Closing the Door! Why Is Google Cracking Down on Doorway Pages?

Last month, Google released an update regarding their position on the use of doorway pages. A doorway page is simply a website or page that is specifically designed to obtain a high rank when certain search terms are used. In short, they are created to fill the search engine ranking results with similar pages that all lead visitors to the same end point. The reason this is a problem is because, as Google explains, “doorway pages that are created solely for search engines can harm the quality of the user’s search experience.” This is because a visitor can click on a site link from their search reach a page that isn’t what they were seeking. When they go back and click a different site link, a doorway page may cause them to end up on that same unhelpful page. So, now that we know what doorway pages are, it is important to understand what specifically Google is doing and which pages or sites they are targeting.

What Google Is Doing About Doorway Pages

Google stands on its mission to provide the best and most relevant search listings to their users. Since doorway pages can jeopardize the effectiveness of this, Google has decided to take action against them. They are launching a ranking adjustment to sites their algorithm views as a doorway. In other words, doorway sites will be penalized and dropped from the first-page results. While this may not affect small individual websites, it could spell trouble for sites using sophisticated doorway strategies.

What Google Is Targeting As A Doorway Page

As with any change to their algorithm, Google is careful to protect the exact details of the ranking adjustment. However, they have provided some considerations to determine if your website or pages are at risk. First, consider If you have pages, that are specially designed to funnel visitors to your key content, rather than act as a vital contribution to a visitor’s experience. It is likely those pages will be flagged by Google. Also, if the pages focus on directly drawing traffic rather than supplying any relevant information or value, it is probably a doorway. Another way you can help limit your chance of being flagged is to consider how accessible the pages in question are from your primary site. If visiting those pages from your site, instead of just finding your primary site through them, is challenging, you may also experience a sudden drop from the first page.

For Every Door Closed, Another Opens

If doorway traffic was a key driver of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, if you desire continued success you need a new method. Fortunately, page one rankings are possible with the use of organic SEO initiatives that put your website on top naturally, without the use of tactics that Google disapproves. An experienced and professional SEO website design firm can help you overcome these changes.

Wondering how your digital marketing efforts are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.