What is an Orphan Page, Doorway Page, and Dead End Page?

What Is An Orphan Page, And What Is A Dead End Page?

When you are the owner of a website, there are two pages that you should try to avoid. These two pages are called, orphan and dead-end pages. What are they? Are they harming your website? What is the difference?

Below, we will discuss succinctly of what each is and the difference between them, as well as, what impact they may have on your site’s success.


Orphan Page

By definition, an orphan page cannot be accessed by any internal links on the website. This means, unless you have the URL for that particular page, you won’t be able to access or find the page.

How does it harm your page?

When it comes to SEO, and your site’s traffic, if you have any valuable content on that page, users will not be able to access it. Therefore, it is useless, and you just lost your chance to capture your audience with that content.

Certain people believe that orphan pages could be viewed by search engines as, doorway pages. A doorway page is an unintended page that intentionally tries ranking higher for SEO purposes. If the search engine treats these orphan pages as a doorway page, then it will penalize the site. This has long been debated and nobody has yet to confirm whether or not it is true. Therefore, it is always best to be careful when creating your site’s page.


Dead-end Page

A dead-end page is giving your users nowhere to go from where they have landed. There is no outgoing link for the user to click. Example, think of a store, your customers have all of their items in their carts, but you have no registers and cashiers to check them out. So, they put the items back, and simply leave the store without buying anything.

If you think of it that way, then you realize you are possibly losing value when you don’t link your page to another page, and give your site’s user anywhere to go.

How does it harm your page?

As described above, you are losing the ability to give your user a reference point. They just read everything on the page, and that’s it. It is kind of like a good movie, that has no end. In order to avoid this from happening, you should link the page to another, to give your website the maximum benefit.

However, with most sites being template driven, it is quite hard for you to have a dead end page, as the sidebar, banner, and footer always have links attached to them.


The Difference Between an Orphan Page and Dead Page

While some search engine optimization agencies purposely create orphan pages, in order to keep what they have created private, it is usually a technical issue. It could be a syntax error, or expiring content that isn’t linked while failing to indicate a status code. A dead-end page can at least be found, but it just has no guidance, so to speak. A simple fix, like adding a link to jump from the “About us” page to “Affiliates” page would serve as an effective remedy.


What are Doorway Pages

Doorway pages are simple HTML pages that are specifically focused on a few particular phrases and keywords. They are meant to be visible only by specific search engines and their respective crawl spiders. One of the primary objectives of a doorway page is to trick search engines to award the site a higher ranking. However, they are not static; searchers who land on the page are instantly directed to the real/main website.

What’s the Problem with Using Doorway Pages?

Doorway pages are categorized alongside other black hat SEO tactics. The underlying philosophy of SEO is simple and does not in any way entail building invisible pages that are optimized using certain keywords to get the main site a high ranking in the search results.

It is also important to note that search engine algorithm is continuously updated and spiders are becoming more intuitive. They can identify these pages and not only ignore them but also ban them altogether.

Virtually all search engines prohibit webmasters from using doorway pages as this form of content is often referred to as spammy. Spammy SEO practices may deliver positive results in the short-term, but in the long run, they will adversely affect your site ranking. This kind of techniques also compromises the credibility of the site

Will Doorway Pages Benefit my Site?

There are some SEO consultants who will inform you that doorway pages are the only shortcuts to getting at the top of SERPs. They will recommend costly software that is engineered to create these pages in seconds.

The harsh truth is that these pages will add unnecessary clutter in search engine results thereby making the search process less effective. The software is also not fully automated; you will be required to feed in the keywords, keyword density, key phrases, meta tags, fill out templates and much more.

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If you are willing to do all that work for an unethical and short term SEO technique, then you might as well consider optimizing the site using the recommended practices. Don’t settle for the “easy” solution, instead, work smart and hard to fix your site. Every page needs to be properly optimized to resonate with the needs and expectations of the searchers.


What do Search Engines Target?

Search engines are looking for well-designed and optimized sites that are packed with valuable content. There is no need to spending hundreds of dollars on a software and irritate searchers with redirects.

Concisely, if your website has the correct key phrases and keyword, quality content, and Meta Tags, there is no reason to spend time and money creating doorway pages.

The moral of the story is that well-optimized sites will eventually be found by search engine spiders and get indexed correctly. If your site has multiple pages, make sure that you have an efficient and user-friendly navigation system that users can use to access the rest of the site.


Conclusion

Sure, it is very tempting to use doorway pages since they attract both search engine users and search engine spiders. However, SEO is best viewed as a long-term venture and these pages are not part of a long-term successful search engine optimization strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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