Google Algorithm Update – New Penalty on Doorway Pages
As confirmed over on the Webmaster Tools blog yesterday, Google is implementing a new change to their algorithm, this time focusing new penalties on something called “Doorway Pages.”
“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.”
Basically over time in an effort to maximize their search footprint, a number of online sites have created various doorway campaigns using either the creation of many different pages on a site, a number of different domains, or a combination thereof.
If you are wondering about any of your current campaigns, make sure they don’t fall into any of these categories:
- 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
And then finally if making choices about possible doorway pages / campaigns, Google has provided these questions to ask:
- Is the purpose to optimize for search engines and funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site, or are they an integral part of your site’s user experience?
- Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content presented on the page is very specific?
- Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing more search traffic?
- Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
- Do these pages exist as an “island?” Are they difficult or impossible to navigate to from other parts of your site? Are links to such pages from other pages within the site or network of sites created just for search engines?