An orphan page is a webpage that is not linked to from any other pages on the same website, making it difficult or impossible for search engine crawlers and users to discover it through internal navigation.
These pages may still be indexed by search engines if they have inbound links from external sites, but their lack of internal links can negatively impact their visibility and search rankings.
Orphan pages are problematic for several reasons:
- Poor user experience: Users may struggle to find relevant content or navigate the website effectively if they land on an orphan page.
- Reduced crawlability: Search engine crawlers may not discover orphan pages if there are no internal links pointing to them, which can hurt their search rankings.
- Wasted crawl budget: Search engines allocate a limited amount of resources to crawl a website, and orphan pages can consume some of that budget without contributing to the site’s overall SEO performance.
To identify and fix orphan pages, consider these steps:
- Crawl your website: Use a website crawling tool like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to identify orphan pages on your site.
- Analyze your site’s architecture: Review your site’s navigation and linking structure to identify areas where orphan pages can be linked to relevant content.
- Add internal links: Create contextually relevant internal links from other pages on your site to the orphan pages, ensuring they become a part of your site’s overall structure.
Furthermore, Google’s guidelines on creating a Google-friendly website emphasize the importance of a clear and logical website structure, which includes addressing orphan pages.