What are doorway pages, and should I use doorway pages?
Doorway pages are Web pages designed and built specifically to draw search engine visitors to your website. They are standalone pages designed only to act as doorways to your site. Doorway pages are a very bad idea for several reasons, though many SEO firms use them routinely.
As a rule of thumb, if you can't reach the page by following the site navigation, then it is a doorway page. You are not supposed to "visit" the page. Instead, you are just supposed to find it in the search results and then click through to get to the site in question. In essence, a doorway page is no more than a one-page click-through advertisement for a website. However, when you are searching, you don't want to visit one-page click-through advertisements for a website. You want to visit websites. Think of doorway pages as giant banner ads, only worse. You're searching for "widgets" and instead of getting a widget site, you get a page that says, "click here for widgets." You just did that! Now they're asking you to do it again. Are you going to click?
The fact is that doorway pages don't do a very good job of generating traffic, even when they are done by "experts." Many users simply hit their back buttons when presented with a doorway page. Still, many SEO firms count those first visits and report them to their clients as successes. SEO Firm: "You got 140 visits to your site today!" Client: "But no one visited our products pages!"
Can you spot the doorway page?
Look at the site map below. There are three doorway pages on the site. Can you spot them? You should know that Google can spot them just as easily.