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Articles - Doorway Pages

The doorway to heaven or hell?

Doorway pages exist mainly to attract high rankings on search engines base on specific search terms. When clicking on link produced by a search engine query you can recognize a doorway page by a "click here to enter" (which can be highly annoying) or by the fact that you are quickly automatically redirected to a main page.

Some well constructed doorway pages look exactly like the original home page, but instead of having one home page e.g. "index.htm", there may be index2.htm, index3.htm etc. Each of the doorway pages would invariably take you to the real page after you had clicked on a link and then decided to return to the top level of the site.

A doorway page has similar tags to a normal page, but the tags have been optimised for certain keywords and phrases.

Example - if www.tamingthebeast.net utilised doorway pages:

index.htm's tags may be optimized for "free online training"
index2.htm would focus on "free web tools"
index3.htm would focus on "driver links"
index4.htm would focus on "free internet tutorials"

and so on.

They have been popular for some time now, but search engines such as AltaVista are now regarding these pages as spam - more engines will follow suit. Even though doorway pages can be utilized legitimately and responsibly, many have abused the process by creating doorways using keywords and descriptions that are in no way related to the content of the site.

Need to learn about  search engine ranking and optimization strategies or want to monitor the SEO health of your web sites (and those of your competitors)? One of the most comprehensive set of online search engine optimization tools around -  SEOMOZ.

Other search engines set a limit on the amount of doorway pages any site can have before they are blacklisted. Keeping the inconsistency between search engine policies on this issue in mind, it may be wise to steer clear of this practice. If you are utilizing these techniques, and having trouble getting listed, try removing these pages and resubmitting your site.

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net 
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