Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor in any website’s success, as it helps drive traffic to the site and increase visibility on search engines. One of the pitfalls of SEO is the use of doorway/gateway pages.
Doorway/gateway pages – also known as “bridge” or “jump” pages – are an often overlooked aspect of SEO that can have a significant impact on your website’s ability to rank well in search engine results.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what are Doorway/gateway pages in SEO, ten (10) ways to avoid doorway/gateway pages and improve your SEO score.
What are Doorway/gateway pages in SEO?
When it comes to SEO, doorway or gateway pages are pages created with the sole purpose of manipulating search engine rankings and boosting organic visibility. The problem is that these types of pages often don’t provide any real value to visitors and can even lead to penalties from search engines. Learn more on Google Search Central
Put simply, doorway/gateway pages are designed to manipulate search engine rankings by appearing more relevant for certain searches than they actually are. This is done through a number of techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and redirecting users to different pages depending on their query.
This kind of manipulation has been frowned upon by Google since 2003 when it introduced its Florida update which penalizes websites using these tactics. Doorway/gateway pages are part of black hat SEO techniques.
Examples of doorways include
According to Google, doorways pages examples include:
- Having multiple websites with slight variations to the URL and home page to maximize their reach for any specific query
- 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
How to Avoid Doorway/gateway pages in SEO
Here are 10 ways to avoid using doorway/gateway pages in SEO and ensure your website remains in compliance with search engine guidelines.
1. Create unique, useful content
Doorway pages are often created to manipulate search engine rankings and are designed to redirect users to a different page. To avoid this, make sure to create unique, useful content that serves a specific purpose and offers value to the user.
For example, if you have a page about “SEO best practices,” make sure the content on that page is original, and comprehensive, and provides tips and strategies for improving a website’s search engine ranking.
2. Avoid duplicating content
Search engines may view doorway pages as spam if they have the same or similar content as other pages on the website. To avoid this, make sure to create unique content for each page on your website.
For example, if you have two pages about “link-building strategies,” make sure each page has its own unique set of strategies, rather than copying and pasting the same content onto both pages.
3. Use descriptive, relevant titles
Doorway pages often have generic or misleading titles that are unrelated to the content on the page. To avoid this, make sure to use descriptive, relevant titles that accurately reflect the content on the page.
For example, a title like “10 Effective Link Building Strategies” would be more descriptive and relevant than a title like “Improve Your Search Ranking.”
4. Use descriptive, relevant URLs
Doorway pages may also have generic or misleading URLs that are unrelated to the content on the page. To avoid this, make sure to use descriptive, relevant URLs that accurately reflect the content on the page.
For example, a URL like “https://zakariagithae.com/what-is-thin-content-and-how-do-you-avoid-it/” would be more descriptive and relevant than a URL like “https://zakariagithae.com/thin-content/.“
5. Use clear navigation
Doorway pages may have confusing or misleading navigation, making it difficult for users to find the content they are looking for. To avoid this, make sure to use clear navigation that helps users easily find the content they need.
For example, you could use a navigation menu with clear headings and subheadings, or a search bar to help users find specific pages on your website.
6. Avoid using hidden links or text
Doorway pages may use hidden links or text to manipulate search engine rankings. To avoid this, make sure to only use visible links and text that are relevant to the content on the page. Hidden links or text are those that are not visible to users, but can still be read by search engines.
For example, you should avoid using white text on a white background, or using CSS to hide text or links. Learn more
Learn more: What is Hidden Text in SEO and How do You Avoid it? (+Valid Reasons)
7. Avoid redirecting users to unrelated pages
Doorway pages may redirect users to unrelated pages in order to manipulate search engine rankings. To avoid this, make sure to only redirect users to pages that are relevant and useful to them.
For example, if you have a page about “keyword research tools,” it would be misleading to redirect users to a page about “link-building strategies” unless there is a clear connection between the two pages.
8. Avoid cloaking techniques
You should stay away from using cloaking techniques or redirecting users away from their original destination. Cloaking is when you show one version of a page to search engine crawlers while showing another version to users who visit the page directly.
Redirecting users away from their intended destination is also bad for SEO because it creates an artificial experience for those who click through from search engine results.
