An Ethical Alternative to Doorway Pages
Definition: A doorway page is content created specifically for the purpose of garnering high placements in the search engines.
Issue: Google makes the following specific recommendation: Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content (http://www.google.com/intl/az/webmasters/guidelines.html).
This article addresses the issue of doorway pages, proposes an acceptable alternative and offers some insights into the basic principles of search engine optimization.
To frame the issue of doorway pages it is important to understand why content is so critical to search engine optimization. In order to do this we need to step back and take a look at the search engines themselves:
? Google, Yahoo, MSN, and all other search engines want to provide the same thing: A prioritized list of links that point to most relevant web sites satisfying the users search criteria.
? Relevance is defined as the "best content" with the "best fit" to the user's search. That's a search engine's value ? providing efficient access to the information a user wants when they want it.
? The search engine that does the best job of delivering the largest quantity of the most relevant results attracts the most users.
? Obviously speed, ease-of-use and "marketing" impact popularity but in the end the quality of the results counts most.
The best way for you to get long-term results is by "partnering" with the search engines. Partnering means recognizing and supporting the value-proposition that the search engines provide to their end-users:
? Provide lots of highly relevant content
? Follow accepted (i.e. ethical) search engine optimization principles
Is there an alternative? Sure, like many situations there are always short cuts and quick fixes that purport to let you "game the system." Instead of partnering with the search providers you compete with them. By "compete" I mean all the effort (and dollars) expended to chase their constantly evolving algorithms and artificially increase your site's rankings. These techniques may get you short-term results but many are considered the equivalent of "spamming" and could get your site de-listed. From a search engine providers point of view, anything that gets better results for sites with inferior content (and fit) is compromising their product and is temporary until they tune their algorithm so that it correctly ranks your site (down).
One of these shortcuts is the use of "doorway pages." The rest of this article discusses the use of doorway pages and recommends an alternative approach.
What is a doorway page?
Doorway pages are pages of content that have been specifically designed to achieve high rankings in the search engines. They are often used by websites that don't have an abundance of content within the main pages of their site due to technology issues or design conflicts. They can be an effective tool for garnering short-term placement in search engine rankings when used appropriately, but doorway pages have been abused by websites for many years, to the point that they are frowned upon by search engines who now attempt to exclude them from their result pages.
What does a "Doorway Page" look like?
A doorway page appears as if it was built specifically to attain high search engine placement, and offers little value to searchers. It often has the following characteristics: o A lot of poorly written content, with an abundance of hyperlinked phrases in the body text
o Copy that is stuffed with lists of keywords
o Zero (0) in-bound links from other parts of the website Example: you build a doorway page named "targeted-keyword.html," but do not link to this page from any other part of your website. Google assumes no in-bound links exist because this page is of little value, and you want to hide it from regular visitors to its site.
o A "redirection" that automatically loads a new page once the doorway pages is accessed
Bottom line: A doorway page stands alone from your website, and offers little value to searchers
If any of those characteristics exist on the page, and if a number of these pages are created within a single website, Google is likely to discount their value, or worse, ban the site.
If doorway pages are inappropriate then what is a better alternative?
The "essay page"
An essay page, on the other hand, is integrated into the main website (although not into the navigation structure). It offers real value to the searcher because the content is relevant and well-written. It often has the following characteristics:
o Clean HTML coding with an HTML design similar to that of other pages of the website
o A lot of content, with several hyperlinked phrases in the body text
o Several in-bound links from other parts of the website
Example: On the solutions page, you hyperlink the phrase "targeted keyword," to the targeted-keyword.html essay page.
o Quality content that offers real value to the searcher
Bottom line: An essay page is a natural extension of your website. For all intents and purposes, it is integrated content more than it is a doorway page, because it expands on a certain subject.
Will you benefit from using essay pages?
Essay pages used effectively can be good solutions when a site's navigation does not support the addition of content, or if it would be difficult to develop valuable content to include within the main navigation. If this is not the case I recommend that you add additional pages of content (which will provide more benefits than essay pages), while enhancing the user experience.
Summary and Recommendation
The creation and proper integration of additional content is critical to the ability to achieve consistent top 10 rankings on the most targeted keywords. Essay pages can be valuable when a website cannot be easily scaled to include more content through the main navigation structure. However, the first priority should be increasing content as much as possible before resorting to essay pages.
Over time, your more sophisticated competitors will compete for placement by incorporating significant content, and by implementing important search engine optimization features, not by using essay (or doorway) pages.
If you've adopted an aggressive "doorway page" strategy, it's possible (and maybe likely) that a competitor would report it to Google. If Google determines that you have violated their "rules," you could be "de-listed".
