According to Google’s official blog, the search engine is readying itself to launch another algorithm to stamp out bad SEO practices. This time they are targeting doorway pages.
Doorway pages are created entirely for search engines in order to increase a brand’s visibility. As a consequence they take up slots in the page rankings and create a poor user-experience.
The search engine giant explains, “searchers might get a list of results that all go to the same site. If a user clicks on one result, doesn’t like it, and then tries the next result and is taken to the same site, that’s a frustrating experience.”
The intention is to rid the internet of pages that do not deliver what end-users are searching for. It is typical for doorway pages to act as an intermediate page which gives generic information, rather than specific information given on the destination page.
Google’s definition of doorway pages
For some website owners, the expulsion of doorway pages could pose a problem. There are times when a webpage exists to provide quick links to various pages in order for users to navigate the site and find information easier.
The website owner may think they are providing a better user-experience for their visitors by creating index pages. But it would appear as though Google do not think this is a good idea.
Even if you have created a page that is integral to your site’s user-experience, Google may interpret the page as a doorway and pull the page offline.
If the page is generic, then Google won’t like it, but should they be penalising people for attempting to create a better user-experience either and sometimes index pages may be are the best option for that?
How to avoid penalties for doorway pages
It appears Google’s purpose behind the new doorway algorithm is to prevent online businesses from setting up pages for the purpose of capturing more search traffic.
Search engines are looking for information-specific pages.
The “doorway” page should serve some functionality. An index page clearly does that, but it remains to be seen whether search engine crawlers can recognise and separate index pages from doorway pages deliberately designed to manipulate search results.
It may be that you have a landing page that is used as part of your sales funnel and are typically used to improve PPC campaigns. Under the terms of Googles new definition of doorway pages, landing pages can also be affected.
Your landing page therefore must relate specifically to the ad text and navigate visitors to the relevant pages. Therefore use a different landing page for each PPC ad.
It is unclear just how and what pages will be impacted by the new algorithm, but if you have a doorway that is designed to manipulate search results, expect a penalty.
Web owners that have an index or contents page to improve the user-experience will just have to wait and see how Google treats these. Watch this space on that one.
Move It Marketing SEO Services
Move It Marketing are a boutique digital marketing agency with a love for organic search (and in particular technical SEO). We don’t dilute our efforts by working with a large number of clients, and provide a granular service with attention to detail. If you have experienced problems with SEO on your site, get in touch and we will take a look with a view to providing you with an initial mini SEO audit free of charge.