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Competitive Edge

What are doorway pages?

Quite simply, doorway pages are pages that have been optimised to rank highly on the search engines for one or two particular keywords. Nowadays, you often hear people saying that it is a very bad idea to create doorway pages – even though there is nothing wrong with the basic technique. At SoftwarePromotions, we steer clear of the illegitimate, software-generated doorway pages that have been the source of so much confusion. Instead, we create doorway pages that are perfectly acceptable to people and search engines alike – legitimate, readable, content-filled doorway pages.

But doorway pages can get you punished – can’t they?

The type of doorway page that is designed to trick the search engines into giving your website a high ranking is certainly a bad idea, and could definitely land you in trouble. In the past, doorway pages were abused by many website owners who let software create hundreds of nonsensical, keyword-packed pages simply to trick the search engines into believing that their site was more relevant than it actually was. The search engines soon got fed up with the huge amount of doorway pages that were filling their databases, and started removing them and sometimes banning the sites that used them.

So what is a good doorway page?

At SoftwarePromotions, we believe that doorway pages should be more or less indistinguishable from the rest of your website. Use the same look and the same navigation, and pay as much attention to the content as you would on a normal page. We feel that a doorway page is an excellent opportunity to focus on one particular aspect of a product or a service – a chance to explain something in detail.

How can you benefit from doorway pages?

Doorway pages can be ideal for addressing particular aspects of software. For example, if the application in question is a network messaging tool, there might be a page detailing the security risks of using a web-based messaging tool versus a network messaging solution. Another page might address the benefits of using internal messaging over email. A third might compare the product in question with ICQ, Messenger and so on. In general, we create a very small number of these pages, each covering a very distinct and separate topic, and each built around two or three very specific keywords.
We must stress that these doorway pages are not designed to trick the search engines. They are perfectly legitimate content pages that can and should be linked to from within the rest of the site. Upon finding one of these doorway pages, the visitor will be unaware that the page is any different from the rest of the site. The risk of being penalised by the search engines for using one of these pages is zero, as they are perfectly standard and do not use any specialised techniques to trick the search engine spiders.

Could you point me towards a good example of doorway pages?

The page you’ve just read! If you look closely, you’ll see that this page has been optimised for the phrase “doorway pages” – but you were still able to read it, understand it, and get something out of it. It should appeal to the search engines, and there is no reason why they should ever consider banning it. This is the type of doorway page that works – and assuming you follow our guidelines, there’s really no need to worry about being penalised!

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