SEO Glossary / Doorway Page

Doorway Page

What is a Doorway Page?

A doorway page, also known as a gateway page, is a webpage created to rank for specific (most often long-tail) keywords while sending visitors to a different page. Doorway pages are considered an element of black-hat SEO.

For Google, doorway pages are considered web spam because they have no value for searchers. They are often designed solely to manipulate search engine rankings and funnel traffic to a single destination, which can lead to a poor user experience.

Why are Doorway Pages Considered Black-Hat SEO?

Lack of Value

Doorway pages typically lack substantial content and provide little to no value to users. Their primary purpose is to capture search engine traffic and redirect it to another site or page. This deceptive practice misleads users who expect to find relevant information based on their search queries.

Potential for Harm

Doorway pages can often send visitors to harmful websites, including those that host malware, phishing schemes, or other malicious content. This poses a significant risk to users and can damage the reputation of websites that employ such tactics.

Violation of Search Engine Guidelines

Google and other search engines have strict guidelines against the use of doorway pages. They consider these pages as spam because they undermine the quality and relevance of search results. As a result, Google continuously updates its algorithms to detect and penalize websites using doorway pages.

How Do Doorway Pages Work?

Doorway pages work by targeting specific keywords and creating multiple pages optimized for those terms. When users search for these keywords, they may see the doorway pages in search results. Once they click on these pages, they are quickly redirected to another page, which is the actual destination intended by the website owner.

Example

Imagine a user searching for "best budget smartphones." A doorway page might rank high in the search results with a title and meta description that promise a comprehensive guide. However, upon clicking the link, the user is redirected to a different page that tries to sell them a specific smartphone without providing the promised information.

Google's Stance on Doorway Pages

Google is adamant about maintaining high-quality search results and penalizes websites that use doorway pages. The penalties for using doorway pages can be severe, including:

  • Lowered Rankings: Google may demote the rankings of websites using doorway pages, reducing their visibility in search results.
  • Deindexing: In extreme cases, Google may remove the offending pages or the entire website from its index, making it impossible for users to find them via Google search.

Best Practices to Avoid Doorway Pages

  1. Provide Valuable Content: Ensure that all pages on your website offer valuable, original content that addresses user needs and queries.
  2. Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Do not create multiple pages targeting similar keywords with the sole purpose of ranking. Focus on creating comprehensive, high-quality content.
  3. Follow Google's Guidelines: Adhere to Google's Webmaster Guidelines to ensure your website remains compliant and free from penalties.

Tools to Ensure Compliance

To maintain a high-quality website and avoid penalties associated with doorway pages, use tools like:

Conclusion

Doorway pages are a deceptive and harmful SEO tactic that can severely damage your website's reputation and search engine rankings. By focusing on providing valuable content and adhering to search engine guidelines, you can build a trustworthy and high-ranking website. For more SEO tips and strategies, visit the Ranktracker Blog.