Learn more: What is Cloaking in SEO? and How to Avoid It (Definition, Examples, and Risks)
9. Avoid creating doorway/gateway pages
In essence, these pages are created with the intent of manipulating search engine rankings by targeting specific keywords and phrases. They are usually low-quality, unoriginal pages that contain minimal or no content and often link to an external site or affiliate program.
To avoid creating these pages, it’s important to create original content for every page on your website. This ensures that each page provides a unique experience for visitors and appears as legitimate content when indexed by search engines.
Additionally, focusing on quality over quantity will help discourage the use of doorway/gateway pages.
10. Technical options
These are options you can use if you have a very big site with many pages, rather than optimizing every single page you can use these technical SEO options.
- Use the robots.txt file to block search engines from crawling doorway pages: The robots.txt file allows you to specify which pages on your website you do not want search engines to crawl.
- Use the “no index” tag to prevent doorway pages from being indexed: The “no index” tag is a meta tag that you can add to the head of a webpage to tell search engines not to index it.
- Use the “no follow” attribute to prevent search engines from following links on doorway pages: The “no follow” attribute is a value that you can add to a link’s “rel” (relationship) attribute to tell search engines not to follow the link.
- Use the “disallow” directive in the robots.txt file to block search engines from crawling links on doorway pages: The “disallow” directive allows you to specify which pages or directories on your website you do not want search engines to crawl.
- Use the “canonical” tag to specify the preferred version of a webpage: The “canonical” tag is a meta tag that you can add to the head of a webpage to specify the preferred version of that page.
Blocking search engines from crawling doorway pages can prevent search engines from following those links and potentially ranking the destination pages as well as prevent them from being indexed and appearing in search results.
Suggested: The Ultimate Technical SEO Checklist Guide for 2023
People Also Ask?
What is the difference between Doorway/gateway pages and landing pages?
doorway/gateway pages are designed to manipulate search engine rankings and redirect users to a different page while landing pages are designed to provide information and convert visitors into customers or leads.
How do Doorway/gateway pages impact the user experience?
Doorway/gateway pages can impact the user experience negatively because they are designed to manipulate search engine rankings and redirect users to a different page, rather than providing value or relevant information. This can lead to a poor user experience and a high bounce rate.
Are Doorway/gateway pages the same as cloaking?
Doorway/gateway pages and cloaking are similar in that they both involve manipulating search engine rankings and presenting different content to users and search engines. However, cloaking involves showing different content to search engines and users based on the user agent or IP address, while Doorway/gateway pages involve redirecting users to a different page.
How do search engines detect and penalize Doorway/gateway pages?
Search engines use algorithms and manual reviews to detect and penalize websites that use Doorway/gateway pages or other manipulative tactics. If a website is found to be using these tactics, it may be penalized or removed from the search engine’s index.
What are some examples of Doorway/gateway pages?
Examples of Doorway/gateway pages include pages with thin or low-quality content, pages loaded with irrelevant keywords, and pages with hidden text or links. These pages are designed to manipulate search engine rankings and redirect users to a different page.
What is the purpose of Doorway/gateway pages in SEO?
The main purpose of Doorway/gateway pages in SEO is to manipulate search engine rankings and redirect users to a different page. These pages are often used to rank for a specific keyword or phrase and then redirect users to a page with different or unrelated content.
What is the relationship between Doorway/gateway pages and black hat SEO?
Doorway/gateway pages are a form of black hat SEO, as they are designed to manipulate search engine rankings and go against search engine guidelines. Black hat SEO techniques are generally considered unethical and can result in penalties or bans from search engines.
In conclusion, doorway or gateway pages in SEO are web pages that are specifically designed to rank highly in search engine results for certain keywords or phrases, but do not provide any actual value to the user.
These types of pages are often created for the sole purpose of directing traffic to a particular website, and are considered to be spam by search engines.
One of the best ways of avoiding using doorway pages is important to focus on creating high-quality, valuable content for your users, rather than trying to manipulate search engine rankings.
If you have any questions or comments about doorway pages or anything related to SEO, feel free to leave a comment below.
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