Google Changes The Definition of a Doorway Page

Jun 2, 2008 • 7:28 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Beu posted a Search Engine Watch Forums thread after noticing that Google has changed the definition they used for what a doorway page is.

On the Google Page, it now reads:

Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. In many cases, doorway pages are written to rank for a particular phrase and then funnel users to a single destination.

Whether deployed across many domains or established within one domain, doorway pages tend to frustrate users, and are in violation of our webmaster guidelines.

The cached version still has the old version:

Doorway pages are pages specifically made for search engines. Doorway pages contain many links - often several hundred - that are of little to no use to the visitor, and do not contain valuable content. HTML sitemaps are a valuable resource for your visitors, but ensure that these pages of links are easy for your visitors to navigate. If you have a number of links to include, consider organizing them into categories or into multiple pages. But in doing so, ensure that they are intended for visitors to navigate the sections of your site, and not simply for search engines.

Key sentences, words and adjectives have been removed and replaced by more generic terms. Google seems to have re-written it to discuss less of the technical nature of the page and more of the desired outcome of such a page.

In any event, all SEOs should know about the change.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums and Sphinn.

Previous story: Can I Be Penalized if I Have Too Many Links on My Homepage?
 

Comments:

James

06/02/2008 12:28 pm

Talking about all the optimized digg-like sites?

David Eaves

06/02/2008 03:12 pm

Defining a doorway is a really difficult thing to do if you ask me. I have one client who I am working with at the moment who has what I would call doorway pages, he had them when he came to me but they were not optimised. I have now started working with him on adding lots of unique content to each of the gateways, to make them more rank worthy. To me gateways are where you have lot's of identical pages, just with the one keyword changed and no original content. I have seen people do it, come up with a sales pitch page and then replicate it 500 times, each one optimised for a differnt county or town. I have never seen anyone get penalized for this, the question is where do Google draw the line and how much original content does there need to be.

No Name

06/02/2008 07:46 pm

i say good riddance, doorway pages were never anything but an annoyance anyhow

CVOS man

06/03/2008 12:00 am

<i>each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase...then funnel users to a single destination.</i> Folks this is a landing page. Now Google wants people to stop making targeted landing pages?

Rob Abdul

06/03/2008 08:30 am

A landing page is not the same as a door way page. A door way page usually makes no sense to a visitor – it is created to exploit search engine algorithm; albeit over the years its effectiveness has diminished. A landing page will have clearly defined headings, copy and a call to action. Also, it will have pages within the site linking to it. This page will be built for good user experience. User as in human. Do not misconstrue what Google are saying.

Rick

06/03/2008 09:34 pm

DITTO on Rob's Statement I agree with Rob and since he said hit it on the head I will repeat it again below. I have use what I call landing pages to get certian items that I am selling indexed into the search engines to better be found for those types of searches. I mainly did this because of the way many old shopping carts where set up to take one right into the cgi script. Since I felt the search bots would not index the cart well I set up those html landing pages to get better help in getting indexed by the search engines for content on those landing pages where one could then land and take action as Rob says. I still use them today and will contine to use them since I still use one of the older shopping carts on the web and still feel that a hand code html page as stil being the best way to get found by any search bot big or small Rick as posted by Rob Abdul A landing page is not the same as a door way page. A door way page usually makes no sense to a visitor – it is created to exploit search engine algorithm; albeit over the years its effectiveness has diminished. A landing page will have clearly defined headings, copy and a call to action. Also, it will have pages within the site linking to it. This page will be built for good user experience. User as in human. Do not misconstrue what Google are saying.

vibhu satpaul

06/04/2008 02:56 am

The definition doesnt really define exactly what the doorway page could look like. for example our website does have pages which are catering to specific keywords, now these pages are optimised with relavance to the content and the services we have to offer. I doubt if they are considered as doorway pages but they could be found by google under this definition. .... ! Above Rick has commented about how it can be a misconstrue what google are saying. But would a bot/crawler consider that or would it give a minus 1(value for example) to the page...?

Guus Ellenkamp

10/14/2011 05:35 am

Google did punish our site http://www.site-aanmelden-bij-google.nl/ and I still didn't figure out what's exactly wrong. The site and related sites and domains have things that are or look like doorway pages, but the content of the site has improved over time, so I'm not sure why they punished us recently.

Jason Mailley

01/26/2013 07:58 am

I realize this post is extremely old, but the topic is still current. I have made a post about how you could have a legitimate of doorway pages on my blog @ http://www.mailley.net/post/41399779172/doorway-pages-examples-of-using-it-in-a-whitehat

Abhiram Pathak

01/06/2014 12:10 pm

I am a regular visitor of your blog for valuable information. Thanks for sharing knowledge regarding some essential steps for website Optimization. I read your blog post and learn something new.

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