Google have made the recent announcement that they have updated their ranking algorithm in a bid to prevent ‘spammy’ doorway pages.
What are Doorway Pages?
Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. Google is now cracking down on any websites that put in place doorway campaigns in an attempt to maximise their ‘search footprint’.
Some websites may create multiple doorway pages which all rank for the same term and this could ultimately result in driving visitors back to the same website they just clicked off. Google explains that this could be a ‘frustrating experience’ and has adjusted their algorithm to combat such issues.
What did Google say about it?
‘Over time, we’ve seen sites try to maximize their “search footprint” without adding clear, unique value. These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof. To improve the quality of search results for our users, we’ll soon launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages. Sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.’
So how will you know if your pages are at risk?
Google has given guidelines of questions to ask yourself:-
- 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?
- Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content presented on the page is very specific?
- 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?
- Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
- 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?
The search engine also updated its definition of doorway pages in its Webmaster Tools help pages.
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