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Doorway Pages: The Ancient Art Of Search Engine Positioning

By Cal Gulla
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004

To spam or not to spam ? that is the question. Since the dawn of the SEO community spam and spam tactics, including doorway pages, have been used and often abused by those hoping to attain higher ranking on the search engines. The problem with these tactics is that they are often short-lived as the search engines work hard to keep up and eventually penalize sites using these tactics. So what can a Webmaster do to attain top positioning?

In this article we will focus on the use of doorway pages in this, part one of three articles covering commonly used spam tactics and the more ?legitimate? (we?ll call anything that the search engines haven?t spoken out against ?legitimate?) methods for attaining these top positions.

What will be covered in this article?

- Doorway pages and why they are penalized
- What can you do to provide the same effect for your website without the risk

Doorway Pages And Why They Are Penalized

By definition doorway pages are pages of with keyword heavy content, not meant to be seen by the visitor but which are designed to attain high rankings on search engines. There is generally a forward or redirect on this page which will take the searcher to a ?pitch page? or index page.

Because these pages serve no useful function other than attaining high rankings, the search engines have attempted time and time again to penalize sites using them.

As ?intelligent? as many search engine algorithms are, webmasters and ?black arts? SEO?s are constantly in a battle with them to workaround the detection of redirect technology. In the end however, virtually every technology will be found out. When you?re site hits the top 10 and your competitors notice the redirect they are likely to report you and then Google will take a look at how you?ve done it and add detection for that tactic. Basically, using redirect technology may work for a while however it will get found out eventually so it should only be used if you are using a dummy domain that you want to discard, or if you just don?t care if your site gets blacklisted.

What can you do to provide the same effect for your website without the risk?

Until recently there was only one commonly used tactic that would provide the same effect for your website without the use of a redirect and that was hidden text. The problem with hidden text now is that ? once again ? the search engines have built into their algorithms the ability to detect it. This is relatively simple; if the background is the same color as the text then it is considered hidden (a fairly obvious detection strategy right?).

And again, webmasters have come up with a workaround for this one. And it is ?

Going to have to wait until the next article where I will be covering hidden text tactics.

There has now emerged a second method of providing the benefits of doorway pages without the delectability and that is through the use of server-side technology. Recently a company called SEO Doctor has developed a server-based application that, through the use of tags injected into your html, will supply content that you input through a browser interface, and feed that content only to search engines. When a genuine visitor is on your site it is detected, the server strips the tags out of the code, and the additional content is omitted. When a spider comes the content is injected.

The greatest single advantage of this is that it enables webmasters to write their content how it best reads and then inject content for the search engines that will attain high rankings while maintaining readability for the visitor by leaving out that content when a live person is there. Another plus to this technology is that it is set to detect specifically which engine is visiting your site and it allows the webmaster to write content specifically for each of the major engines. They don?t follow the same guidelines and now you don?t have to either.


The use of doorway pages is now an obsolete idea. Some SEO?s will continue to present doorway pages as a benefit to you but you will either end up with a site with high ranking pages and horrible content, or with redirects that will eventually be detected and get your site blacklisted.

If you have an image-based site or need to increase your keyword counts without affecting the basic look and feel of your site, you have the choice of either trying to attain top search engine positioning through traditional means (standard optimization, tons of link building, and content creation) or through the use of a tool like SEO Doctor.

About the Author
Cal Gulla is the Marketing Manager for the SEO Doctor Search Engine Positioning Tool. With over 5 year of experience in the Search Engine Positioning business he has seen the ins and out of all the gray and black-hat tactics. Which win, which lose, and which will get you banned. For more information email or visit their website at (


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