Google Penalties for Doorway Pages

By Melanie Prough on Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Filed Under: Zen Cart Marketing

Many Internet marketers make use of doorway pages… Most will call them landing pages, micro sites or niche something or another, but really not so in many cases. Google is pretty clear on what they consider a doorway page.

Doorway pages

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.

Google’s aim is to give our users the most valuable and relevant search results. Therefore, we frown on practices that are designed to manipulate search engines and deceive users by directing them to sites other than the ones they selected, and that provide content solely for the benefit of search engines. Google may take action on doorway sites and other sites making use of these deceptive practice, including removing these sites from the Google index.

If your site has been removed from our search results, review our Webmaster Guidelines for more information. Once you’ve made your changes and are confident that your site no longer violates our guidelines, submit your site for reconsideration.

Some doorway pages can get in to the index innocently. A great example is a flash site with static pages. It is very hard to create these static pages naturally and avoid the urge to “pump up the content”. The good news is that Google generally reports these in Google Webmaster’s tools and they are a bit easier to recover from than link schemes or such.

Some things to keep in mind…

  • Does the page have one purpose… a phrase to rank for and send to another?
  • Are these pages linked not to each other but to one domain? Especially the same page is bad, as the same page is not likely a relevant match for many big search phrases.
  • Are the sites/pages all owned by you? You do know Google has access to WhoIs information, right?
  • Are the sites/pages all on the same server, IP or C Block? Really think Google would miss this?
  • Often heavy promotion of a doorway/landing page will trip the sensors as well.
  • People WILL report you to Google!

In the end, do as you will… But Google is watching.

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