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What are doorway pages?

Doorway pages are pages which have been highly optimized for one specific search phrase and are designed to then redirect the web site visitor away to another web page.

A web site which sells sporting goods might, for example, create one page which is focused completely on sleeping bags. The sleeping bags page would be designed to rank highly in the SERPS for the term “sleeping bags”. Once the user found this doorway page, however, he would be quickly converted to the main web site of the sporting good company.

Redirection from Doorway Pages
Doorway pages often utilize the the meta refresh tag to automatically whisk users away to the actual content page.

Here is a meta refresh tag which waits zero seconds and then transfers the visitor to another web page:

Other doorway pages are simply full of links to the actual content pages. Any link the user selects will take them to the real web site.

Why Doorway Pages Can Help SEO
Doorway pages are designed to focus on one specific search phrase. That search phrase is used in the page name, the page title, the page description, the keywords, the <H1> tag, the <H2> tags, <H3> tags, bold text, italicized text, and repetitively all over the body text.

Why Doorway Pages are Bad
Doorway pages are considered bad SEO by many people because they insert an annoying and unnecessary step between the user and the destination.

Without doorway pages, the user would search for what he wanted, click the link, and be at his destination.

With doorway pages, the user searches for what he wants, clicks the link, ends up at a doorway page, and must then either click or wait to get to an actual content page.

In addition, because doorway pages are heavily optimized for search engines, they are often extremely unattractive and useless to human visitors.

Search Engine Policies towards Doorway Pages
Google’s statement on doorway pages is:

Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

MSN, Yahoo, and AskJeeves do not specifically mention doorway pages in their search engine policies.

Doorway Page Generators
Many web sites advertise software to automatically generate doorway pages. These software packages tend to create very small pages which are not optimized very well!

Worse, these packages will often insert links back to creators of these software packages. In addition, using some of the web-based automatic doorway page generators will subscribe you to e-mail spam lists.

A Doorway Page By Any Other Name
Doorway pages exist under many names. These names are often the inventions of marketeers who try to sell SEO with doorway pages while convincing their customers that they have discovered a newer better twist on this old technique.

  • Entry Pages
  • Gateway Pages
  • Jump Pages
  • Portal Pages
  • Bridge Pages
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One Response to “What are doorway pages?”

  1. Oscar Pilkerton says:

    This is my first visit here, but I can already tell you that I love it! Keep up the great work!

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