Doorway Pages

Or, Gateway & Portal Pages


What is a doorway page?

A doorway page is any web page designed to rank high on a search engine for a particular keyword or phrase.   Since each search engine has different criteria for their top pages, many web marketers design a different page for each keyword on each major search engine.  Our aim, as web marketers/promoters is to ensure that our site can be found on the first page or two of any search using relevant keywords.  Suppose that we had an excellent site concerned with making furniture.  We could tailor our home page in such a way that the search engines would put our site near the top of any search on 'making furniture'.  However, our searcher might enter 'building furniture' or 'crafting furniture', and would not find our page. To complicate matters further, each search engine prefers our page to have different elements.  It is impossible to tailor a single page with the correct elements for every possible keyword on every search engine, and still put us near the top of its search.  Any attempt to do this would simply dilute the content of the page to such an extent that we would probably not rank well on ANY keyword.  A doorway page allows us to tailor a page so that it ranks well for a particular keyword.

Old vs. New Doorway Concepts

In the early days of search engines, the consistency of search engine algorithms made it easy to clone successful doorway pages for every keyword of interest. These pages were more or less copies of each other, but substituted the keywords. These are often referred to as "cookie cutter" doorway pages due to their similarity to each other. Search engines got wise to this technique, though, and punished sites with identifiable doorway pages.

Today, the concept of creating individual pages for specific keywords is still a good one, although it is likely to take the form of writing original copy and then tweaking it to rank better.

Do I need to create doorway pages?

Each search engine has its own algorithm for ranking web pages.  These algorithms are never published, else everyone would build their pages to exactly match the search engine's formula !!  Many of the companies selling web promotion software do huge amounts of research to try to determine how a particular Search Engine ranks its pages.  Software such as WebPosition Gold from FirstPlace Software has a function that will help you tailor a page to what they believe is an ideal format for that particular search engine. Thus we end up with pages tailored to each search engine for each of our keywords.

The more competitive your keywords, the more likely it is that you will need to create some special pages for individual keywords and/or engines.

It all sounds like a lot of work, is it worth it?

It is a lot of work, there's no argument there. But it's essential if you are to obtain consistently high rankings on your key words.  Believe me, those top ranking sites didn't get there by chance, somebody toiled long and hard to get to the top of those lists. What does a doorway page look like ?
A doorway page can be any page on your site. There is nothing really special about doorway pages, except they are specifically designed to have the right number of words and keywords, and in the proper places, to rank well on the search engines.

Do I create additional pages to cover all my keywords on all of the major engines?

Many marketers do make special pages for all related keywords for each major search engine.  However be careful not to create too many of them or you risk becoming a spammer.  No, not one who eats luncheon meat. Spamming is considered to be "any method, technique, or strategy that, when applied, causes the index to produce irrelevant or redundant search results for the end user."  

Can I use auto re-directs on my doorway pages?  Will I get Banned?

It is possible to create a dooway page and then redirect the visitor to a different, friendlier page on your site. There is risk associated with this. Due to abuse by some, search engines may identify META REFRESH and even Javascript redirects and penalize the pages or sites using them. Any redirection should be done with caution and with the understanding that a penalty could result.

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