It’s been a big month in the world of SEO news, from the beginnings of a ranking update at the weekend to the announcement of a mobile-friendly algorithm revamp on the horizon and a crackdown on doorway pages hitting the internet in the very near future.

But what does all of this mean? Our Directors Andrew and Stewart talked through the weird and wonderful world of Google on this week’s Pirate2 Business Hub show, which you can listen to here, but here’s a quick roundup for those visual learners out there!

Crackdown on doorway pages

This is all well and good to know, but what even is a doorway page and why are they soon to be locked up and have the key thrown away (yep, that one took me all day!) The Google definition is:

Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.

Here are some examples of doorways:

  • Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page
  • Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)
  • Substantially similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browseable hierarchy

Basically, a doorway page has a ton of links on it that aren’t that useful to users, but come up in the SERPs for a number of search queries – anything from hotel listings to product directory pages – but hold no value to anyone. Soon, Google will be launching an update to better address pages like these, saying “Sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.”

For more information on what sorts of pages and sites will be effected, head on over to Google Webmaster Central.

Mobile friendly algorithm on the horizon

Google dropped a bit of a bombshell on webmasters last month, saying that on April 21st, whether or not sites are “mobile friendly” will have a major impact on search results. In short, this means that responsive websites will primarily show up in mobile search results. In the run up to the big day, webmasters are encouraged to take the necessary steps to making their site mobile friendly. Not sure how to do this? Run your URL through Google’s Mobile Friendly Test – if your site is considered mobile friendly by Google, you’re fine, if not then you will be told what you need to do in order to prepare yourself for April 21st.

At the moment, when searching through mobile, the meta description will state whether or not a site is responsive and mobile friendly.mobilefriendly

In the run up to the update at the end of April, we’ll be posting tips and tricks for preparing yourself for the big day. Watch this space…