Doorway pages – bridge pages, portal pages, jump pages – is a name given to pages explicitly designed for ranking benefits. Their sole purpose is to rank highly for specific search queries, and they are fully developed around this intent. Considering search engines but not users.
A doorway page affects the indexes of search engines by inserting results for specific phrases. They send users to a different page than expected or to intermediate sites that aren’t as useful; without the user’s knowledge and employing cloaking.
Using doorway pages is considered a black hat SEO practice and search engines like Google penalize it.
Common examples of doorway pages:
• Using multiple domains – or pages targeting specific locations – that funnel all users into the same destination.
• Pages generated just to funnel visitors to the actually useful portion of your site.
• Extremely similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browsable hierarchy.
Why are doorway pages frown upon by search engines?
On paper, doorway pages might not sound as damaging as other black hat SEO strategies. In practice, though, doorway pages severely hinder search engines ability to deliver high-quality results to its users consistently.
Furthermore, they also impact user experience and navigation quality, often requiring users to take an extra step to find the information they are looking for. Lastly, being designed entirely pursuing ranking benefits also means that quality of content from a human user standpoint is absent.