Google has been warning webmasters with doorway pages to clean them up or be subject to the doorway page algo which gets updated semi-regularly. But Google hasn’t given much advice on what a webmaster can do to clean them up, other than the obvious… deleting them.
In the last Google Webmaster hangout, someone asked about redirecting them instead of removing them.
To get rid of doorway pages, we are thinking of doing 301’s , Is that better than doing follow no index ? as these pages get traffic. We are trying to tidy up our site but don’t want to get punished or have a negative impact if we tidy up wrong
Essentially both of these options would work. You could also theoretically use a 404 on these pages. So from a technical point of view, these options are all possible.
Which one makes more sense for you is essentially left up to you. So if you want to combine everything into one single page using a 301 is a great way to do that. If you want to keep these pages as kind of ad landing pages or those kinds of things but you don’t want them to be taken into account in search, then maybe a noindex is the right option here.
But essentially these are all different ways of reaching the same goal so it kind of depends on your site, your goals, what you want to achieve with that, regarding which one of these options you choose.
So if you do have a doorway page problem you are dealing with, both 301 and noindex are suitable ways of handling them, you don’t have to delete the pages outright, especially if they are getting traffic of some variety now.
Google did announce back in March that they planned to release a ranking adjustment that would negatively impact not only doorway pages on a site but also potentially demoting an entire site if there were many doorway pages on the site. It went live earlier this year. So it definitely is something webmasters should be aware of and correct if possible.
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