If you can believe it, Google has just announced another upcoming algorithm update. Shocking, huh? This time, it has to do with doorway pages. While doorway pages have never been a good thing—they are considered by many to be a black hat SEO technique—Google will soon take their negative impact on the SERPs much more seriously. And it’s about time, if you ask us. This new update (its release date is still unknown, in usual Google fashion) will make their algorithm more proficient at detecting doorway pages, and when it does, it will eliminate them from the search results.
Doorway Pages Explained
So what exactly are doorway pages? According to Google themselves, they are pages that are made with only one purpose: to show up on the SERPs. They are frustrating for users because they will click on multiple results only to end up with the same page showing up on their screen. Perhaps you have come across a doorway page or two? Some examples are:
- Separate domain names that target specific cities, only to route all of the visitors to the same page
- Pages with high keyword integration that offer no value to the visitor; they simply reroute the user to the important part of the site
- Multiple pages with just enough differences that they get indexed individually, yet they are relaying the same information
Not to Be Confused with Landing Pages
At first glance, it may seem like doorway pages and landing pages are interchangeable, but it is crucial that you know the difference. As mentioned, doorway pages are only created to show up on the SERPs. There is no other point. On the other hand, landing pages are a very effective, smart marketing strategy. They are usually paired with a PPC campaign so that you can offer the visitor exactly what they are looking for. Landing pages put very little emphasis on SEO (since they are often found through a PPC ad anyway) and a lot of emphasis on closing the sale. It is focused, informative, and user-friendly—none of which can be said about doorway pages.
Questions to Ask Yourself
If you still are not quite sure if your site includes doorway pages, you need to figure it out quickly. Because you know how Google rolls—once you get a penalty you might have to wait a long time to recoup your spot on the SERPs. You may think you are just doing a solid SEO job, but if you can answer yes to any of these questions, unfortunately, you have doorway pages you need to eradicate:
- Is the sole purpose of the page to rank highly on the search engines, yet the page itself offers no useable information to the visitor?
- Is the visitor instantly rerouted to a different page?
- Are you trying to rank for one term while the page itself is about something completely different?
- Does the page simply duplicate information that is found elsewhere on the site so that you can secure more than one spot on the SERPs?
Determining if your site includes doorway pages is usually pretty straightforward. If every page on your site serves a purpose (other than ranking highly) and offers value then you probably have nothing to worry about.
Whether you currently have doorway pages or not, Zero Gravity Marketing will help your site rank highly for all the right reasons. Contact us today to find out more.