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Doorway page

Definition

A doorway page is a web page created specifically to rank highly in search engine results for particular phrases with the main purpose of sending visitors to a different page. These pages act as a gateway through which users are funneled to the content the site owner wants them to see, often compromising the user’s search experience by prioritizing search engine rankings over quality content.

Explanation

A doorway page is a specific web page created to rank highly in search engine results for certain keywords, with the purpose of redirecting visitors to a different page. These pages are designed to manipulate search engines and are not intended to provide valuable content to users.

In the context of SEO, doorway pages are considered a black hat technique, meaning they violate search engine guidelines and can result in penalties that harm a website’s ranking. It is important to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that meets the needs of users instead of trying to deceive search engines with doorway pages. By following ethical SEO practices and providing valuable information to visitors, websites can improve their search engine ranking and build a sustainable online presence.

Examples

1. Scenario: A small business owner creates multiple doorway pages for their website in an attempt to generate more traffic. Each doorway page is optimized for a specific keyword or location, but offers little to no value to visitors beyond directing them to the main website. As a result, search engines penalize the website for using doorway pages as a manipulation tactic, causing a drop in rankings and organic traffic.

2. Case study: A large e-commerce retailer creates doorway pages for each category of products they sell in order to target a wider range of keywords and improve their search visibility. However, the doorway pages are thin on content and mainly consist of keyword-stuffed text and links back to the main website. As a result, the retailer’s website is flagged by Google for using doorway pages to manipulate search rankings, leading to a decrease in organic traffic and a loss of revenue.

Best practices

Regarding the use of doorway pages in SEO efforts, best practices strongly discourage their creation and use due to their violation of search engine guidelines, particularly those of Google. Doorway pages are often designed to capture the attention of search engines for a range of specific keyword searches, redirecting users to a different page without offering substantial value or relevant content on their own. This tactic can lead to a poor user experience and has been penalized by search engines, leading to a decrease in site visibility and ranking.

For those looking to optimize their SEO efforts in a manner that aligns with both search engine guidelines and best practices, focusing on creating high-quality, relevant content that genuinely serves the user’s intent is key. Ensuring that each page on your site serves a clear, distinct purpose and provides unique value can dramatically improve your site’s standing with search engines and users alike. Instead of doorway pages, utilize well-thought-out landing pages that are rich in content and designed to address specific user queries or needs. This approach, combined with solid keyword research and on-page SEO tactics (such as optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, and headers), will lead to better engagement, conversion rates, and search engine rankings, all while maintaining the integrity of your site in the eyes of both users and search engines.

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