Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Avoid Doorway Pages

Doorway pages will get you in trouble with Google.I thought the practice of creating doorway pages was a thing of the past. We’ve discouraged this practice since 2005 and  reported back in 2006 about doorway pages getting the German language websites for Ricoh and BMW completely banned from Google for six months. After that, I thought the practice had fallen into disuse. Apparently not.

Google just came out with a warning that they’re increasing the ranking penalty applied for this black hat SEO technique. Here’s what they wrote a few weeks go in the Google Webmaster Central Blog (emphasis is mine):

We 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.

For example, searchers might get a list of results that all go to the same site. So if a user clicks on one result, doesn’t like it, and then tries the next result in the search results page and is taken to that same site that they didn’t like, that’s a really frustrating experience.

Over time, we’ve seen sites try to maximize their “search footprint” without adding clear, unique value. These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof. To improve the quality of search results for our users, we’ll soon launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages. Sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.

Google has a list of things you can check to assess your vulnerability to this new Google slap-down. I encourage you to check them out and make sure you’re safe from this newest Google algorithm change.

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