removing such webpages from its search results but also penalizing them. Therefore, it is important to avoid such practices.