It looks like Google is on the warpath again, this time in a bid to clear generic doorway pages out of its search results. Last week Google’s engineers announced that they are planning to launch a new algorithm that will prey on webmasters who are using certain pages purely to increase their exposure within the search engines and capture traffic from various different sources.
What is a Doorway Page?
Doorway pages are created to rank for specific search queries in order to direct a wider range of users to the same end destination.
For example, many businesses will upload hundreds upon hundreds of optimised ‘location’ pages to their site in an attempt to rank for localised searches in as many different towns or regions as possible.
Why Are Doorway Pages Likely to be Penalised in Future?
Google thinks that the majority of these doorway pages add no value to the users’ experience of a website, and believes they just offer a way for impression-hungry webmasters and search marketers to grab a bigger slice of the pie through clever page optimisation tactics.
Google Program Manager Brian White has recently said that the company has seen an increase in websites using doorway pages to increase their ‘search footprint’. This new algorithm has been designed to tackle this problem and ensure that users are getting the more relevant and high quality search results possible.
“To improve the quality of the search results for our users, we’ll soon launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages,” he says in a notice on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.
Do you have Doorway Pages?
Google will classify a page as a doorway page if it is not an integral part of your website and is simply there to filter users to another part of the platform. Pages that are not easily found and difficult to navigate to will also be penalised, along with pages that duplicate information that already exists.
If you believe that you have many doorway pages on your site and are concerned that you’re going to get hit by the latest update, it’s important not to panic just yet. As long as the content on the page is well written, not duplicated and can easily be found by users, then your pages shouldn’t suffer drops in rankings. It’s important to remember too that so far Google has only indicated that the actual doorway pages themselves are likely to be dealt a hefty blow – the site as a whole should not suffer a penalisation if doorway pages are found lurking on your domain. Nevertheless, the new update is likely to have a sizeable impact on sites who have typically used doorway pages within their search strategies.