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What are doorway pages?
by: daniel chow
Doorway pages have been used by many search engine optimizers for improving rankings of their or their clientˇ¦s websites. There was a time when some websites used to dominate the first 10-20 or in some cases even more top spots in search engine results for particular keywords, although since then most search engines have tidied up.

So what exactly are doorway pages? Doorway pages are simply web pages that have been created with an aim to improve search engine rankings. Doorway pages concentrate on particular search terms (keywords) and are usually not a part of the actual website where the user is redirected (using redirection code) once he/she lands on the doorway page. Besides this, doorway pages serve no other purpose, and hence the only reason for their existence is search engines. They are called doorway pages because people enter the website by clicking on their listing in the search results. It is simply a practice where search engines see something and rank a page for it, but what is actually delivered to the user is something different.

Doorway pages from a single website can no longer dominate most of the top search results, and most good search engines only display, at the most, two pages from a single website, but it is still possible to get a site listed more than two times by using doorway pages that are not located on the same domain. Doorway pages can often cause search engines to show irrelevant results to users, and hence using doorway pages is considered an unethical search engine optimization technique.

Most of the present search engines consider doorway pages as spam, as they are not interested in displaying pages which are not genuinely created for relevant content, and hence if found out they penalize these websites, either by delisting them or through other means. Doorway pages were most relevant when search engine rankings were based solely on the basis of page content but after the introduction of things like Page Rank, and link popularity by Google, the relevance of doorway pages for improving rankings has come down significantly.

Why do people do it, and what are its disadvantages?
SEO firms use doorway pages either because they are not competent enough to get good rankings using ethical techniques, or as a time saving SEO technique.

Using doorway pages, might improve a websiteˇ¦s ranking in the short term, but can have severe long term negative impacts on a website, as most search engines consider it as spam, especially when the content of a doorway page is not similar to the content of the actual page in any way. If found out, a search engine may degrade a websiteˇ¦s ranking and in some cases completely blacklist it from its index.

Another issue to be taken into consideration is the ownership of doorway pages, most SEO firms retain the ownership of external domains where doorway pages are located, and hence in case you do decide to opt for this technique it is advisable to sort out the ownership of doorway pages prior to beginning any kind of optimization

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