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The Naked Truth about Doorway Pages

By Michael Buck
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ever wonder why the use of "doorway pages" in search engine optimization is getting such a bad rap?

One day, you hear they’re the best way to get ranked in the search engines. But the next day, you read that they'll get you banned! Is this criticism valid?

Let's raise the curtain, and expose the truth about doorway pages, and how they can affect your search engine rankings.

The truth is that doorway pages, themselves, are not the problem.

The *development and use* of doorway pages are what make the difference between a site that gets black-balled from the engines and one that’s listed at the top of the search results.

Getting your pages accepted by the engines is as simple as making informed decisions... and using means acceptable by the search engines’ current preferences.

Here are some simple guidelines you can use to stay on track with your doorway pages.

1) Content is King

The search engines are becoming more sophisticated in their ways of selecting who gets the top spots. And now, more than ever, they look closely at the content or body text of your web pages.

For instance, they use text filters to detect duplicate text, code or META tags. If you steal someone’s content, the search engines can block YOUR web page and possibly your entire website. This is done to filter out the repetitive material (and other garbage) from the search results.

Probably the most effective doorway pages are those containing brief articles, or other informative info, relevant to the topic and keyword(s). Articles should be approximately 300-600 words in length and focus on no more than a few related keywords. Attempting to focus one page on too many keywords will dilute your efforts and diminish results.

(This article is a great example of content that could be used to get ranked on the term “doorway pages.” It contains 629 words, and the phrase “doorway pages” is used 11 times.)

2) Proper Keyword Use

Search engines have detailed formulas for ranking pages, based on your use of keywords on the page. They consider things like “keyword weight” (the prominence of the keyword, based on the total number of words used) and “keywords frequency” (how often a keyword is repeated).

Here are some tips for proper keyword use.

Use your keyword(s) in:

o- the URL of the page
o- the beginning and end of your body text o- bold headings (size 14 or 16 font) o- in hyperlinks to other pages o- in the alt tags and names of your graphic images

But this checklist gives you the fundamentals. You may need to get more heavily involved, if your trying to claim top positioning on the most popular keywords.

3) Accurately-Timed Submissions

Again, search engines have different regulations on what you can and cannot do. You don't want to submit too often, but… frequently enough to maximize results. Once or twice a month should be sufficient for most engines.

As long as you strategically deliver valuable content, and promote within acceptable means, doorway pages (or whatever you want to call them) are still the leader in helping you achieve top search engine placement.

Of course, knowing how each of the major engines operate is an important part of speeding up results. And there are many more advantageous details than I can share in this article. Achieving search engine prominence (and dominance) can be an exhaustive effort. To do it yourself is only recommended for technically-driven people -- or those with some spare time to work the process.

So whether you hire a team of professionals or you do it yourself, be sure that your doorway pages are produced according to the latest “unwritten” rules of search engine placement.

About the Author
Michael Buck is Chief Operating Officer of ( specializing in getting top-20 search engine rankings for your website. Backed by a rock-solid guarantee, you'll get dynamic positioning to propel your traffic to new heights. Visit the site for a fact-filled mission on the latest search engine know-how and a free report: “Ethical Search Engine Secrets.” Or give us a call at (509) 328-5858. Copyright 2001 - reprint permission required.


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