If you are running a website then it’s highly likely that you have come across the term “orphan pages”. But what does this term refer to?
If you are unsure about what this term means, you could be seriously damaging your business. This is because orphan pages can significantly impact your SEO, bringing down your SEO. Your orphan pages are an asset that is completely going to waste but now with our help, you can avoid it.
In this blog, we will provide you with a complete guide on orphan pages. Firstly we will answer what are orphan pages, followed by a thorough explanation of their causes. Then we will provide you with a visualisation of how they impact your SEO. And finally, we will learn how you can avoid and resolve them with ease.
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What are Orphan Pages? A Definition:
Orphan pages are web pages on your website that are not linked to any other page or section of your website. What this means is that a visitor cannot access an orphan page unless they have a direct link. Additionally, search engines rarely index these pages as they are detached from your website. This results in missed opportunities leading to lower website traffic.
What Causes Orphan Pages?
To avoid orphan pages we must know the causes behind the problem. Orphan pages can occur due to various reasons but for simplicity, we have listed the most common reasons below:
1. Lack of Internal Links
The biggest cause is that orphan pages are not internally linked to other relevant pages, denying a pathway for crawlers to access the orphan page.
2. Negligence During Content Creation
Another big cause is negligence while adding content to your website through bulk imports or automation.
3. Redesigning Website Structure
When you are redesigning your website structure, it is highly probable that some pages are not provided a proper pathway with internal linking.
4. Content Management System (CMS) Issues
CMS systems automatically generate pages including category and tag pages which are frequently not linked to the website.
How Do Orphan Pages Impact Your SEO?
Orphan pages have a severe negative impact on your search engine optimization efforts. Here are a few reasons why you need to resolve this problem as urgently as possible:
1. Decreased Indexation
Orphan pages are not internally linked, denying crawlers easy access to your content for search engine indexing.
2. Lower Online Visibility
If the crawlers are not picking up your content, it means your content is not being ranked leading to a lower visibility.
3. Poor User Navigation
Your visitors may face dead ends and difficulty while finding the content they are looking for bringing down your SEO score.
10 Tips on How to Avoid Orphan Pages?
Here is a list of 10 expert tips that will avoid the trouble of resolving orphan pages even before they occur. Following these tips guarantees you a lower volume of orphan pages and a higher SEO ranking.
- Plan a website structure that has a logical categorization and organisation.
- Use parent and child pages for setting up a hierarchy.
- Utilise breadcrumbs to enhance user navigation and internal linking.
- Create an XML sitemap that includes all web pages and add it to the search console.
- Develop a comprehensive link-building strategy to avoid negligence.
- Provide your users with a custom 404 page when they encounter a broken link.
- Ensure that your website is optimised for all devices.
- Provide a 301 redirect page when removing or deleting content.
- Employ content auditing tools to identify orphan pages.
- Apply a proper content taxonomy tool that categorises your content.
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3 Steps to Resolve Orphan Pages:
Now that we have a comprehensive idea of what are orphan pages, let’s get to solving the problem in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Get a List of All of Your Web Pages
The first step is to use a sitemap or CMS to get an updated list of all of your pages. Ensure that the list is updated and does not exclude any newly added web pages. With this list, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Check Your Website for Pages with No Internal Links
To do this, you will need to run a website crawl. This will provide you with all of the links that are not connected to your website. With this filtration, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3: Identify and Resolve an Orphan Pages
After getting the list of pages with no internal links analyse them individually for referrals and organic traffic. Once you have determined all the orphan pages, link them to the proper section of the website or create a new section if it doesn’t exist.
A Quick Summary
In this blog, we answered what are orphan pages for SEO. Orphan pages are web pages that are not connected to the website and can only be accessed with the URL. Orphan pages can occur due to several reasons such as negligence during content creation and lack of internal linking.
No matter what the cause is, orphan pages have a negative impact on your SEOfur to decreased indexation, reduced online visibility and a poor user experience. Nevertheless, you can avoid the orphan pages with our expert tips. But if you are already suffering from the problem, then follow our 3-step easy procedure mentioned above.
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