This update was announced on March 16th 2015 although
its accurate launch date was never stated.
The update's purpose is to penalize websites that contain a
large amount of doorway pages. Obvious examples being websites that are attempting to rank
for a large amount of local expressions ("plumbers in Edinburgh",
"plumbers in Glasgow" etc., a large amount of pages like these on the
Google provided several guiding questions to help determine whether
your site could be affected by the update:
- Is the purpose to optimize for search engines and funnel visitors into
the actual usable or relevant portion of your site, or are they an integral
part of your site’s user experience?
- Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content
presented on the page is very specific?
- Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations,
products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing
more search traffic?
- Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users
along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
- Do these pages exist as an “island?” Are they difficult or impossible to
navigate to from other parts of your site? Are links to such pages from other
pages within the site or network of sites created just for search engines?
update particularly impacts local activity based websites that don’t have any branches
that correlate with the various advertised locations, and use doorway pages to
attract relevant traffic from search engines.
How can we deal with this update as website owners?
First off, let us define the problem for a person who used doorway
pages: (The following does not apply to spammers, but legitimate
businesses that used doorway pages).
- Our service is mundane and we
have no real content to publish.
- We have a single physical
branch (but we’re capable of providing services to other locations).
We don’t have much to say about every area we
provide service to (except that we provide service to that area).
How do we do it properly? With genuine, unique content that
matches the phrases we wish to promote. Here are a few ideas:
Work we performed in that location
The business and the city
- Costumer testimonials.
- A simple case study of a job
we did in that city.
- Photographs of work we did
in that city.
- Write about what we liked about
working in that city.
- Write about our employees
that come from that city.
- In cases where this applies
– write about a certain law or laws affecting our work in a certain location.
- For service providers that
are affected by the weather – a widget indicating the current weather for that area.
- A promotional coupon code for
people in that area.
are plenty more ideas. This update can easily be handled with some creative
thinking about relevant content.