Orphaned Pages: The Hidden SEO Risk and How to Fix Them?
Last Updated on 15th May 2023 by Ajmer Singh
An orphaned page is a page on your website that does not have any internal links pointing to it, making it challenging for users and search engines to discover and navigate to it.
This can result in lower traffic and reduced visibility for that page, which can ultimately harm your website’s overall SEO performance.
In this article, we will explore the hidden SEO risks of orphaned pages and how to fix them, including best practices for managing your website and the tools you can use to identify and address orphaned pages.
Introduction to Orphaned Pages
Orphaned pages are web pages that are not linked to any other page on your website.
In other words, they are pages that are not part of your website’s navigation structure or linked to any other page.
These pages are isolated and are not easily accessible by users or search engines.
Orphaned pages are a hidden SEO risk that can affect your website’s search engine ranking and user experience.
Understanding the SEO Risk of Orphaned Pages
Orphaned pages are a significant SEO risk because they are not easily accessible by search engines.
Search engines use links to crawl and index your website’s pages.
If a page is not linked to any other page, search engines may not find it, and it will not be indexed.
This can result in lost search engine visibility and a decrease in website traffic.
Orphaned pages can dilute your website’s authority.
Search engines assign authority to pages based on the number and quality of links pointing to them.
Orphaned pages do not have any links pointing to them, so they will not have any authority.
This can affect your website’s overall authority and may result in a decrease in search engine ranking.
Identifying Orphaned Pages on Your Website
Identifying orphaned pages on your website can be challenging, but there are several ways to do it.
One way is to use a website crawler tool like Screaming Frog or Semrush.
These tools will crawl your website and identify pages that are not linked to any other page.
Another way to identify orphaned pages is to use Google Search Console.
Google Search Console will show you all the pages on your website that are indexed by Google.
If there are pages that are not indexed, they may be orphaned pages.
Causes of Orphaned Pages and How to Prevent Them
Orphaned pages can be caused by several factors, including website redesigns, changes in website structure, or errors in website coding.
To prevent orphaned pages, it is essential to plan your website structure carefully and ensure that all pages are linked to from other pages.
If you are redesigning your website, make sure that all pages are migrated to the new website and that all internal links are updated.
If you are making changes to your website’s structure, make sure that you update all internal links to reflect the new structure.
Impact of Orphaned Pages on User Experience
Orphaned pages can also have a significant impact on user experience.
If a user finds a page on your website that is not linked to any other page, they may become frustrated and leave your website.
This can result in a high bounce rate and a decrease in website traffic.
Orphaned pages can make it difficult for users to find the information they are looking for.
If a user is unable to find what they are looking for on your website, they may look elsewhere.
This can result in lost business and a decrease in revenue.
How to Fix Orphaned Pages: Step-by-Step Guide
Fixing orphaned pages is essential for maintaining your website’s search engine ranking and user experience.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix orphaned pages:
Step 1: Identify orphaned pages using a website crawler tool or Google Search Console.
Step 2: Determine the cause of the orphaned pages.
Step 3: Decide whether to delete the page or add internal links to the page.
Step 4: If you decide to add internal links, identify relevant pages to link from.
Step 5: Update the internal links to include the orphaned page.
Step 6: Test the new internal links to ensure that they are working correctly.
Step 7: Submit the updated sitemap to Google
Best Practices for Managing Orphaned Pages
To prevent orphaned pages from becoming an issue in the future, here are some best practices for managing your website:
1. Plan your website structure carefully and make sure that all pages are linked to other pages.
2. Perform regular website audits to identify any orphaned pages and fix them promptly.
3. Keep your website updated and ensure that all internal links are updated when making changes to your website’s structure.
4. Use Google Search Console to monitor your website’s indexing status and fix any issues promptly.
5. Use a website crawler tool to identify any broken links and fix them promptly.
Tools to Help You Find and Fix Orphaned Pages
There are several tools available to help you find and fix orphaned pages on your website.
Here are some of the most popular ones:
Google Search Console:
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to monitor your website’s indexing status and identify any issues with your website’s performance.
Screaming Frog is a website crawler tool that allows you to crawl your website and identify any orphaned pages.
Sitebulb is another website crawler tool that allows you to identify any orphaned pages on your website and fix them promptly.
Ahrefs is an SEO tool that allows you to identify any orphaned pages on your website and monitor your website’s search engine ranking.
SEMrush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit that includes an orphaned pages report, which allows you to identify any orphaned pages on your website and improve your website’s overall SEO performance.
Link Whisper is a WordPress plugin that helps you to manage internal linking on your website, reducing the chances of orphaned pages and improving your website’s SEO performance.
Using any of these tools can help you to identify orphaned pages and fix them promptly, preventing any negative impact on your website’s SEO performance.
However, I use Link Whisper. Easy to use and fix orphaned pages in a click.
Conclusion: Importance of Regularly Checking for Orphaned Pages
In conclusion, orphaned pages can pose a hidden SEO risk that can affect your website’s search engine ranking and user experience.
Regularly checking for orphaned pages and promptly fixing them is essential to prevent them from becoming an issue in the future.
By following the best practices outlined in this article and using the tools available, such as Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Link Whisper, you can ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and provides a positive user experience for your visitors.
Faqs about Orphaned Pages!
What is an orphaned page?
An orphaned page is a page on a website that is not linked to any other pages on the site, making it difficult for users and search engines to find and access.
What are the consequences of orphaned pages?
Orphaned pages can harm your site’s SEO and ranking, as they can cause search engines to view your site as disorganized and potentially lower its ranking.
How can I identify orphaned pages on my site?
You can use tools such as Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, and SEMrush to help identify orphaned pages on your site.
How can I fix orphaned pages on my site?
You can fix orphaned pages by linking to them from other pages on your site, redirecting them to other relevant pages, or removing them altogether.
How can I prevent orphaned pages from occurring on my site?
You can prevent orphaned pages from occurring by planning your site’s architecture in advance, conducting regular site audits, and avoiding common mistakes such as ignoring orphaned pages, deleting them without redirecting, and not properly planning site architecture.