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THE CURRENT VERSION IS SEY 2003

 


Doorway Pages: 2003
by André le Roux
Dec. 2002

NOTE: For an updated discussion of doorway pages, please refer to the current version of the Search Engine Yearbook.

Doorway Pages (From SEY 2003)
(Also known as landing pages, entry pages and bridge pages)

Doorway pages are keyword focused pages that link to your main web site. Doorway pages are designed to score well on search engines, and then act as a bridge between traffic from the engines and your main site / order page. Doorway pages still work, but search engines have, over the last year or two, changed their attitude towards doorway pages and are devising means of weeding out doorway pages from their indexes.

Why Are Doorway Pages Penalized?

Because dishonest webmasters create basic, template doorway pages and fill them with keyword gibberish, redirecting visitors from them to the main site. Even worse, you can now buy software that automatically churns out doorway pages.
This technique used to work, but search engines (and notably Google) have stated that they’re aware of the problem and that they will penalize sites that use automatically generated doorway pages.

The solution?

Create doorway pages that search engines love. Here’s how...
These two techniques have worked well for me. Both require some effort, but the rewards
are long-term.

Search Engine Friendly Doorway Pages: Technique 1

Write an article for each keyword.

The doorway page does not have to be very long – about 200 words work well.
The thing is to make those 200 words count in 2 ways:

1. You HAVE to deliver unique value. It’s not that hard. Share some knowledge on your doorway pages. No-one expects you to reveal trade secrets for free, but if you don’t give your visitor something on page one, she’s gone. She’ll arrive at your site with her trigger finger on the back button. You have to convince her to stay.

2. Those 200 words have to be keyword rich to impress the search engines. Be careful though. There is such a thing as “keyword stuffing”. Excessive use of keywords will get your doorway pages penalized. Besides, you don’t want your visitor to read. “Welcome to Acme Lawnmowers, the lawnmower shop. We sell lawnmowers and also lawnmowers.” If it doesn't sound right, it isn’t.

Next, create links between your articles (doorway pages), so that your collection of doorway pages becomes like an article archive. No search engine will ever exclude valuable, on-topic content. The downside to this is that you no longer have just one path from your doorway pages to your order page. Web surfers get distracted easily, so make sure the button that leads to the main site / order page is more prominent than the links to your other doorway pages.

Search Engine Friendly Doorway Pages: Technique 2

Optimize your product pages themselves. This one works well for me because I have a small number of products, so I can create and optimize product pages by hand. Again, don’t overdo it. Compare these two sales pitches for a tiffany lamp:

A: “Tiffany Lamp: Tiffany-style lamps. Buy this Venetian Tiffany Lamp from “Tiffany-Lamps-R-Us”. This tiffany lamp…”

B: “Tiffany Lamp #123: The Venetian Tiffany Lamp. This unique tiffany lamp will transform any room…”

A is clearly overdoing it. B is also pushing it, but notice how much easier it reads.

By the way, if you arrived on this page looking for tiffany lamps, sorry. I meant to illustrate a point, not to actually optimize for that phrase. Try the tiffany lamps at www.electroniclight.com.

Back to doorway pages...

Getting doorway pages right is critical. Here’s a book that has, in my opinion, the most eye-opening and comprehensive discussion on doorway pages. Ken Evoy’s "Make Your Site Sell 2002" is probably the most complete guide to getting
doorway pages right.

He calls them “Keyword Focused Content Pages” (KFCP). Yes, really. He’s Canadian you see :-)

It’s the same thing though – and Ken definitely knows his stuff. By the way, this book covers Keyword Focused Content Pages and everything else a Netrepreneur could possibly want to know. If you haven't read it, you should. No other complete guide to e -commerce comes close. It sells for about $30 if I remember correctly. http://myss.sitesell.com/book6.html

NOTE: Pandecta is an affiliate for SiteSell.com. If you buy "Make Your Site Sell", we get a cut for referring you. I do however really believe in this book. It gave me a massive head-start. I signed up as an affiliate because this is a product I feel comfortable promoting. Try it for yourself.


Doorway Pages: 2002
by André le Roux
Dec. 2001

Doorway Pages (From SEY 2002)
(Also known as landing pages, entry pages and bridge pages)

Doorway pages are keyword focused pages that link to your main web site. Doorway pages are designed to score well on search engines, and then act as a doorway / bridge between traffic from the engines and your main site.

Doorway pages still work, but search engines are threatening to start weeding them out.

Why?

Because webmasters create basic, template doorway pages and fill them with keyword gibberish, redirecting visitors from them to the main site. This technique used to work, but search engines (and notably Google) have stated that they're aware of the problem and that they will penalize sites that use doorway pages.

How will they know?

They detect duplicate pages and penalize pages that only link out - with no incoming links.

The solution?

Create doorway pages that offer real content.

Ex.: Write an article for each keyword. Create links between your articles, so that your dooway pages become like an article archive. It's unlikely that any engine will ever exclude valuable, on-topic content. This page and most of the pages on this site are doorway pages in a kind of article archive. This page is optimized for the term "doorway pages" - and at the same time it delivers real, usable information on doorway pages.

The downside is that you no longer have just one path from your doorway pages to your order page. Web surfers get distracted easily, so make sure the button that leads to the main site / order page is more prominent than the links to your other doorway pages.

Getting doorway pages right is critical. Here's a book that has, in my opinion, the most eye-opening discussion on doorway pages. Ken Evoy's "Make Your Site Sell 2002" is probably the most complete guide to getting doorway pages right.

He calls them "Keyword Focused Content Pages" (KFCP).

By the way, this book covers Keyword Focused Content Pages and everything else a Netrepreneur could possibly want to know. If you haven't read it, you should. No other e-commerce book comes close. Here is the URL: http://www.sitesell.com/book6.html

Search Engine Book: Search Engine Year BookThis page is based on information contained in the Search Engine Yearbook 2003. For more detailed search engine information & help, please refer to the current version of the book.

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