Google Places Padlock on Search Results with New Doorway Algorithm Update

by | Apr 9, 2015

As the rest of the SEO community continues to chat about Google’s forthcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update, we’d like to send out a friendly reminder that there’s more than one change on the horizon this April.

Last month, the Google Webspam Team’s Brian White quietly released a statement regarding a new update that will hammer the final nails into doorway pages, effectively ending a process that has long plagued the search engine’s user experience goals.

According to that statement, the update is yet another attempt to remove results that yield little to no value and exist solely to expand the search footprint of the indexed website(s). “These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof,” writes White. “To improve the quality of search results for our users, we’ll soon launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages. Sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.”

The last sentence in this statement possibly indicates a massive overhaul in how Google’s algorithm treats doorway pages. Although the company has long-advised against funneling users through doorways, a significant number of sites still engage in the practice with success. The fact that White specifically mentions “well-established” campaigns may suggest a less forgiving future.

How Can Apartment Marketers Avoid Doorway Penalties?

Avoiding penalties from this new update is as simple as following Google’s guidelines. If your current apartment marketing strategy doesn’t revolve around providing quality content that’s useful for your potential lessees, your campaign is in the search engine’s crosshairs. Provided below are a few actions you can take to prevent a penalty.

  1. Evaluate why the ranking page exists. Does the page promise real value, or is it simply a portal that transports users to more relevant pages deeper within the site?
  2. Build more bridges. Google frowns upon pages that it considers “islands.” If users can’t navigate to the original page without hitting their browser’s back button, you’re in stormy waters.
  3. Remove duplicate content. Don’t create copies of aggregate items that already exist on the site somewhere else for the sole purpose of driving more traffic to the lander.

You can find more advice on avoiding doorway penalties in the Google Webmaster Tools Help Forum.

Not sure if your apartment marketing strategy uses doorway pages? Contact us to find out how our services can help!

Photo Credit: | CC0 License