As a result of the risk that doorway pages pose and the benefits integrating additional relevant content provides, I strongly recommend the approach of reevaluating your navigation structure, and adding additional pages of relevant content if possible. From a search engine ranking point of view ? content is not king, but relevant content sure is.
Scott Smigler has been an evangelist for a serious, ROI-based focus on the online channel since he founded Exclusive Concepts in 1997. Exclusive Concepts provides integrated online marketing strategies, Internet brand consulting, search engine marketing campaigns and results-oriented web sites for hundreds of clients that range in size from small ecommerce firms to public companies.
Visit Scott's website: http://www.exclusiveconcepts.com
What Is Waiting for Us? Tomorrows SEO Industry
Today, SEO is swiftly approaching saturation point. More and more webmasters realise the necessity of learning SEO basics, and as they do so, SEO professionals are facing difficulties finding new clients. With all the niche sites optimised, it will be harder to compete for good key phrases. Link building opportunities will be easily found and utilised by everyone, keyword density will reach its optimum value, meaning that the SERPs will consist of equally good and equally relevant sites - at least from the traditional SEO point of view.
Search Bots, Crawlers, and Spiders
If you are a webmaster and you review your logs, often you will see a bunch of really strange hits. They aren't humans, you can't tell their operating system or their browser! Who are these pesky little creatures who rummage around the internet all the time?
Search Engine Saturation Tool ? A Must Have SEO Tool
Search Engines have become the soul of the Internet. They provide a means of aggregating, correlating, indexing and categorizing the vast amounts of content in the wild world of Internet. They have gotten complex over the years with better algorithms to serve the folks who want to find something, really find something. They have become extremely adept at finding out duplicates and hidden texts, detecting and punishing the search engine spammers. Every webmaster should take utmost care on what gets to be listed in the search engine. Things that were employed earlier to spam the search engine to get high ranking will come back to haunt you if you don't do the garbage disposal. In this article we will employ one tool that makes the SEO or webmaster's task much simpler. this article provides you with some SEO tips on how to use the saturation tool.
Being dumped by Google? Learn how to avoid becoming a victim next time around!
After Google latest update nicknamed "Florida", many webmasters discovered that their traffic plummeted.
The Search Engine Optimization Secret that Everybody Ignores
Search engine optimization is a very critical task in the success of any website.
Designing a Website So the Search Engines Will Like You
Before you go and spend big money on a professional website designer, or start designing yourself, read through this article and make sure that you or your designer knows how to design a website that the search engines will like.
Soliciting Search Engines
As your guide operator through the web, search engines are invaluable when used effectively.
Search Engine Musical Chairs
News broke this week that Yahoo has purchased the Inktomi search engine for around US$235 million. This is an interesting development in the search engine industry that may impact greatly on exactly where sites get their traffic from. Another new development in the past few weeks is the change to the HotBot service but first, I'd like to look at the ramifications of the Yahoo/Inktomi deal.
Pay-per-click ? the Ultimate Tool to Boost Affiliate Sales
The old ways are not always the best ways.
Link Popularity --- Its Role and Importance In Getting Top Search Engine Rankings
Future of SEO - Making Money Online from Your Home and Building Homes from Making Money Online
Everyone seems to want the benefits from working at home: more time, more money, and theoretically less work. But the later of the previous list seems to be the problem. No one wants to do work! When it comes to getting your site highly ranked on Google, Yahoo, MSN, or other search engines the only way to do it fast and effectively is to put a little time and effort into your cause. Links are the way to do this, and the theory is not complicated; the more links that you have to your site with keywords relating to your site, the better your ranking.
Google Ranking WITHOUT Ever Submitting To Google!
A while back, I read an article that explained how to get a good google rating without ever submitting your site to their submission forms. Like you, I was kind of shocked by this statement so I decided to give it a try.
Using Meta Tags Wisely to Attract Search Engines and Visitors
There are certain tricks and techniques in SEO industry, which can fetch you real quick and top ranking in short run and get banned for ever, which I am discussing in this article. Before optimizing any site, always follow code of ethics and never spam.
