Doorway pages are the pages specially created with the purpose of getting ranked for a specific search query in search engine. Such pages, shrink the quality of the search experience. Google has recently restructured the quality guidelines to provide healthier search results to the users.
What are Doorway Pages?
Doorway pages are the pages or website specially formed to rank for a specific search term. It is not good for the web as it leads users to multiple different, yet similar pages in search result. Think about the situation, if the user click on the result and he doesn’t like it, moving towards and clicking another result, again this leads to the same website which he hasn’t liked earlier? It is really a frustrating experience. Doorway page does exactly the same to the users. There are lots of websites using doorway pages to get ranked for the generic industry terms. Google has updated the doorway pages guidelines to restrict such websites emerging on the top of the search results. Following are some examples of the doorway pages given by the Google:
- Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page
- Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)
- Substantially similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browseable hierarchy
Google has announced on the official blog that they are going to update the quality guidelines and adjust the ranking to improve the quality of the search result addressing the doorway pages in a much better manner. They have also provided the list of the questions to ask if you wish to know whether any page is under the risk or not. Following is the set of the questions Google has provided:
- 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?
If you are struggling to boldly answer any of the above questions, the webpage is under the serious threat. Though we haven’t seen doorway pages consistently ranking for any specific term, this update will surely improve the user experience. Real impact of this quality guideline update is yet to see, but this is definitely an alarm ringing for the webmasters who are still using the gray hat tactics like clocking, doorway pages or something that is not spot on to the Google quality guidelines.