Filed Under:  U.S. & World

Google To Tweak Algorithm to Crack Down on Doorway Pages

Contributed by on March 19, 2015 at 5:03 pm

One red doorGoogle announced that it will be making changes in its algorithm to detect and penalize doorway pages. Doorway pages have long been discouraged on Google’s quality guidelines. It appears Google has now decided to be more proactive in cracking down on doorway pages.

According to Google, doorway pages are pages created with the main intention of ranking for one set of keywords and diverting the traffic attracted that set to another page. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, that’s the problem many webmasters and developers are going to run into. Google’s definition is so broad that it can cover a wide range of circumstances-not all of them unethical or spammy. While it is easy to see what’s wrong with a page attracting searches for ‘baby shoes’ leading to another page ‘Hong Kong vacations,’ there are many other situations that are too close to call.

Many keywords share the same intent although they may not be that obviously thematically related. For example, if a page gets traffic for the search term ‘vacation luggage,’ a page about travel insurance might not be that totally unrelated.

Google tries to clarify the situation with some ‘guidance questions’ developers should ask when building pages but these aren’t very helpful since they only apply to ‘extreme’ doorway pages like completely irrelevant keyword targets, ‘island’ pages that capture keywords and don’t really lead anywhere or broadly worded terms like ‘unique value.’
Regardless, expect more blatant doorway pages to finally bite the dust-this includes multiple subdomains/domains leading to the same page – a tactic popular with competitive local niches.