I'm curious about something: it seems that doorway pages are used a lot by the people that communicate on here, so my question is why? I thought that stuff really annoyed search engines. Personally when i browse the net and notice doorway pages I tend to get a bad first impression of the site, i guess something about them just irks me. So why is it that they are still so popular?
spidercom - I think what is causing you concern is the definition of a doorway. The actual term 'doorway' has gotten a pretty bad reputation but it doesn't have to be that way. When we say 'doorway' most folks jump to the conclusion that we are talking about those poorly designed and written WPG style spam pages. In my humble definition I see a doorway as a page that is completely integrated with the rest of your site for look and feel. It also provides useful information about your site or product as well as links to every part of you site in some sort of menu format. These pages are carefully written to focus on a select number of terms while still conveying your marketing message. The point is to satisfy the the surfer with info relevant to the search they have just conducted. It's all about content now.
just to add to what the others have said - If you run across a well designed doorway page you won't even know it. All the doorway's that I create are designed to have the exact same look and feel as any other page on the site, they also include relevant and useful information on the targeted search phrase. The days of the old click here to enter the site doorways are over. But if your doorway gives the surfer the info that they want, then you can still be succesfull using these types of pages.
Doorways are essential in some circumstances. I have one client who has a large database and realised that he had to remove the ? in the url. Unfortunately it is replaced by cfm files which are not indexed by Google. A doorway domain is the only way round this problem
Another client has a framed site. I am unable to get it altered. Integrated doorways are the best answer.
As above, "If you run across a well designed doorway page you won't even know it"
Scott, if you are talking doorway domains, the biggest problem you will have is a base link popularity factor to work with. No decent directory is going to take in a doorway domain if they identify it as such and no quality site will link to you. The days of powerful doorway domains are over, SEs have a decent system to fight that. There are ways around it but it is hardly worth the time. Integrate doorways into the main site and optimize.