Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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If you deal with chains and franchises, you'll really want to read this!

It's a post at the Google WEBMASTER forum, not the Business forum and it gets long and heated at times with tons of interesting comments, some great and advice and you know, some noise.
BUT it's def worth a read - esp if you deal with hotel chains!

My carpal is not up for a lot of commentary to explain and I'm still working on training the dragon and getting used to my new trackball. So I'm just going to quote a few snippets.

<a href="!category-topic/webmasters/M0yYzfdznMM">Are Hotel Vanity Websites considered a Doorway Page to</a>

User: "Hotel Vanity Website" is concerned the hotel vanity site will look like a doorway of the brand site.

Top Contributor ETS responded with the reply below and Google's Eric Kuan from the search quality team marked it as the best answer. (Stamp of approval.)

Those aren't doorways, no. There's nothing deceptive or manipulative that I can see. An example of doorways is when you have a website with 200 pages on it, all of which have the same basic text but with place names switched out on each page ("Find a taxi in London"/"Find a taxi in New York City"). The pages are designed to rank separately, catch keyword searches, but funnel all the traffic to one destination.

Whether this way of doing things is a good idea is another matter - since you effectively have two different indexed pages/sites (both are indexed) competing with one another. It would generally make more sense to have one of the URLs 301 redirecting to the other - and making one strong site instead of two.

Head over to read the rest - there is a ton more.

Big thanks and h/t to Barry Schwartz for shining a light on this post.

<a href="">Doorway Pages: Here Is Another Explanation Of Them That Google Likes</a>

What do you think???
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Sep 11, 2013
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It's hard to argue with a Google employee :cool:. It's interesting that he suggests doing a 301 redirect. I do think they are losing out (ranking wise) by having two separate URLs for the same hotel location.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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really interesting discussion going on in that thread. I think the main takeaway is that doorway pages are more manipulative in nature than the example being discussed in that thread. I think the "divide and conquer" approach is what Hilton is trying to allow when they let their franchisees build separate sites, but we'll see if that gamble works out. Are they doorway pages? No. Is it a questionable marketing strategy? Maybe. All the booking forms are using a javascript call to redirect to a secured subdomain on the Hilton site.

To me, if you were going to call that a doorway page then you should probably start complaining about PayPal. Many eCommerce sites that are not using the self-hosting option with PayPal are effectively funneling traffic to that domain. Seemed like a dumb argument when I read it on that Google support thread, and seems more ridiculous when I think about the argument from that point of view.
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