A doorway page in SEO refers to a web page that is specifically created to rank highly for particular search queries in search engine results. These pages act as an entry point through which visitors are funneled into the main content of a website. While they might initially seem beneficial due to their potential to improve rankings for specific terms, doorway pages are generally considered a disreputable and black-hat SEO technique.
The primary issue with doorway pages is that they often provide little to no value to the user and are primarily designed for search engines, not human beings. Instead of offering unique and valuable content, they typically guide users toward one destination or prompt them to take a specific action.
These pages are often generic and can be considered “bait-and-switch” since they lure users with one set of information or promise and then redirect them to unrelated content.
Several characteristics distinguish doorway pages:
One website might have numerous doorway pages targeting slightly varied keywords. These pages often have duplicated or rephrased content.
Users might need to click to get to the actual content, and the doorway page might exist solely as an intermediary, an unnecessary step.
Some doorway pages automatically redirect users to a different page without any user interaction, using techniques like meta-refresh.
Google and other major search engines consider the use of doorway pages as a violation of their webmaster guidelines. Websites found to be using such tactics risk penalties, which can result in a significant drop in rankings or complete de-indexing from search results. Thus, it’s always advised to prioritize creating high-quality, user-focused content rather than trying to game the system with techniques like doorway pages.