Doorway Pages Explained: Penalties & SEO
Officially, “doorway pages are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries” (according to Google). They are also known as portal pages & gateway pages. Primarily, webmasters create doorway pages for search engines to help with a website’s SEO and increase its visibility for certain keywords. Sounds like an easy and straightforward solution, right?
However, when creating these types of pages, you have to be careful that you don’t get a Google penalty. But, “why would Google penalise me?” You might ask. Well, Google adjusted its algorithm to classify and rank doorway pages more carefully. It did this because it didn’t want to allow sites to try to increase their search footprint or online exposure through the creation of pages with worthless and duplicate content. They wanted to preserve the quality of search results for Internet users.
Some webmasters were ‘taking the Micky’ 🙃 and creating 1000s of doorway pages for sites purely for SEO. These contained the same content and had no value for users.
Google stated that the changes to its doorway page classifier were because “we have a long-standing view that doorway pages that are created solely for search engines can harm the quality of the user’s search experience” (webmaster central blog).
With this in mind, here’s how to create a strong and effective doorway page:
- Consider the purpose of the page. What are you trying to achieve?
- Do not copy and paste content! Google will see right through it. Make the page content individual and valuable for users.
- E.g. if you are targeting a particular location, ensure that the content is actually about that place.
- If the page is intended to rank for specific terms make sure the page content is specific and contains relevant words embedded too.
- Equally, do not keyword stuff! This could be flagged up by Google as spam.
- Make the pages functional and worthwhile for users. Include calls to action, contact details etc.
- Link the page to the main site. Make it easy for users to navigate to the main website.
You can still use localised content pages to help with SEO, but you have to be cautious. Luckily, the webmasters at Zool are smart and like to do things properly, so that you get consistent and long-term results. As an SEO agency, we can help you to create valuable, informative and relevant pages as part of a combined strategy that will increase your company’s search footprint and bring more traffic to your site.
If you would like more information about our digital marketing services or would simply like to chat, please contact Zool Digital, digital marketing & SEO agency, on 01625 238770, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.