The Truth About Orphan Pages: What You Need To Know

Orphan pages are web pages that don’t have any links to them from other pages on the site.

This can be a major search engine optimization (SEO) issue, as it means Google has no way of knowing how important the page is and, therefore, may not rank it as high as it should.

In this post, we’ll discuss what causes orphan pages and how you can fix them.

Orphan Pages Similar Aspects

Orphan pages have these things in common:

No Internal Links
• Live Page
• Maybe Indexed

1. No Internal Links

The most peculiar thing about orphan pages is that they have no internal links. This means there are no other pages on the site linking to them.

Google uses links to help determine how important a page is, so if a page has no links, it’s going to be harder for Google to understand its importance.

2. Live Page

One more aspect of orphan pages is that they are live and online. In other words, they are accessible by users if they have the URL.

Just because a page is live doesn’t mean Google is automatically indexing it. In order for Google to index a page, it needs to be able to find it.

3. May Be Indexed

One final common characteristic of orphan pages is that they may be indexed. This means that Google knows the page exists but doesn’t understand its importance.

If a page is indexed but not ranked highly, it’s likely because no other pages link to it. This is where internal linking comes in.

Are Orphan Pages an Issue for SEO?

Orphan pages can be an SEO issue for these reasons:

Confusing Google
• Hurting User Experience
• Taking Crawl Budget Portion

1. Confusing Google

Orphan pages can be bad for SEO because they make it harder for Google to understand the importance of a page. If a page has no links, it’s going to be harder for Google to understand its importance. This can lead to the page being ranked lower than it should be, which can result in less traffic and fewer conversions.

2. Hurting User Experience

Orphan pages can influence user experience. If your site visitors search for a piece of particular information and can’t find it, they’re likely to leave the site. This increases the bounce rate and can hurt the SEO of the site as a whole.

3. Taking Crawl Budget Portion

Every website has a crawl budget, the number of pages Google crawls on a site in a specific period. If a site has a lot of orphan pages, it’s going to take up a larger portion of the crawl budget. This can lead to other important pages not being crawled as often as they should be, which can hurt the SEO of the site.

Orphan Page Examples

There are a few similar situations where orphan pages can happen.

Here are a few of them:

Bad Site Architecture
• Site Migrations
• Page Testing
• Products That Are Out-of-Stock

1. Bad Site Architecture

One common example of orphan pages is bad site architecture. This can happen when the website is not well organized, and there are a lot of pages with no links to them. This can be a major SEO issue, as it means Google has no way of knowing how important the page is and, therefore, may not rank it as high as it should.

2. Site Migrations

Another example of orphan pages is site migrations. This can happen when a site is migrated from one platform to another, and the old URLs are not redirected properly. Again, this can lead to a lot of orphan pages, as the new platform may not have the same structure as the old one.

3. Page Testing

A third example of orphan pages is page testing. This can happen when a company is testing a new page, and the old page is still live. Again, this can confuse Google and make it hard for them to understand the page’s importance.

4. Products That Are Out-of-Stock

One last example of orphan pages is products that become out of stock on a website. This can happen when a product is not available anymore and the page is not taken down. This can confuse both users and search engines.

How To Find Orphan Pages

If you think you might have orphan pages on your site, there are a few ways to find them:

Check Google Analytics
• Check Google Search Console
• Use a Crawling Tool

1. Check Google Analytics

One way to find orphan pages is to check Google Analytics. If you see a page with a lot of traffic but a low conversion rate, it’s likely an orphan page.

2. Check Google Search Console

Another way to find orphan pages is to check Google Search Console. If you see a lot of 404 errors, it’s likely that there are orphan pages on your site.

3. Use a Crawling Tool

Another way is to use a crawling tool. Most of them have a feature to find orphan pages. For example, Screaming Frog has a handy guide to finding them.

How To Fix Orphan Pages

If you have orphan pages on your site, there are a few ways to fix them:

Redirect the Page
• Add Internal Links
• Delete the Page

1. Redirect the Page

If you have an orphan page that is getting a lot of traffic, it’s important to redirect it to another page. This will help keep the traffic and SEO of the site intact.

2. Add Internal Links

If you have an orphan page that is not getting a lot of traffic, you can try to add internal links to it. This will help Google understand the importance of the page and may help it rank higher.

3. Delete the Page

If you have an orphan page that is not getting any traffic and is not important to the site, you can delete it. This will help keep the site clean and organized.

Preventing Orphan Pages

The best way to prevent orphan pages is to have a well-organized website. This will help Google understand the importance of each page and make it less likely that pages will get lost. You should also redirect any old URLs to new ones when you migrate your site. Finally, if you’re testing new pages, be sure to take down the old ones.

It’s important to schedule regular website audits to ensure that you don’t have any orphan pages. If you do, take action to fix them as soon as possible. Orphan pages can hurt your site’s SEO, so it’s important to keep them under control.

Internal Linking Best Practices

Adding internal links through your website content is the most important thing to avoid orphan pages.

Keep in mind these best practices when doing internal linking:

Use Follow Links
• Link Deep
• Leverage Anchor Texts
• Use Relevant Links
• Consider Your Audience

1. Use Follow Links

When adding internal links, be sure to use follow links. This will help Google understand the importance of the page and may help it rank higher.

2. Link Deep

When linking to other pages on your site, be sure to link deep. This means linking to pages other than the home page. This will help Google understand the hierarchy of your site and may help improve your rankings.

3. Leverage Anchor Texts

When adding internal links, be sure to use relevant anchor text. This is the text that appears when you hover over a link. There is no over-optimization or penalty from Google for internal linking, so you can abuse as much as you want!

4. Use Relevant Links

When adding internal links, be sure to use relevant links. This means linking to pages related to the page you’re linking from. So, for example, if you’re linking from a page about link-building tips, you would want to link to a page about SEO.

5. Consider Your Audience

When adding internal links, be sure to consider your audience. This means linking to pages that are relevant and interesting to them. If you’re linking from a page about local SEO, you would want to link to a page about the best local SEO strategies for small businesses, for example.

Conclusion

Orphan pages can hurt your site’s SEO, so it’s important to keep them under control.

The best way to prevent orphan pages is to have a well-organized website and add internal links through your website content.

Keep these best practices in mind when doing internal linking: use follow links, link deep, leverage anchor texts, use relevant links and consider your audience. If you do have orphan pages, take action to fix them as soon as possible.

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