When you’re trying to improve your website for SEO, it’s important to understand the role of orphaned pages. The strength of a good website is the way in which its pages and resources are interconnected. If you have valuable content that remains orphaned, then even the best SEO campaign management will have been for naught.
What are Orphaned Pages?
An orphaned page is a web page that has nothing linking to it. It may have outgoing links, but nothing from within the website or outside the website links back to the page itself. Usually, this is an accident. If you are publishing a lot of content for your website, it can be easy to miss a link or two and leave a page in isolation. However, this may have larger ramifications on your webpage indexing optimization than you realize.
Why are Orphaned Pages a Problem?
Firstly, the way most people find a landing page for a website is by following a hyperlink. Sometimes, a user may simply search for information that your web page perfectly addresses. This is not usually the case, though. It could be from a blog, from another page, or from somewhere on your main website, but users usually find a landing page by following a bread crumb trail of links.
So if you have orphaned pages, you immediately damage some of your organic traffic.
However, the problem runs deeper. You must also consider the role that internal linking plays in building your authority. For Google to see your page as a credible or valuable source of information, other sites must “reference” it by linking to it. This includes your own website.
Orphaned pages can also result in indexing problems. The most common way for Google to index your page is by crawling through the website and following the links until it has explored everything. Sometimes, with no internal links to guide them, the bots will completely fail to index the page at all. If this happens, your page won’t come up for search results at all, regardless of your other SEO work.
The internet is a web of connections. Leaving a single strand to dangle by itself is therefore very detrimental to the overall structure. Don’t let orphaned pages go unnoticed.
How to Detect Orphaned Pages
It may seem tricky at first to identify orphaned pages. Just because you have a program for running website audits doesn’t mean it’ll find the orphaned page. This is because such a program would be “crawling” just like a search engine bot. Therefore, because orphaned pages by definition have no inbound links, a program would not find the site in the first place.
However, the solution is not complicated. Firstly, you have to use your sitemap file. The sitemap file should be a comprehensive list of every page and update on your website. The sitemap file is usually placed at the root of your domain for the purpose of assisting search engine bots in understanding your content.
After you have your sitemap file, run a website crawl. Specifically, set the audit rule to only identify pages with no inbound internal links. The bots will then highlight any page with nothing linking to it: your orphaned pages. After adding a few links to the page throughout the website, you will completely resolve your problem.
Dreamscape is Here to Help
There are a lot more potential threats to your SEO than orphaned pages. That’s where Dreamscape comes in. Our technical expertise in SEO, content marketing, and website hosting makes us perfectly tailored to improve your web presence. If you’re looking to upgrade your digital presence, call us today at 888.307.7304.