Don't neglect your orphan pages: Why they matter for SEO

Don't neglect your orphan pages: Why they matter for SEO

Do you know what an orphan page is? How about what it means to have too many of them on your website? If not, you’re missing out on part of your strategy that can boost your traffic, turn visitors into leads, and strengthen your brand’s online presence.

In this article, we’ll go over exactly what orphan pages are and why they matter so much to your website. We’ll also take a look at some ways you can deal with this challenge if it comes up in the future so that your SEO services stay on track and bring you more business.

What are orphan pages?

Why do they exist?

Orphan pages are pages on your website that are not linked to from any other page on your site. This can happen for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because the page is new and no other pages link to it yet, or because the page has been moved and the old links haven’t been updated, or if you delete a page without redirecting it, or if there’s a typo in a link

Why you should care about them?

They can hurt your visibility strategy in a number of ways. First, orphan pages are more difficult for search engines to find and index. Second, because they’re not linked to, they can’t pass link equity (ranking power) to other pages on your site. Third, if a visitor does happen to land on an orphan page, there’s a good chance they’ll get lost and leave your site altogether. Fourth, it might be easy to assume that a website is outdated or abandoned if visitors reach an orphan page – even if the site isn’t. Fifth, even though the content might be useful or valuable to some visitors, it may still result in low traffic levels. In short, orphan pages can slow down your efforts by making it harder for you to rank well and losing out on high-quality links.

What does Google do with them?

An orphan page is a web page with no incoming links from other pages on the site. Google sees these pages as orphans and does not index them. And if a page is not indexed, it will not be in the search list. In a word: you do not exist.

How can I find out whether I have any?

If you want to find out whether you have any orphan pages, the first step is to audit your website. This can be done using a tool like Screaming Frog, which will crawl your site and provide you with a list of all the pages it finds. Once you have this list, you can then go through and check whether each page is linked to from anywhere else on your site.

What should I do if I have some?

Step 1 – Fix broken links

If you have any broken links on your website, fix them as soon as possible. Not only will this improve your website’s user experience, but it will also prevent search engines from penalizing you for having broken links.

Step 2 – Canonical Tag

If you have an orphan page on your website, there are a few things you can do to deal with it. One option is to add a rel=canonical tag to the page. This will tell search engines that the page is not the primary version of the content and that they should index the main version of the page instead. This is a good way to prevent duplicate content issues. Another option is to redirect the orphan page to another relevant page on your site.

Step 3 – Do 301 redirects from old URLs

One way to deal with orphan pages is to set up 301 redirects from the old URLs to new, relevant pages. This tells search engines that the old page has been permanently moved, and helps ensure that any link equity or PageRank is passed on to the new page. Plus, it can help reduce your 404 error rate, which can impact your site’s overall SEO health.

Step 4 – Add missing metadata and sitemap

If you want your pages to be found by search engines, it is important to make sure that all of your pages are accessible. One way to do this is by adding missing metadata and sitemaps. This will help search engines index your pages so that they can be found more easily. If you have orphan pages, it is especially important to add this missing information so that search engines can find and index them.

Step 5 – Internal linking strategy

In order to improve orphaned page, you need to prepare the appropriate internal linking for it. This way you get rid of the orphaned pages and the subpage will be added to the index – and if it is already there, it will be more visible in organic search results. Positioning an orphan page is impossible. However, once you find them and prepare for linking, these URLs are no longer referred to as orphaned page. Then you can move on to taking care of the SEO of such a subpage. Remember the basics: title tag and meta description.

Can you recommend any tools that might help me find orphans on my site faster and more easily than by doing it manually?

There are a few different ways you can go about finding orphan pages on your site. The first is to use a web crawler, which will automatically scan your site and generate a list of all the pages it finds. The second option is to install Google Search Console in order to view what pages have no incoming links from other sites. You can also find this information by using Ahrefs Site Explorer tool, as well as Domain Authority or Moz Open Site Explorer. If you’re using WordPress for your website and blog, then there’s also a plugin called Broken Link Checker that should help you identify any broken links on your site.

Last thoughts

Orphan pages are pages on your website that are not linked to from any other page on your site. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but usually it’s because the page is new and no other pages link to it yet, or because the page has been moved and the old links haven’t been updated. Either way, orphan pages can have a negative impact on your strategy. However, there are some things you can do to make sure that your orphan pages are properly optimized for both users and search engines.

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Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
Category: SEO
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