Mindquest

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Reading over these Google guidelines I came to the conclusion that these are doorway pages but wanted to know what people think. They are a competitor and a lot of their state and city pages rank very well.

So questions I have:
  1. Would you consider them doorways pages?
  2. Is there anything I can do about them? Report them? If so where?
If they aren't then we would be forced to do the same thing to compete but I am hesitate to do that.



 

Mindquest

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@JoyHawkins Sadly they do, one for every state and one for every major city in the US.


Is there anything i can do to level the playing field without resorting to recommending the same thing, which I will not do.

Will reporting them do much? And how do you report something like this?
 

JoyHawkins

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So when you have a case of multiple pages all using similar content, usually Google does a decent job of filtering it. However, this doesn't happen much in local SEO because all these pages are technically going after different terms. For example, the one page is targeting [keyword] + dallas whereas the another would be targeting [keyword] + houston. The filter doesn't catch them because they're not competing for the same thing.

The other option is that Google could issue a manual penalty for this. I've only ever heard of one case where this happened for pages like this and it was from Marie Haynes. I'll see if she can chime in here.
 

Marie Haynes

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Good discussion.

It's been a while since I've seen Google give a manual action for doorway pages. You could report them, but realistically, Google likely wants to rely on their algorithms for determining whether these pages are actually helpful for people.

I had a quick look and I do see they rank for some locations. Just spot checking, I see them ranking on the first page for some city and state terms, but then I also see them ranking very poorly for others.

Are they technically doorway pages? IMO, with what I've seen, it is possible they could qualify as such. You can try reporting them as others have mentioned, but it's not likely to do a whole lot.

Should you replicate this? I'd say no. They seem to have good brand recognition. Big brands can get away with things and don't always do things correctly.
 

Cherie Dickey

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I'd say they are walking a pretty fine line here. If they do not have an address in these cities, then yes, I would consider them doorway pages. Whether or not Google would agree is a different story... I'd report it.
 

Mindquest

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Good discussion.

It's been a while since I've seen Google give a manual action for doorway pages. You could report them, but realistically, Google likely wants to rely on their algorithms for determining whether these pages are actually helpful for people.

I had a quick look and I do see they rank for some locations. Just spot checking, I see them ranking on the first page for some city and state terms, but then I also see them ranking very poorly for others.

Are they technically doorway pages? IMO, with what I've seen, it is possible they could qualify as such. You can try reporting them as others have mentioned, but it's not likely to do a whole lot.

Should you replicate this? I'd say no. They seem to have good brand recognition. Big brands can get away with things and don't always do things correctly.

Thats for chiming in! I reported them and will go back to working on the clients site to make it better. Better ROI in that after hearing everyones replies!
 

Ampere

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I'd say they are walking a pretty fine line here. If they do not have an address in these cities, then yes, I would consider them doorway pages. Whether or not Google would agree is a different story... I'd report it.
In my research, city based landing pages seemed to always be regarded as not doorway pages.

When it comes to service area business that aren't based in or near a city, the type that is located in a small town among 15-30 other small towns that they service, how else would they be able to get in front of people in those other towns without landing pages to show the work that they do and will continue to do in those other towns?
 

rutkap

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Ive never had a problem with city service pages if it is limited. (I have no tests of anything over 30 pages) The difference is, each page has different information and is formatted slightly differently. I would not recommend using 100% the same info on any page or only change the geos on the page.
 
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Looking at the site and going back to their directory and seeing other pages, it's absolutely a doorway scheme. If you have an office in a city, make a location page for it, otherwise if you're creating pages for just cities you want to rank without much value, it's a doorway.
 
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