A Complete Guide to Orphan Pages

A digital marketer performing an SEO analysis using Rocket Driver’s white label agency tools

It’s well-known that web design is important for websites because of several reasons. For starters, web design affects user experience. You can redirect as many customers as you want through inbound and outbound marketing channels. However, a poorly-designed website will fail to retain customers because the user experience will be subpar.

In addition, website design also affects SEO. A poorly-designed website will have long page loading times, resulting in lower retention and higher bounce rates.

More importantly, poorly-designed websites often have a commonality. Their website structure is terrible, which means you’ll often encounter orphan pages.

Anyone in the digital marketing space will tell you that orphan pages are detrimental for several reasons.

SEO professionals want to ensure websites don’t have orphan pages because it can tank a website’s search engine rankings. SEO has become a popular way for businesses to gain traction and traffic. Research shows SEO is one of the most effective channels for acquiring new customers.

The SEO landscape has become fiercely competitive recently. As a result, organizations often approach digital marketing agencies for assistance. If your agency doesn’t offer SEO services, you’re missing out on a valuable channel to help clients grow and achieve their marketing objectives.

Partnering with a leading white label SEO marketing agency like Rocket Driver can help bridge this gap for your agency.

What are orphan pages?

Orphan pages are web pages that aren’t linked to other pages on a website. As a result, these pages can hinder your agency’s SEO efforts and affect search engine rankings.

Search engines like Google and Bing use crawlers to recognize pages and understand their context. However, since orphan pages aren’t linked to existing pages, crawlers cannot recognize and find these pages.

Google’s documents state that it follows links from known pages to identify and discover new pages. Therefore, the search engine’s crawlers cannot identify orphan pages, affecting your client’s SEO.

These pages will also yield no organic traffic since Google can’t find and list them. It’s important to understand why orphan pages occur. Most orphan pages emerge during a website redesign or development phase. They also occur when new content is added to a website without correctly linking it to other related pages.

What features do orphan pages have?

Orphan pages have several common characteristics. These include:

  1. No internal links

One of the most common characteristics of orphan pages is they don’t have internal links, meaning other pages on your website don’t link to them. As a result, users must either access them through another website linking to them or by typing the URL directly into their browsers.

  • Orphan pages are live pages

Orphan pages are always live pages, meaning they’re ready to receive traffic. Anyone can access these pages if they know the correct URL. However, since these pages are unlikely to be indexed and don’t have internal links, people will struggle to find them.

  • They can be orphan pages even if they’re indexed

Search engines will sometimes index an orphan page if they’re included in your website’s sitemap or another third-party website links to it. But an indexed page doesn’t mean it’ll perform well in SERPs.

Orphan pages struggle to rank in search engine results because search engine crawlers cannot understand their context. As a result, they can’t determine how these orphan pages fit into your website’s overall structure.

How do orphan pages affect SEO?

Orphan pages negatively affect SEO because they prevent search engines from finding your client’s content. Pages with no internal links are challenging to index because search engines use these links to identify other pages. The lack of internal links will often cause search engines to overlook orphan pages, making it difficult for them to obtain rankings in search results.

Orphan pages also affect a website’s overall link equity. Link equity refers to how strong and valuable a website’s links are. Orphan pages don’t have link equity, which affects a website’s overall score.

It’s also important to note that orphan pages can affect user experience since finding them is difficult. As a result, they pose a huge problem because Google’s August 2022 update emphasizes the importance of delivering an excellent user experience to rank well in SERPs.

Since users can’t connect to orphan pages unless they have the URL or click on a link from another website, it can be a frustrating experience for them if they’re looking for a specific piece of content and cannot find it. They’ll likely leave the website, contributing to its bounce rate.

Another issue with orphan pages is they use your crawl budget, which refers to how often Google crawls your website to index it over a specific duration. Websites with too many crawl pages prevent Google from crawling and indexing other vital pages, leading to them remaining unranked or unindexed.

These are all factors that can hurt SEO. If your agency wants to eliminate orphan pages and improve clients’ SEO, consider outsourcing white label SEO services from an industry leader like Rocket Driver.

What are the causes of orphan pages?

Site migrations are generally one of the most egregious reasons behind orphan pages. Migrating a client’s website to a new domain or platform is challenging. Old pages are often lost, and some pages become orphaned because URLs change considerably during migration. It’s important to revisit each page and assess the content to ensure the internal links are working correctly.

Similarly, website redesigns done incorrectly can also result in orphan pages. Website developers and designers must ensure they redirect old pages to new ones during the redesign process to avoid orphan pages.

If your agency wants to redesign a client’s website and avoid orphan pages, consider getting white label web design services from Rocket Driver. Established in 2011, the organization is a leading white label web design agency.

How can you fix and prevent orphan pages?

The easiest way to fix orphan pages is by adding internal links to them from existing, indexed pages on your client’s website. Another option involves deleting these orphan pages. Similarly, you might want to add a no-index tag to an orphan page if you intentionally created one. You’ll need to use an SEO plugin or add a code to the orphan page. Consider using Rocket Driver’s white label agency tools to achieve this.

Preventing orphan pages is also not impossible with the proper foresight. Carefully planning site migrations can help your agency create 301 redirects from old to new pages, ensuring users and search engines are redirected to the new website.

Another effective way to prevent orphan pages is by conducting regular site audits. Not only will site audits help address orphan pages, but they’ll also help your agency identify other technical SEO issues that could be detrimental to your client’s rankings in search engines.

 A chart depicting SEO traffic information

Get Started with Rocket Driver

Orphan pages can be detrimental to your SEO efforts. Working with an established white label SEO agency can help prevent these orphan pages from affecting your clients’ rankings in search results. Consider getting white label marketing solutions from Rocket Driver to help your clients. In addition, Rocket Driver’s white label web design services can also help your agency create better site structures and well-designed websites for clients.

Check out Rocket Driver’s website today by visiting www.rocketdriver.com/. Alternatively, contact Rocket Driver today to learn about other white label offerings, like reputation management and SMS marketing.

You can also book a demo with Tom Lombardi, one of the founding partners, to learn more about how a white label partnership can help your agency grow.

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