A doorway page (gateway page, bridge page, or entry page) is a web page created with the primary intention of ranking highly in search engine results for certain keywords or phrases. Its ultimate goal is to redirect visitors to another, often unrelated, page.
Doorway pages are considered a black hat SEO technique. They are against the guidelines of most search engines, including Google, as they provide a poor user experience and can be deceptive.
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Search engine penalties. Search engines, like Google, penalize multiple sites that use doorway pages as a manipulative tactic to deceive users and artificially inflate rankings.
Poor user experience. Doorway pages often offer little to no value to users. When visitors encounter such portal pages, they may become frustrated, leading to a high bounce rate (users leaving the site quickly), lower engagement, and a negative perception of your website.
Reduced trust and credibility. Using gateway pages can erode trust and credibility with both users and search engines. When searchers click on a link expecting to find relevant content but are redirected to a different page, they may view your site as untrustworthy.
Negative impact on Domain Authority. Search engines consider both the quality and relevance of a website's content when determining its domain authority. Jump pages can negatively impact your domain's overall authority and make it harder for your legitimate pages to rank well.
Algorithmic changes. Search engines continually update their algorithms to identify and penalize black hat SEO techniques like bridge pages. If multiple pages on your site rely on such tactics, it's at risk of losing rankings when algorithm updates occur.
Manual actions. In severe cases, search engines may issue manual penalties against multiple websites for using doorway pages. Recovering from manual penalties can be time-consuming and challenging, involving a reconsideration request with the search engine.
Loss of organic traffic. As your website's rankings decline due to penalties or algorithmic changes, you're likely to experience a loss of organic traffic. Fewer users will find your site through search engine results pages.
Negative reputation. Using doorway pages can harm your online reputation, both with users and within your industry. It can be challenging to rebuild credibility once you've been associated with such pages.
Here's how to ensure your website follows ethical SEO practices:
The best way to rank well in search results pages is by creating high-quality, valuable, and relevant content that serves the needs and interests of your target audience.
Don't overuse keywords on your pages in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. Instead, use keyword variations naturally and in context within your content. Write for people, not for search engines.
Make sure that the content on your landing pages matches the intent of the search query. Avoid creating web pages that are unrelated to the keywords you are targeting.
Do not automatically redirect users to multiple landing pages without their consent or without clear and legitimate reasons, such as moving to a new URL structure.
Don't force users to go through a series of pages before reaching their desired content.
Stick to ethical SEO practices that follow search engine guidelines. This includes optimizing your website's structure, using descriptive meta tags, creating a sitemap, and obtaining backlinks naturally through quality content.
Identify and remove any pages that might be considered doorway pages or that do not provide value to users. Update your content regularly to keep it current and relevant.
Familiarize yourself with the guidelines provided by search engines, such as Google's Webmaster Guidelines. These guidelines provide valuable information on best practices and what to avoid.
If you're uncertain about SEO practices or whether your website may be at risk of creating doorway pages unintentionally, consider consulting with our SEO pros. We can provide guidance and ensure your site complies with best practices.
With our Reputation Management service, we can suppress or remove negative search results so your brand can make a great impression.
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