Google is constantly tinkering with their algorithm. They update it over 500 times per year on average. Many of their updates are pretty minor. However over the course of the past few weeks, Google has two very important algorithm updates that you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for.
Death Of Doorway Pages
Google has recently announced that they are cracking down on the ranking of doorway pages. What is a doorway page? Google defines them as
“Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.”
The struggle here is to understand how a doorway page differs from a landing pages, and there is a fine line as many characteristics of a doorway page are SEO tactics we’ve been taught to use over the years. I struggle with the difference myself. Are you curious if you’re using a doorway page? If a page meets the following characteristics, it could very well be a doorway page.
- The page is hard to navigate to from other portions of your site.
- The content of the page is virtually similar to other pages on your site aside from focusing on a different keyword (i.e. same content, just different city names).
- The page/site was designed specifically for ranking in search engines.
- The page is an intermediary page, one designed to direct your visitors to the final destination.
You’ll want to decide what your traffic generation strategy will be moving forward if you’re using doorway pages to drive traffic to your site. If history has shown us anything though, Google will send out a warning before they start dropping sites in rankings. While the death of doorway pages appears in this case to be more of a warning shot, it would not be surprising to see Google begin to drop the rankings of the pages that these doorway pages are to.
Is it worth the risk to keep your doorway pages live?
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly!
The other major Google algorithm update is less ambiguous than their doorway update, but just as important. Starting on April 21st, Google will be increase the mobile-friendliness of a site as a ranking signal. This will have a “significant impact” on search results. The importance of mobile traffic cannot be understated. Mobile traffic accounts for over half of all eCommerce traffic.
Learn more about Google’s mobile ranking criteria.