I had a site take a hit on the last go round with the Farmer world wide update and thought it worthy of posting as a new thread here.
The Problem: I have a reviews site that has tons of content written by my staff, lots of comments from real users on the post (the biggest begin over 750 comments to 1 post), etc.
But on these review pages I have multiple ways to generated revenue: 1. Adsense - OK, this is fine I am sure. 2. I sell a product through an affiliate. This is where the problem begins I am thinking and I have 3 ways of doing affiliate links.
2a. Amazon - straight forward html code taken from amazon associate account, should be fine...but who knows
2b. url shortener to an affiliate landing page using bit.ly, tinyurl, goo.gl, etc.. -- Is this a doorway? IMO no, as it seems no different than an adsense ad that goes to a page that sells a product 100% related to my page.
2c. For one particular product line, and this one seems to have got hammered the hardest of the whole site, I would do a link to another domain like this: someotherdomain.com/go.php?urltogotohere
I set this up because url shorteners would still show the referring page and I really didn't want the referring page to be known for my own private reasons, but nothing shady. Just "self preservation". Now THIS I believe is being considered a doorway page.
I believe links directly to affiliate pages, URL shortners, and of course a redirect through a middle-man domain are all "Technically" doorway pages and a form of penalty now perhaps?
I do believe the degree of penalty is different 1. Directly to affiliate site (e.g. amazon,etc..) lowest 2. url shorteners -- middle of the pack 3. middleman domain - leading the pack
All of this was to NOT deceive the customer but to stop other bad behaviour.
How is that situation a doorway page? Here is what Google has to say:
Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase. In many cases, doorway pages are written to rank for a particular phrase and then funnel users to a single destination.
@Tedster - I am quite familiar with some problems done by people who have things similar to what I am personally experiencing who have been informed directly view WMT that they have doorway pages essentialy becuase their landing pages are "lead generations" and an affiliate sale is nothing but a lead generation IMO. I also did a lot of reading and if a page is not something a search engine would find/index and is used to funnel traffic through this could be considered a "bridge" or "doorway" to another site and is frowned upon.
I wish I could elaborate on the WMT issues I am aware of but I cant but was shocked to learn of this.