If you’re running a website, it’s important to make sure that all of your pages are linked together. This is called “internal linking.” When done correctly, internal linking can help improve your SEO rankings. But what happens when you have a page on your website that’s not linked to from any other pages? We call this an “orphan page.” Orphan pages can impact your SEO rankings in ways, so it’s important to take steps to correct the issue.
What are Orphan Pages?
Let’s start with the basics – as the introduction suggested, an orphan page is a page on your website that is not linked to from any other pages. This generally happens when someone creates a new page but doesn’t add it to the navigation or link to it from any other page. As a result, search engines have a hard time finding these pages, and they often don’t get indexed.
Essentially, the page exists in isolation on your website, which can have many negative consequences for your SEO.
How Do Orphan Pages Impact SEO?
Sadly, there are a few ways that orphan pages can impact your SEO:
They’re Hard to Find: As we just mentioned, one of the biggest problems with orphan pages is that they’re hard to find. Search engines have a hard time indexing them, which means they’re often not included in search results. This obviously reduces your chances of getting traffic from organic search, which can have a big impact on your bottom line.
They Can Hamper Your Site’s Structure: Another issue with orphan pages is that they can make it harder for search engines to understand the structure of your site. This is because they don’t fit neatly into your site’s hierarchy. As a result, search engines may have a harder time understanding how your pages are related to each other. Again, this impacts SEO performance.
They Can Worsen User Experience: Finally, orphan pages can also worsen the user experience on your site. This is because they provide a dead end for users who land on them. Imagine if you landed on a page and there were no links to other pages. You would have no idea where to go next; this can be frustrating for users and cause them to leave your site altogether.
How to Fix Orphan Pages
So, you’ve discovered an orphan page or two (or more) on your site. Now what? How can you fix them and improve your SEO? There are a few ways to fix orphan pages:
Add Internal Links: The simplest way to fix an orphan page is to add internal links to it. This will help users navigate to it from other pages on your site and help search engines crawl it.
Redirect the Page: If a page is no longer relevant, you can redirect it to another page on your site. This is a good solution if the orphan page is getting traffic but isn’t relevant anymore.
Delete the Page: If a page is completely irrelevant and isn’t getting any traffic, you can delete it. This should be a last resort, as deleting pages can hurt your SEO.
Orphan pages are pages on your website that are not linked to from any other page. This can happen if you delete a page and don’t redirect it, or if you change the URL of a page and don’t update your internal links. Orphan pages can hurt your SEO because they are difficult for search engines to find and index.
If you want to learn more about orphan pages or components that can harm your website’s search engine performance, team up with an SEO agency in the USA.