Search engine optimization (SEO) is something you probably already know. Even with a well-planned content strategy, you can still have issues that could impede your efforts. The orphan page is one such problem.
It’s a page you can’t find anywhere else on your website. Although it exists, no external source can lead to it. This problem can not only frustrate visitors, but it can also affect your rank in the SERPs.
SEO content audits will help you find and fix orphan pages to increase organic traffic to your articles and daily blog posts. If you are unable to conduct your website’s audit, you can hire a digital marketing agency to find and fix all the issues your site has. This guide will show you how to identify and fix orphan pages on your site.
What Are Orphan Pages?
An orphan page refers to any page on your website that has no internal links leading to it. These pages can be challenging to find by search engine crawlers and users. You can increase your website’s SEO and link structure by adding a single link from an orphan page.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that an orphan page can’t be accessed. It may be found via:
- Backlinks: A link from another site to this page was provided. Visitors may click on the link to go to the orphan page.
- Organic search: A page might rank for specific search terms and be visible in the SERPs.
- Email newsletters: A link to the page may be included in an email newsletter that you sent to your subscribers.
- Redirects: A redirect URL redirects users to the page.
They are still accessible, but they can be challenging to find. These pages can be problematic for SEO.
Orphan Pages Vs. Dead-End Pages
People sometimes use the terms “orphanage” and “dead end page” interchangeably. Although it is easy to assume, there is a difference between the two types. Dead-end pages do not have links to other pages.
SEO can be affected by both orphan pages as well as dead-end pages. You will be able to identify the difference and take the necessary steps to fix the problem.
How Do You Get An Orphan Page?
Orphan pages can sometimes happen by chance. These are some of the most common reasons:
- The page linking to the orphan page was deleted.
- The page is not archived or deleted.
- During a site upgrade or migration, you may lose track of some or all of your web pages or their connections.
- Duplicate content was accidentally created (similar content at multiple locations on your site).
Orphan pages can also be created intentionally in other situations, even though you didn’t know the term. You might have a landing site for a campaign you are running. You may have created a test landing page but forgot to archive it.
Although you may have made the test page or campaign intentionally, it is not linked to any other pages on your website. It’s still an “orphan” page, even in this instance.
Why Are Orphan Pages Negative For SEO?
Your SEO strategy will likely take a lot of your time and effort. You should expect to see some improvement after a while. Orphan pages can be a problem, no matter how well-executed your strategy is.
Some pages may not be indexable.
Search engines use crawlers (or spiders) to “crawl” the internet to find new content and index it. The snails will use internal links to navigate your site and gather information.
The crawlers won’t be able to find it if no internal links are linking to pages on your site. It might not be indexed. It won’t appear in organic search results as the search engine doesn’t know about it.
An Orphan Page Mimics A Ghost Page
There are two types of SEO: white SEO and black-hat SEO.
White-hat SEO strategies: These techniques are approved by search engines to improve your rank in the SERPs. They are ethical optimization methods.
Black-hat SEO strategies: These practices are against search engine guidelines. These are unethical or manipulative techniques to improve a page’s rank.
People used “ghost pages” once upon a time to increase keyword rankings and hide from site visitors. Search engines eventually stopped this practice and penalized sites with them.
Search engines see orphan pages as ghost pages. Even though they may appear accidental, search engines treat them as black hat SEO tactics.
Orphan Pages Lead To Crawl Wastage
A crawl budget is what your website has. This is the number of pages crawlers will explore and index within a specific time frame. Any page that isn’t indexed will not rank. Your crawl budget can be slashed by orphan pages, which prevent crawlers from reaching relevant, high-quality content.
Your User Experience Is Poor
According to the top digital marketing experts, your site should be simple to use and offer a positive user experience. This can negatively impact your SEO by creating unnecessary pages.
A page can rank but provide outdated or insufficient information.
Although the page may contain important information, visitors will not be able to locate it if they need it again.
Visitors might be directed to a particular page by you, but they will not be able to navigate to that page from any other part of your website.
Abandoned pages can cause an unpleasant user experience. Search engines could notice this and penalize you on the search engine results pages.
Orphaned Pages Have Little Authority
Your pages that aren’t found by search engines won’t rank high in the SERPs. This is because links are a sign of authority and quality. Search engines will not consider a page without links as authoritative. They won’t rank high on search engine results pages.