Back in 1999 I worked with a number of companies performing Y2K Audits for SME businesses and now...
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation techniques and tips for anyone who is serious about their website. SEO is not for the feint hearted and it requires consistent application of a wide range of techniques and initiatives to be applied on a regular basis. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your website through a better understanding of what SEO is about and what is required. Through a growth in your own understanding you will be able to deliver a better web solution and improve your chances of attracting greater and better qualified leads to your website.
Well the door (pardon the pun is closing on this long abused technique for optimising websites to draw traffic from targeted audiences. Just announced, Google intends to penalise sites that are considered to be using this technique for attracting traffic to pages that are specifically optimised and where these pages are autonomous to the rest of the website.We ourselves have long believed that this technique was not a good long term strategy for SEO and have not pursued it however many sites have taken other views and unless they rectify their website architecture are about to find their site rankings get smashed.
So what does Google Consider as being a Doorway page
Google quite clearly define what a doorway page is as follows. Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.
Here are some examples of doorways:
- 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
Are Doorway Pages and Landing Pages one and the same?
No their not although I would suggest that this is only by definition as a doorway page is considered to provide no relevant or useful information yet a landing page is one that does provide useful information. Problem here is how do you define "useful" or "relevant". At this stage my impression is that if your site has a number of these pages with largely the same content on each apart from very subtle changes - consider it a doorway page.
Who Needs to be Paying Attention
The classic example is a site that provides say carpet cleaning services on the Gold Coast and their SEO consultant / Web Developer decided that creating a page for each of the key suburbs describing carpet cleaning in that suburb was the way to go. Typically, each of these pages are largely the same content apart from the reference to the suburb name which just changes form page to page and the page URL includes the suburb name. This was considered a god way to attract visitors by virtue of the fact that searches would typically type in 'carpet cleaning southport' for instance and up the page would pop. The other thing to note is that generally , there is no link from the main site to these pages as they sit out on their own.
Well it worked and for many, worked well. Not any longer! Be warned - if your site follows this sort of strategy then you will see some rather bad rankings for your site. What you need to do is to get rid of these pages altogether.
When will this come into effect?
Well at this point Google has only told us that this is forthcoming but it is believed that we are likely to see this roll-out in a Google algorithm update some time late this month.
There are alternative strategies that are not set out to cheat the system that we can deploy without attracting Google penalties and if you are unsure of what the best course of action is to take with your own website then we can help you by simply contacting us online or call our office at (07) 55 264 014.
References or Related Articles
- Another Big SEO Update by Jim Stewart @stewartmedia
- An update on doorway pages- Google Web Master Tools
Top Left Designs is based in Southport on the Gold Coast and assists small and medium business owners with getting their business websites found on the internet. Optimising your website for better search engine rankings is just part of what we do to put businesses online and if you would like to know how we can assist you with your own site then we encourage you to contact us or simply give us a call and we can discuss what can be done to help you.
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