What Are Orphan Pages And How Do They Impact SEO?

What Are Orphan Pages And How Do They Impact SEO?

Is your website not getting enough traffic? Are there sections on your website that rarely attract visitors? Well, there is a high chance that those particular website pages could be among orphaned pages, thus not getting identified by the Google algorithm. Wondering what are orphan pages? This article will walk you through the details of what an orphan page is and how it can affect your website’s SEO efforts.

What Are Orphan Pages?

Orphan pages are web pages with no internal links from any other website page. They are indexable, but since they have no internal linking, they act as isolated pages separated from the website’s structure. Google algorithm cannot access these pages quickly, making it hard to drive traffic to them. Orphaned pages are not good for your site as they negatively impact its SEO performance.

Impact Of Orphan Pages On Website’s SEO

Orphan Pages

There are some instances where you can have orphaned pages on your website, like launching ad campaigns targeting a particular audience segment. But in the majority of other cases, having orphaned pages can lead to missed opportunities and decrease your website’s overall rankings in search results.

1. Orphan Page Does Not Get Indexed

As the search engines crawl your website, they find no links or direct paths to access the orphaned page. Since they cannot crawl it, the algorithm doesn’t index the page. This prevents the page from ranking in search results and cannot attract organic website traffic.

2. Unable To Perform Well

Even if such pages get indexed, their performance is not up to the mark. Good quality, relevant interlinking among your website pages is a sign of high authority and indicates the same to the search engine. It complements and enhances the performance of other pages, thus strengthening the website’s domain authority score.

3. Decrease User Experience

You can only access an orphaned page by entering the URL directly or clicking on the URL link. It won’t be visible to a broad segment of your target audience since it does not appear on the search engine results page. So, if the page contains valuable information about your brand, your users will have difficulty finding it later if they land on it through a link outside your website. If the page contains outdated information when a user lands on it, it challenges and hurts the user experience.

How To Fix Orphan Pages?

The easiest step marketing professionals take for fixing orphan pages is to add internal links to all orphan pages present on the website. However, this is not the right approach. Some pages, like PPC landing pages, are intentionally kept orphans to fulfill their purpose. But what you can do in such situations is carefully think about each orphan page and decide on a suitable solution. The potential fixes for an orphan page are stated below.

1. Internal Linking

If there are important orphan pages that your website visitors must visit, you can link them internally to other relevant pages. This makes it easier for search engines and website visitors to find such pages.

2. Noindex

Pages that are intentionally not interlinked should follow a no-indexed structure. It prevents them from appearing in organic search results. Examples of pages that follow the noindexed approach include landing pages, PPC campaign pages, etc.

3. Merge/Consolidate

There could be chances that your website has similar pages that are orphaned. For example, you could have two product listings for the same product. One could be an orphan page, while the other an interlinked page. In such cases, you can use the valuable information from the orphan page and add it to the other page before redirecting the orphan page to it. It simply involves merging orphan pages with the same or similar content.

4. Delete

Orphaned pages that no longer serve any specific purpose and add no value to website visitors should be deleted. Such deleted orphan pages will show an error 404 message and slowly opt out of search results. However, be careful to check such pages for backlinks. If there are, redirect the URL to another relevant page to avoid losing the backlink.

Conclusion

Every page of your brand’s website can impact its SEO performance. Therefore, it is essential that you consistently monitor the various web pages, including orphaned pages, and modify the content as required. You can also eliminate the orphaned pages if there is no value to add to such pages. Optimizing orphaned pages enhances your website’s overall ranking and facilitates a smooth user experience. A smooth website experience influences visitors to keep returning to your website to solve their queries. Eliminating these pages is a significant step in growing your business online using various digital marketing strategies.

Author avatar
Ashwini Singh