Webmasters are sometimes told to submit “bridge” pages or “doorway” pages to search engine to improve their traffic. Doorway pages are created to do well for particular phrases. They are also known as portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages, entry pages, and by other names as well.
Doorway pages are easy to identify in that they have been designed primarily for search engines, not for human beings. This page explains how these pages are delivered technically, and some of the problems they pose.
Low Tech Delivery
here are various ways to deliver doorway pages. The low-tech way is to create and submit a page that is targeted toward a particular phrase. Some people take this a step further and create a page for each phrase and for each search engine.
One problem with this is that these pages tend to be very generic. It’s easy for people to copy them, make minor changes, and submit the revised page from their own site in hopes of mimicking any success. Also, the pages may be so similar to each other that they are considered duplicates and automatically excluded by the search engine from its listings.
The next step up is to deliver a doorway page that only the search engine sees. Each search engine reports an “agent” name, just as each browser reports a name.
The advantage to agent name delivery is that you can send the search engine to a tailored page yet direct users to the actual content you want them to see. This eliminates the entire “bridge” problem altogether. It also has the added benefit of “cloaking” your code from prying eyes.
IP Delivery / Page Cloaking
Time for one more step up. Instead of delivering by agent name, you can also deliver pages to the search engines by IP address, assuming you’ve compiled a list of them and maintain it.
Everyone and everything that accesses a site reports an IP address, which is often resolved into a host name. For example, I might come into a site while connected to AOL, which in turn reports an IP of 184.108.40.206 (FYI, that’s not real, just an example).