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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

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    Yesterday Google announced an update on doorway pages.
    Sounds like an algo change and penalties could be coming soon.

    This could have an impact on anyone that's been doing heavy multi-location SEO. But hopefully if you've added lots of great unique local content on those city landing pages you'll be fine. I think lots of large chains and franchises may be doing it right, in a way that's meant for users.

    But there are tons of plumbers and other SMB sites that just spam the heck out of their service area pages. Hopefully this update will ding some of the spammy ones that are just trying to rank in other cities - without having an office there OR ones that don't add any value to the city pages.

    An update on doorway pages

    Over time, we've seen sites try to maximize their “search footprint” without adding clear, unique value. These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof. 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.

    Here are questions to ask of pages that could be seen as doorway pages:

    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?

    That's just a couple snippets. Head over to read the rest.

    Then here is the actual "Doorways" page in the guidelines that spells an example related to local:

    "Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page."


    Bryan Heckler shared the Google post above yesterday AM at the Pro Community.

    Here are some related posts on the topic:

    Andrew Shotland made some good points at Local SEO Guide:
    Google's About To Close Your Local Doorway Pages

    Miriam did a good post over at the Moz QA forum:
    How Google's Doorway Pages Update Affects Local SEO

    Search Engine Land: Google To Launch New Doorway Page Penalty Algorithm

    The SEM Post: What SEOs Need to Know About Google's Doorway Pages Search Ranking Adjustment

    WebProNews: Google Just Announced Another New Ranking Adjustment

    And a forum thread here: Last days of Old-Time Local SEO


    What do you guys think?

    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  2. #2
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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Haha... Re the concern about legit city landing pages...

    Someone at Webmaster World just pointed out all Google's "Get Your Business Online" city pages.

    For example:

    Alabama: Get Your Business Online with Google
    Alaska: Get Your Business Online with Google
    Arizona: Get Your Business Online with Google
    Arkansas: Get Your Business Online with Google

    The content is pretty much the same on each page.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Haha Marie Haynes just put it in better perspective in this Twitter pic.

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    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    This could be a crazy spring. We're overdue for a Panda and a Penguin update. We know that the mobile update, which is going to be huge, will launch on April 21. And now this doorway page update is coming at some point soon too.

    I wish Google could give more clear guidelines on what a local business should be doing in order to rank for specific cities or neighborhoods. I think that we probably all agree that it's not the best idea to take the same page and change the keywords slightly so that it ranks for individual cities. But, what should we be doing?

    From Google's perspective I think that it makes sense to have a business rank an a location-appropriate page for each search. For example, if I am in the west end of Toronto and I'm searching for a plumber in Mississauga, I want to see the page of a plumber who services my area and not one in the east of the city. I don't see what's so wrong with having duplicate pages that are optimized for individual neighborhoods.

    But then I guess that there are people who totally overdo it.

    I am guessing that this update will go after some of the tricky cloaking/redirecting doorway page spam and not be so tough on small businesses with location pages, but who knows?

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Haynes View Post
    I wish Google could give more clear guidelines on what a local business should be doing in order to rank for specific cities or neighborhoods. I think that we probably all agree that it's not the best idea to take the same page and change the keywords slightly so that it ranks for individual cities. But, what should we be doing?

    I am guessing that this update will go after some of the tricky cloaking/redirecting doorway page spam and not be so tough on small businesses with location pages, but who knows?
    And re your second point... Sure hope so. Hope we don't lose any babies in the bathwater on this one!

    Re the 1st paragraph I quoted above. This may help some:

    Google Publishes Guidelines for Local Sites & Location Landing Pages

    Everyone should read that before freaking out too much about legit location pages.
    Google actually wants them in the index. (See the 2 Google docs linked inside that post.)
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Thanks Linda. That info on location pages is interesting. I think that there are two issues though. It makes sense that if I have a business that has a branch in several cities that I have a location page for each of those branches. But, what if I am a business that has just one location but services many branches?

    I'm sure this is a question that you get asked all the time. It seems to me as if Google is saying that I can't have a location page for each city/neighborhood if I don't have a branch there.

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Haynes View Post
    I'm sure this is a question that you get asked all the time. It seems to me as if Google is saying that I can't have a location page for each city/neighborhood if I don't have a branch there.
    I have not read those for awhile and am jammed up prepping for tomorrow's multi-location webinar. Can you link to and quote the part you are referring to. I don't remember seeing that specifically addressed.

    NOTE TO ALL: We just added this topic to the agenda for tomorrow's webinar.

    Multi-Location Local Search Optimization Webinar
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    OK, here is Google's page outlining the guidelines for location pages for local businesses:

    https://developers.google.com/webmas...ocation-pages/

    The part that interested me was the following:

    Each location's or branch's information should be readily available on a webpage. This means that each location needs to be accessible on a unique URL. Knowing the correct page for each location allows Google's algorithms to surface the page for the relevant queries.
    So, I take that to mean that if I have a business with multiple branches/offices, then each of these is expected to have its own url. But, where Google is unclear (in my opinion) is what to do when I have just one location, but I service multiple cities or neighborhoods.

    btw...I've just signed up for your webinar tomorrow. Great timing. You should have a full house!

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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Looking at this https://developers.google.com/webmas...ocation-pages/ is anything but clear or defining with the parameters for which a 1 Location Local Business that provides services to neighboring towns should operate within in direct regards to local city pages.

    As usual, it is the typical game of endless tail chase and misinformation with Google and Small Business or anyone for that matter!

    Why exactly are these people allowed to get away with the crap that they do considering all they do is run a dictatorship which is directly responsible for the destabilization of local business economies across America?

  10. #10
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    Re: Google Warns about Doorway Page Algo Update - Could Affect Local

    Thanks Marie! See you at the webinar!

    Welcome Campbell!

    Here are some interesting thoughts from old timer Brett Tabke:

    Doorway Page Algorithm To Be Launched By Google Google SEO News and Discussion forum at WebmasterWorld

    Server issue by Google? I am almost positive they ran that exact same article in 2003 ;-) But seriously, if they haven't been handling this "in line" with the algo for a freakin decade, what are they doing whining about it now for?

    This is such an ancient issue - that it sure makes me wonder what is going on at the Plex. If they haven't been addressing this since it was a real issue in 2002, what have they been doing about doorway and spam landing pages for the last decade?
    I am going to chalk this one up to "Cutts'itis". Since Matt isn't around the QC team any more to tell them what do, they rerun a woof from 2003.

    Like rish3 said, Googles own sites are filled with doorway pages and their partners are filled with doorway pages...

    > it will remove a lot of clutter from the

    horse hockey - haven't run into a nasty "doorway" page in the Serps in 5-8 years.
    Remember a few years ago when they came out carping about "SERPS" in the "SERPS". This is the same stuff all-over-again.

    > Over time, we've seen sites try to maximize their
    > “search footprint” without adding clear, unique value

    Welcome ladies and gentlemen to 1995.

    > To improve the quality of search results for our users, we’ll soon
    > launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages.

    Hello Altavista 1998.

    Someone said Google was so distracted chasing mobile and the "next big thing" that they had left search on auto pilot and only check in once a year to see if the servers are still running. ... this blog post is evidence of that idea.

    Best advice to webmasters - don't change a single byte based on this blog post by Google.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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