What Businesses Need to Know About Doorway Pages
In March, Google published a new post on one of their official blogs about doorway pages. They explained that through the use of a new ranking adjustment, they will reduce the visibility of these pages. Since Google doesn’t want to rank doorway pages, they’re not something you want to rely on as part of your SEO and online marketing strategy. Because utilizing doorway pages is a tactic that can ultimately end up hurting your Omaha businesses, we want to cover this topic in detail.
What Are Doorway Pages?
Before we get into why Google is devoting resources to taking action against these kinds of pages, it’s worth clarifying what this term means. The simplest way to think of this type of page is as one that fails to add clear, unique value. More specifically, Google has put together a list of questions you can ask yourself to determine if a page falls into this category. To help make the questions as useful as possible, here’s a quick summary of each of the five:
- Is a page designed to funnel search engine users into a site instead of providing any value on that page?
- Do pages intended to rank for generic terms include highly specific content?
- Is a page a duplication of another that’s simply optimized to attract search engine traffic?
- Does a page attract visitors and then send them directly to an affiliate partner without offering any value?
- Is a page set up in a way that makes it difficult to navigate anywhere on the site?
Even if your Omaha business doesn’t have any of these types of pages on your website, you’ve likely come across them in search results. And if you think back to your own reaction, you more than likely had negative feelings about the page. Keep that feeling in mind as you read the following section and then move on to the next.
Are Doorway Pages and Landing Pages the Same?
Although you can likely find examples of businesses that are using doorway pages as landing pages, that doesn’t mean these types of pages are the same. Since we’ve already clarified what doorway pages are, it’s fairly easy to see how they contrast with a standard landing page. Whether the goal is to get visitors on an email list or persuade them to make a purchase, a landing page is a page that’s focused on getting a visitor to take a specific action. In order to maximize the number of visitors who take that action, there are several things that a landing page needs to accomplish. In addition to building trust, a landing page needs to provide visitors with compelling reasons to keep reading and ultimately take action. To top things off, the page needs to ensure that when a visitor is ready to take the desired action, there aren’t any obstacles that get in the way of them being able to do so. Since landing pages do add value to a website by serving a very specific purpose, you can see why they don’t fall under the same category as doorway pages.
Why is Google Punishing Doorway Pages?
Even though it may seem like Google makes some very random choices about their search engine, there’s a surprisingly simple way to understand their mindset. Since Google is 100% committed to providing the best experience to their users, they only want to prominently rank websites they know that will deliver a great user experience. Based on everything we’ve covered, it’s clear that doorway pages fail to deliver real value. Since these pages are very likely to result in a visitor hitting the back button in their browser, Google doesn’t have any incentive to send traffic to this type of page in the first place. And that lack of incentive is ultimately the reason they’re putting measures in place to prevent these pages from being visible in search results.
What Should You Do If Your Site Has Doorway Pages?
For Omaha businesses that have doorway pages on their site, there are two main scenarios. The first is that a business either built these pages themselves or hired a company that turned out to be less than scrupulous to do SEO work. And the second scenario is if a business has been experimenting with their website and accidentally created some of these pages. Regardless of how they came to be, the good news is it’s relatively easy to fix this kind of issue. The key to taking care of any issue that your website may have is to first identify how the pages are being generated. In some cases, doorway pages are automatically generated by the CMS of a website. For example, some ecommerce CMS platforms create pages based on every search term users enter. Since these pages simply end up redirecting users without providing the items they actually want to purchase, the solution for this type of issue with doorway pages is to add a noindex meta tag to those pages. Another possibility is that doorway pages were manually created instead of being done automatically. In this scenario, you can fix the problem in one of two ways. Depending on the number and focus of the pages, you can just delete them from your site. Or if the terms are properly targeted but the pages simply lack content, you can take the time to add useful content to them so that they will offer value to visitors.
Big Red SEO Can Help You Fix Your Online Mistakes: (402) 522-6468
From sites filled with doorway pages to Omaha business websites with very spammy backlink profiles, Big Red SEO isn’t interested in judging businesses for what they’ve done in the past. Instead, our focus is on helping your business find success online. So if you want to have a company that’s going to work very hard to maximize online marketing results while always ensuring that all efforts abide by the rules, you can learn more about how we operate by giving us a call at (402) 522-6468.