What Are Website Orphan Pages

What Are Website Orphan Pages?

When you build a website, you generally try to link pages to each other. This is so that the website can feel intuitive to anyone who visits. You want them to know where they are going. 

But there are some pages that do not have any direct links to them on the site. They are independent and cannot be accessed unless the person doing so knows the exact URL. These are known as orphan pages. 

Are they good or bad for your site? Here are some of the things that you should know about website orphan pages.

They Can Serve a Purpose

While you would not likely want to create a webpage that is not accessible for the general public that you would hope they see, there are ones that you might want to use internally at your company. That way, if you are beta testing a page, you might just send the link to a select few so that they can look it over to make sure everything about it works. That way, you can keep certain features under lock and key until it goes live to the public… with a possibly different URL and internal linking.

It Is Different Than a “Dead End Page” 

A “dead end page” is one that has no link to any other pages on your sites or to other outside sites. There is nowhere else to go – hence the name “dead end page.” The orphan page may have links to other pages inside it, but the URL is just a standalone one. 

They Should Be Cleared Out 

That is, once they have served their purpose. You should do an internal audit of your site, using a web crawler that will not find pages that are non-indexed or have robots.txt as an ending. Export the results to a spreadsheet and parse the results to find the ones that are orphans. 

Ultimately, you want to limit the orphan pages since they can hurt your Google rankings since they are not found in searches via your site or your sitemap – and you can greatly diminish your user’s experience if you expect them to be able to find something without being able to access it via a link in your site. 

So basically, you want to limit how long orphan pages are on your site. Then you can go back to working on improving your SEO and getting great rankings. 

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