Doorway page (also: jump page, gateway page, mirror page) refers to a webpage that is inserted in front of the actual page with the purpose to direct users to a specific landing page. It is often attempted to get search engine attention through hallway pages or doorway pages. However, this method is contrary to Google’s quality guidelines.
Doorway pages are typically highly optimized to rank well on search engines. Such a page is usually of no value to users, because the content of the actual page is merely repeated there. Doorway pages are generally not linked internally and are only accessible through search engines. There are only one or more links from the doorway page to the main page. If visitors get to a website through a doorway page, there is usually no going back. Doorway pages represent one-way streets, so to speak.
Doorway pages are often misused, however, often in connection with redirections. These pages are optimized for certain keywords and often include keyword spam or spamming and similar methods. A doorway page will appear on the Google index and is meant to make visitors curious and lure them to the page. In fact, however, visitors won’t get to see the indexed page at all, because the site operators installed a redirect to the home page. The doorway page is skipped and is never displayed to users. It is therefore only visible to the search engine.
From the perspective of the Google search engine, doorway pages constitute low quality because of the lack of added value for users. Doorway pages are frustrating and manipulative for most users. Google removes such pages from the search engine index immediately upon detecting this violation of the webmaster guidelines.
Doorway pages are often part of the cloaking method and are considered black hat SEO. Doorway pages are still used, but lose more and more attractiveness since Google ensures through manual actions that websites using them have to put up with sometimes grueling penalties.
Over time, doorway pages have become increasingly replaced by landing pages. While this serves a similar purpose, it differs greatly in how it is accomplished. Generally, such pages offer specific information about a desired topic to a very specific target group. Moreover, landing pages are linked to the home page, so they are not a one-way street. As a rule, landing pages do not include redirects that are unrecognizable to users.