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Google’s Doorway Update – What is a Doorway Page?

December 31, 2015

With the Google Algorithm arriving earlier this year, there are still many questions around what is a doorway page and how can we overcome getting penalized.

Doorway pages are essentially pages or sites that solely exist for search engines as opposed to users; designed to rank well, but not to deliver value for a user. The main purpose is to attract as much traffic as possible, acting as a funnel to a website.



Doorway Pages vs Landing Pages

So what is the difference between a doorway page and a landing page? Doorway pages tend to make users take an extra step in their journey to find the resource they’re looking for, whereas landing pages provide users with the information they originally set out to find. The general nature of doorway pages is that they lack any real value to a user; however landing pages are mostly rich in information and relevance to a user’s search.

One example of a landing page is a new targeted landing page created for a paid search campaign giving the user exactly what they’re looking for and is designed to convert or make the user take some sort of action.

On the other hand, a site may have a different page for every location that they sell their products in, or that they want to target, with keyword variations and similar content on each. These pages do not serve the user any value independently and are clearly designed only to rank for local search terms. These would be doorway pages.



Are my pages doorway pages?

There are five questions from Google you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not your pages are doorway pages:

  1. Is the purpose to optimize for search engines and funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site, or are they an integral part of your site’s user experience?
  2. Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content presented on the page is very specific
  3. Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing more search traffic?
  4. Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
  5. Do these pages exist as an “island?” Are they difficult or impossible to navigate to from other parts of your site? Are links to such pages from other pages within the site or network of sites created just for search engines?

What if I’m using doorway pages?

If you think you’re using doorway pages, stop using them as they present a negative representation of your brand to users and if Google crawls your site and notices these spammy pages, you’re likely to receive a penalty from Google meaning you will see a massive reduction in your traffic for the majority of your keywords.

If you are worried and still can’t decipher if you’re using doorway pages or not, then get in touch with our friendly team of experts who will be able to give you advice and guidance on your website.




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