Thursday, December 8, 2022

How to Fix Orphan Pages for SEO - Practical Ecommerce

Last updated Thursday, November 24, 2022 10:05 ET , Source: NewsService

An orphan page has no internal links to it. Most search engine optimization tools mark orphan pages as a critical issue, but it’s not that straightforward. The page may have a legitimate rationale, such as:

  • Serves a specific advertising campaign.
  • Communicates a status message, as in “Thank you for signing up.”
  • Dynamically lists search results or is generated from user-selected filters.

In those cases, insert a noindex meta tag on the page to prevent search engines from indexing it.

However, orphan pages are a problem when they (i) are indexed by Google and (ii) represent roughly 20% or more of a site’s overall indexed URLs.

Similarly, near-orphan pages — just one or two internal links — could also become an SEO problem.

Google evaluates internal links for the “importance” of a page. Google assumes a page has little value if it’s barely linked. And a site with a large percentage of low-value pages sends a bad Panda-algorithm signal to Google.

More importantly, low-value pages waste Googlebot’s crawl budget and dilute internal link authority, thus lowering organic search rankings for the entire site.

Plus, in my experience, orphan pages often signal larger structural problems. For example, a site with 20% or more orphan or poorly-linked pages likely has poor architecture or a migration gone wrong. Both require immediate attention.

How to Find Orphan Pages

Use a crawler tool to find pages with no (or very few) internal backlinks. The free version of Screaming Frog works for...

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