Orphaned pages

27 October 2021

Is your website full of orphaned pages? If so, you could be putting a limit to the success your site could have in search engines.

Never fear, Bow House on page SEO tips are here! We’ll help you understand what orphaned pages are and how to make sure they’re supporting your site’s organic success.

What are orphaned pages?

Orphaned pages on your website are ones that aren’t linked to from anywhere else on your site. A user can typically only access it if they have the direct page URL.

Search engine crawlers could still find these pages though, which could negatively impact your overall site’s rank. Given that even your own website doesn’t want to point users to the page, it can’t be adding any value to your offering.

Worst case scenario, Google and other search engines will think you’re guilty of using black hat SEO tricks to try and improve your rankings by bypassing guidelines. You certainly don’t want that to happen, as it can seriously impact your position in the rankings.

Identifying orphaned pages

It’s not easy, but it is possible to identify orphaned page. SEMrush and Ahrefs have specific tools that you can use to identify them, so if you have an account, you’ve got a great head start.

If not, don’t worry! You can do the work yourself with a few downloads and some Excel magic. All you need is to compare a list of crawlable pages (like your sitemap) with page visits from Google Analytics. Where there’s no match, there’s an orphaned page.

What to do with these pages

When you’ve found instances of orphaned pages for your site, you’ll have to decide what to do with them. If the page is valuable, the solution is simple, bring it back into your site with lots of lovely links. Connect it up with your other site content, and make sure it’s linking through to other areas of the site too.

If it’s not important, you can remove it – once you’ve checked whether or not it has any back links, of course! You don’t want to waste quality inbound links.

Or, if the content is near duplicated elsewhere on the site, can you integrate it into the existing, useful copy? You don’t want to have two identical pages floating around, as that will also harm your rankings.

Want to talk about optimising your site? Get in touch with the SEO experts at Bow House Digital.

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