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Doorways & Frames, i need help!

want to clean up my act



11:32 am on Apr 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been researching this forum but having trouble to find anything to address my particular issues, can you help me, volatilegx?

We are a popular and well-known niche business tool that has ranked well (but not top) in google for the last two years. I suspect we have more PR than google gives us credit for, as we can solicit quality backlinks easily.

Back in the days of page 3 results, we, in desperation, implemented a number of doorway pages with simple scripted redirects into the engine, with complete success, we went straight to page 1 for all our keywords. For performance reasons the engine is completely scripted (ie zero HTML content for SE's), so we figured we would let SE's know what all the fuss was about with a little content. Our doorways are not blackhat per se, we simply brag about ourselves (ie 1000's of red widgets, 100's of blue widgets) with keyword links into the engine for each type of widget.

time marches on and we find some of our doorways ranking #1 in competitive kw's. I was assuming that google have reviewed us (AS beta), but since we are not trying to deceive anyone they didn't ban us ... but I read at WW that doorways are a big no-no and are passe! I have no problem (meaning I could live with it) to display the doorways, but I need to pop them into a frameset to provide access to the engine. So what would it serve to do that? I'd still be redirecting users ... isn't that still a form of cloaking?

P.S. I noticed elsewhere that you seem to imply that there is something inherently wrong with nested framesets? is it true, why?


12:02 am on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Steve, I'm not volatilegx, but I had a drink with him at Pubcon, so perhaps I'll do.

It's unclear in your post exactly how you are using your doorway pages. Many less than white hat webmasters will create a doorway page that automatically redirects a visitor to another page, without any action on their part, through some sort of onload() or mouseover redirect, or just plain cloaking. This type of behavior is now risky, since Google has developed some tools to detect these actions, and will penalize you if you are caught.

On the other hand, if your doorway pages have some content on them, and require the user to click through into your selling pages, that's not as bad, as long as the text you show the search engines is the same as the text you show your visitors.

You might consider the 'mother test': if you show your doorway page to your mom, would she think it was normal, and click through after reading the information, or would she get confused, or think that there was no value.

So, maybe you don't need nested framesets at all -- as far as their usefulness, I'll leave that to volatilegx to answer.


2:27 am on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Steve:

I'd leave off the framesets, unless they are part of the useability factor for your website... framesets can be difficult for spiders to navigate, and if they are indexed they'll send traffic to the framed document outside its frameset, unless you include some javascript which loads it into its frame -- which has its own problems (i.e. it's a "sneaky redirect").

Doorway pages themselves, with no unique and/or valuable content of their own, can be a problem, especially if they have redirects on them. Keep in mind that just because a page has a redirect on it, it doesn't mean the page is cloaked... but Google warns agains doorway pages and sneaky redirects as well as cloaking.

I am not certain if Google will penalize a whole domain if doorway pages are found there, or just penalize the doorway pages themselves. It would be interesting to find out, but I hesitate suggesting we use your site as a test case.

If possible, I'd move the doorways to another domain. If you did that, you could always leave 301 redirects in their place (via .htaccess) to send any remnant traffic over to your home page without penalty.

Jon -- I'm sure I remember having more than just one drink!


12:33 pm on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

-- Jon - beggars can't be choosers! I am amazed at the level of intelligence across the board on WW, can't imagine why you'd want to help lil ol' me ... your input is much appreciated!

-- volatilegx - "sneaky"! Oh man, now you're spooking me...

Our doorways pass the mom/competitor test, some may even serve better as proper landing pages (ie simply remove redirection).

G must have seen them (or fooling myself?), there's one line of js right after the html tag that reassigns top.loc... blatant redirects! Please comment on G-ability to read js ... surely their "tools" can see this?

Can you confirm that standard js "if top=self, pop me into my frame" is considered sneaky?

Is it within the realm of possibility that G has special rules for framed sites? Over time, G seems to understand our framesets so well it's a bit scary.

Thanks for 301 info, but surely I lose the all the PR that was attributed to the removed page?

Wow thanks guys, much food for thought & research ... Will post any interesting findings - open to "experimenting" if you have suggestions.

Please bear with me on this schoolboy stuff, the "real cloaking" discussions are coming!

Next brewski on me.


10:32 pm on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

G must have seen them (or fooling myself?), there's one line of js right after the html tag that reassigns top.loc... blatant redirects! Please comment on G-ability to read js ... surely their "tools" can see this?

Would be a good question to ask Matt Cutts at the next Pubcon.... and watch him smirk as he refuses to answer ;)


11:20 pm on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

subtext = shut up


1:50 am on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Actually, Matt has said they can read JavaScript redirects. He's said they do penalize them. I don't know what happened in the example you are thinking of.


6:19 pm on May 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for that confirmation.

IMO, either the penalty is applied at site-level, and not on the doorway pages themselves (which rank #1 for their keywords), or redirection is "excused" for an obviously frame-based engine.

In any case, we're about to find out!

Doorways are coming out, just hope G doesn't spank us for doing the right thing!


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