In the world of SEO, orphan pages are a common problem that many website owners may face. Orphan pages refer to pages on your website that have no internal links pointing to them from other pages on your site. This can be a major issue for your SEO efforts, as search engines may have difficulty finding and indexing these pages, resulting in lower visibility and traffic for your website. Moreover, In this article, we’ll explore what orphan pages are, why they’re problematic for SEO, and also how you can identify and fix them on your site.
What are Orphan Pages?
Orphan pages are website pages that have no internal links pointing to them from other pages on your site. These pages are essentially “stranded” and may be difficult for search engines to find and crawl. Moreover, Orphan pages can occur for a variety of reasons, including site redesigns, changes in site structure, or simply overlooking the inclusion of internal links.
Understanding Orphan Pages in SEO
A page on your website that has no internal links linking to it is called an orphan page. Additionally, There are many reasons why orphan pages may appear, including:
⭐Pages created by mistake and never linked to other pages
⭐The linking page removal or broken link also causes pages to lose their links.
⭐The website’s navigation or sitemap does not include pages with unique URLs.
Why are Orphan Pages Bad for SEO?
Orphan pages are bad for SEO because they are not linked to any other pages on your website, making it difficult for search engines to find them. If search engines can’t find a page, they won’t be able to index it, and it won’t show up in search results. This means that your website’s visibility and search engine ranking could suffer.
Additionally, orphan pages can create a poor user experience. Users may stumble upon these pages and become confused about how to navigate your website. Moreover, High bounce rates, minimal engagement, and subpar conversions may result from this.
Common Causes of Orphan Pages
There are also several common causes of orphan pages, including:
- Site redesigns or changes in site structure
- Technical issues or errors
- Oversights in website maintenance or updates
- Removal of pages without updating internal links
How to Identify Orphan Pages?
Identifying orphan pages on your website can be challenging, especially if you have a large website with many pages. Moreover, Here are a few ways to identify orphan pages:
Use Google Search Console
A free tool called Google Search Console enables you to keep track of how well your website is performing in search results. One of the features of Google Search Console is the ability to identify orphan pages.
Log into your Google Search Console account and select “Coverage” from the left-hand menu to use this feature. You may view a list of all the pages that Google has indexed from there. Search for any pages that have the status “Excluded” or “Page with no matches.” Subsequently, These pages are orphans.
Check Your Website’s Sitemap
In addition, You can find a list of all the pages on your website in the sitemap file. You can use your sitemap to identify orphan pages.
To do this, access your website’s sitemap by adding “/sitemap.xml” to the end of your website’s URL. Search for pages that the sitemap does not include. These are most likely orphan pages.
Use a Website Crawler
A website crawler is a program that browses your website and catalogues each page. Both free and commercial website crawlers are widely available. Screaming Frog and Ahrefs are two popular choices.
To use a website crawler, simply enter your website’s URL into the tool, and it will scan your website and identify all the pages on it. Search for pages on your website that are not linked to any other page. These are likely orphan pages.
How to Fix Orphan Pages?
Now that you have identified the orphan pages on your website, it’s time to fix them. Further, Here are a few ways to fix orphan pages:
Add Internal Links
Adding internal links to orphan pages is the simplest technique to fix them. We refer to links that direct to another page within the same website as internal links. By adding internal links to your orphan pages, you can ensure that search engines can find them, and they will also show up in your website’s navigation, making them easier for users to find.
To add internal links to your orphan pages, simply find a relevant page on your website and add a link to the orphan page. Moreover, Make sure the link is descriptive and uses relevant anchor text.
Update Your Sitemap
If you identified orphan pages by checking your website’s sitemap, you can also fix them by updating your sitemap to include these pages. Consequently, This will ensure that search engines can find them and index them properly.
Simply add the URLs of your orphan pages to your sitemap file to update it. Moreover, To make sure Google can discover the new sitemap, be sure to submit it to Google Search Console.
Redirect Orphan Pages
If you have orphan pages that are no longer needed or have no value to your website, you can also redirect them to a more relevant page on your website. By doing so, you can redirect any traffic or backlinks to a more valuable page on your website, ensuring the orphan page is not left unused.
Moreover, To redirect orphan pages, you can use a 301 redirect. This is a permanent redirect that tells search engines that the page has moved permanently to a new location. By doing so, you can transfer any link equity or authority that the orphan page had to the new page.
Best Practices for Avoiding Orphan Pages
To avoid orphan pages in the first place, it’s important to follow best practices for website structure and maintenance. In addition, Some best practices include:
- Regularly reviewing and updating internal links
- Creating a sitemap to help search engines find all of your website’s pages
- Ensure that your website’s navigation includes all pages.
- Thoroughly test website changes to ensure that internal links are updated and functioning correctly.
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