What is a doorway page/cloaking?

Posted by Anant Patel

December 16, 2011

SEO 27 min read

Sometimes webmasters use to say to submit “bridge” pages or “doorway” pages to search engines for the purpose to improve traffic on their sites. Doorway pages are created to improve a site performance for particular keywords. They are also known as portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages, entry pages, and by other names as well.

It is very easy to identify doorway pages as they are only designed for search engines, Yes doorway pages are developed only for search engines not for human beings. Here I am going to explain you how to make these pages and some of the problems we usually face while creating Doorway pages or attempting cloaking

Note: Cloaking and Doorway are two part of same coin. And these are black hat techniques which are consider as a spam by all the search engines. Using such techniques can risk your site. So as part of the genuine link building company I would recommend you not to use such techniques in your marketing campaign.

I am are writing on this subject is just because some form of the techniques are proven as ethical white hat techniques now days.

What is Doorway page?

If a user clicks on the search results some times they will redirect to another pages with some irrelevant information this kind of events are happen due to doorway pages. In most cases user may redirected by a fast meta refresh command to another page well other kind of redirections are also used such as Javascript and server side redirection, .htaccess file, server configuration file. Doorway pages are also created as a dynamic pages generated by scripting languages such as PHP.

Door pages are often easy to identify which are designed mainly for search engines, not humans. Sometimes an entry page is copied from another high ranking page, but this can cause the search engine to detect the page as a duplicate and exclude it from the lists of search engines.

As all the search engines give penalty for using the META refresh command, So java script for redirection are the most popular and successful trick to get user users to the desired destination page.

But the most improved version of doorway pages are Content Rich Doorways these pages are very sophisticatedly designed to gain high traffic without the use of redirection. In fact Content Rich Doorway pages are one of the most ethical white hat SEO techniques and now days we all know it as a Content Marketing. Content Rich Doorways are now designed for visitors not for search engines where visitors are offered to follow standard links.

Now literature in the doorway page encourages visitors to visit a targeted page. Developing a different Content rich page is in fashion to get more conversion rate from PPC campaigns to boost ROI’s.

Here are the ways to deliver a Doorway pages.

1) Low Tech Delivery

There are different ways to provide doorway pages. Low-tech way is to create and render the page targeted towards specific Keywords. Some peoples use it very aggressively and use this technique for each page and for all search engines.

One problem with this is that these pages tend to be very general. It is easy for people to copy them, and make minor changes, and provide a revised page of their own, hoping to emulate the success of any. Also, you may be similar to the pages to each other and that are considered duplicates and excluded automatically by the search engine lists, and session.

Low Tech Delivery has other problems that the users are not always redirected to relevant page. Users complain that they were searching for a polo clubs and redirected to the some other sites or to some login page means the users are not able to reach a targeted page. So to land those at proper landing page webmaster use some thing like “Click Here” links or fast Meta refresh commands.

Well “Click Here” links or any other techniques which are used between targeted page or entry page are called as “bride pages” and “jump pages”. As those pages either “bridge” or “jump” the visitors across the gap.

Search engines no longer support pages with redirection goal, to control the abuse of doorway pages. So webmaster usually swap a real page with a door way page once the position achieved. This is the “code swapping”, which is also sometimes done to prevent others from learning exactly how the page ranked well. Also called “bait-and-switch”. The disadvantage is that a search engine can review it at any time, and if search engine successfully index the real page the position can be lost.

Another note here: just take the meta tags of the page (“meta-baiting”), does not guarantee access to the page you will do well. In fact, sometimes re-render the page exactly from another site does not gain the same page. There original position is a different reason for why this is happening which is beyond this article, but the main point is to understand that you do not necessarily find any “secrets” by displaying the source code, you do not necessarily give any away.

2)Agent Delivery

The next step is to provide a different page only for search engines. Each search engine reports an “agent” name, just as each browser reports a name.

Feature to provide the name of the agent is that you can send the search engine on a custom page after redirect users to the actual content, which wants them to see. This eliminates the entire “bridge” problem completely. It also has the additional advantage of code “cloaking”.

Well, not quite. People can Telnet to your web server, and report the name of the agent as a particular search engine. And then see exactly what you delivered. In addition, it may be some search engines do not always report the exact same name as the agent, and specifically to help keep people honest.

What is Cloaking?

Cloaking is SEO technique in which the content is differently created for search engine robots compare to original one which is presented to the user’s browsers. Cloaking do this by releasing a different content based on IP addresses or User-Agent HTTP header of the requesting user. In more details suppose a user is identified as search engine spider than the script at server will show a different version of content which we had designed for search engines, this is not the actual content of the web page. Some times content on the webpage is used to present in such a manner that a search engines cannot read it. The main propose of cloaking is to cheat search engine for ranking with an inappropriate content. That’s because search engine consider this techniques as a SPAM or Black Hat SEO.However, it can also be functional (how antiquated) technique for search engine information on subjects they would not be able to find another way because it is embedded in non-textual containers such as video or certain components like Adobe Flash Player.
Cloaking is essentially a technique to get a better ranking in search engines. Use of Cloaking on the website actually is a attempt to cheat search engines and therefore anyone who comes to your site from search engines.

Cloaking is also frowned upon by most search engines. Google and other search engine remove any site if violating rules from their result pages entirely and sometimes the black list (so that other engines do not list it). This means that while you can enjoy the highest rank for a while, ultimately, you will be caught and lose all your rankings altogether.

Finally, the cloaking does not work. As search engines are getting very smart and the content on the page is becoming a major factor of ranking. Means search engines are no longer follow the codes or tags in your source page.


Let's Talk