Google PageRank Explained
PageRank - an exclusive technology developed by Google which can have a major impact on the success of your website. This article will attempt to explain the concept of PageRank and how your ranking can be improved without spending any money at all.How is PageRank beneficial?Google refers to the technology as a way of evaluating the usefulness, importance, and quality of a website. The PR of a webpage can mean different things for different people.For a webmaster, a high PR is a sign of accomplishment. It shows that your website is moving in the right direction and has the potential to become successful. PageRank also directly effects your Google search engine listings. Acquiring a higher PR than your competition could mean more traffic for you, and less traffic for your competitors.Visitors to your website probably won't care about the page's rank (most surfers have no idea what PageRank is). However, visitors who understand PageRank may use your PR as a sign of how credible your content is. Would you rather use the information from a website with 0 PR or a website with 5 PR and hundreds of other websites linking to it?How is PageRank determined?PageRank is basically determined by backlinks. A backlink is when another page links to your page. For every page that links to you, that page is "voting" for you. The more votes you get, the better your PageRank will be. However, it gets more complicated than that because some votes weigh more heavily than others. The weight of the vote is determined by the PageRank of the page linking to you. This means that a couple links from pages with high PR could be more beneficial than hundreds of links from pages with low PR. But it gets even more complicated - each page can only transfer so much PageRank. The set amount of PR that the page can transfer must be split up between each "vote" that the page gives out. This means that a PR 7 page could actually give out as much weight per vote as a PR 3 page if it had too many outgoing links.How can I improve my PageRank?There are many different methods to obtain quality backlinks to your website. You will find that some methods work better than others depending on the subject and popularity of your site.DirectoriesSubmitting your website to directories is one of the best ways to increase your PageRank and even get some traffic at the same time. But submitting your site to just a few directories won't be good enough. You need to sit down and spend the necessary time to submit your site to a large amount of directories. This may seem like a painstakingly long process, but you'll be glad you did it when you notice results. I have taken the time to make a large list of free directories with high PageRank which you visit here. Although directories with low PR may seem like a waste of time, you should submit your site to them too because it still helps and they could eventually become a high PR site which charges money to submit to.Link ExchangesA very common practice to improve your PageRank is a link exchange. This is simply where two people link to the other person's website. It's best that you only link exchange with someone who has at least as much PR as you and the subject of the two websites are similar. If you receive a link from a website with a subject which has nothing to do with yours, you'll find that very little if any PR will actually be transferred to you.Forum SignaturesIf you are an active user on a forum or message board, it would be wise to put a link to your website in your signature. This could help improve your PageRank if the forum has a high PR, it could help improve your traffic from the forum members seeing your signature, and your site could get spidered more often because it is linking to a forum (forums generally have a lot of new content every day and search engines love new content).Buy AdvertisingAlthough it isn't the best of choices, many webmasters will buy text link ads on websites with high PR. Although this can be effective, it can be very expensive and only a temporary thing. If you purchase text links for just a couple months, after the months are over you won't have the backlinks which were giving you the "votes" you needed to keep your PageRank. So you have now spent a large amount of money on text links, but in the end you're right back where you started.ArticlesThis is a method which not many people know about. Basically, you write articles about the subjects you know a lot about. You then let other people use these articles as long as they provide a link back to your site. If you wrote a quality article, you'll find many websites will want to use it, thus giving you plenty of backlinks. This method can work well with anything which you develope and give away for free such as scripts, web design, etc.Stay On Google's Good SideThe most important thing to remember when trying to increase your PageRank is to not cheat and to always follow the rules. The people which run Google aren't fools and they have many ways of catching cheaters. Don't even think about using any of the "link farms" or trying to hide keywords on your pages. If caught, you may not get unbanned for many months.Make A Quality WebsiteIf you have a quality website which your visitors enjoy going to, then you will receive backlinks without having to do anything. Websites will link to you with the intention of informing people of a helpful resource, or showing off a cool new website they found, or any other reason other than trying to increase your PageRank. If you build it, backlinks will come...
Webmaster-Friendly Google Operators
There are a lot of operators (commands you can enter in the Google search box to return specific results) you can plug into Google in order to find what you want. For webmasters and website owners, however, a few particular operators can be especially useful. Operators can be used to locate potential link partners, evaluate current inbound links, and determine what pages of your website still need to be added to the index. Here are the operators we think you should know:
Get Traffic You Need - Make Your Links Work
So you have built a nice web site with good solid content and now want to start selling your products or services.
Whats the Big Hurry?
Quite often I get asked what the magic solution is for getting better Google ranking. Sometimes the questions sound fairly naive, something like this:
Search Engine Optimization: Get the Low-down
Been hearing the words Search Engine Optimization lately? I know I have. But what is it, you wonder? Well, that's what I'm here to talk to you about.
New Free Online Tool for Keyword Research
I came across a new website the other day and was quite pleasantly surprised.
Search Engine Optimization, Positioning: Is Chasing Google Algorithms Worth It?
Google is the undisputed heavyweight champion of search engines. Most SEO (search engine optimization) companies pitch their tent around Google. Apart from being the king of search engines, unlike Yahoo and MSN, Google does not serve sponsored results on top of its search results, drawing away considerable attention/traffic away from the search results. Hence ranking high with Google is worth all the trouble it takes to get there. Little wonder then, that most SEO revolves round Google. When Google sneezes, the SEO world catches cold. When Google tweaks its search algorithms, SEO experts scamper back to the trenches to gaze at their crystal ball, to figure out what Google is up to.