ATTN Attorneys: Google to Update Doorway Page Algorithm
In an ongoing effort to target webspam and improve the user experience, Google’s Search Quality team has just announced that it will be updating its doorway page algorithm. Described as a “ranking adjustment,” this doorway page algorithm update will attempt to better classify doorway pages, filter these pages out of search results and provide better search results for users.
As Google Webspam Team Member Brian White explained in this announcement, “we [at Google] 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… sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.”
What are Doorway Pages?Doorway pages can be pages or smaller websites that have been developed for the primary purpose of ranking for certain, specific search queries. While doorway pages can generate multiple similar listings in search results, they also lead users to “intermediate” pages that are not as helpful or informative as the “destination” page. This has led Google to see these pages as bad for users and, in turn, has led to Google targeting these pages for penalties.
How to Determine If a Page Is a Doorway Page
Given that doorway pages may be receiving some Google penalties in the coming days and weeks, figuring out if certain pages on your website are doorway pages can be essential to making some changes and avoiding Google penalties that could hurt your site’s overall rankings.
To help you determine whether pages are doorway pages, here are some questions that Google says you can ask of these pages:
- Is a page only intended to funnel users along to some other page without adding any unique “value” (in terms of content) or function? – A “Yes” to this can indicate a doorway page.
- Does a page exist in isolation, like an island? Is it difficult (or impossible) to locate that page from other areas of a website? – Yes, again, could indicate a doorway page.
- Does a page duplicate info that already exists in other areas of the site simply for the purposes of drawing in more search traffic? – Yes, again, could indicate a doorway page.
- Is the page an integral part of the user experience for your website? – No, here, could indicate a doorway page.
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