What are orphan pages?
These are pages that exist on websites without other pages linking to them. Users can’t find them because there isn’t a single link on the entire site that directs to them. The problem, however, is that these pages are found and indexed by search engines. Google can “see” them through many channels, one of which is the sitemap, which is updated after the page is created. In other words, the orphaned page exists on the web but has no link provided by its own website (other than the sitemap). As a result, the website doesn’t pay any attention to these pages and they become what in the SEO world are called Orphan Pages.
Why orphan pages are bad for the SEO?
Orphan pages are bad for SEO and the reasons are relatively easy to understand. First, search engines like Google assume that a page that doesn’t get any links from its own website doesn’t matter. Accordingly, it is asked why it was created at all. And here comes the second reason and explanation why there is a punishment for having them. In the past, people have tried to hide pages from Google where they use Black Hat SEO tactics to improve their rankings. As a result, these pages are automatically assumed to be created by you to manipulate search engines. In summary, orphan pages should be avoided at all costs. From one to ten, how big of a problem are they? Seven!
How do orphan pages appear?
Most often, they appear when additional things are build for the website but for various reasons, those are stopped and in time forgotten. Imagine – a medium-sized company wants to add a new button to its menu, which leads to page X, from which it goes to other new pages. Before they are all visible to users, they are created in the background to be tested. Midway through the job, the company changes its vision and reassigns programmers. Great! But the pages are created, they are indexed, Google sees them and penalizes the whole site. This is the place to say that the worlds of programmers and SEO specialists are very different. So you can’t be mad at the first ones for creating orphaned pages – they just don’t know it’s a problem.
How to identify orphan pages?
There are different methods, but in most cases SEO specialists have their own tools that they use for their overall work and can find the orphaned pages through them.
In conclusion about the orphaned pages
In practice, when projects are small — 5-6 pages, such mistakes rarely occur. However, this changes when you have medium and large projects that are worked on by different specialists on a daily basis. Therefore, SEO optimization is not something that can be done once and never to do it again. Every page, blog, post, and even photo has its own meta information that is recognized by search engines so that they can properly index the content and provide it to users. That’s why at WD-7, our SEO specialists, programmers, copywriters and designers work together on every project. In this way, we achieve excellent communication and everyone understands a little bit of the world of their colleagues, so that mistakes are not created that need to be corrected. If you wonder whether your website is full of orphan pages contact us today for consultation.