An Orphan Page is that which has no links attached to it. It is next to impossible to find the Orphan Page. If your website has pages that cannot be reached by the search engines and the users, then a big problem lies ahead of you. It must be fixed as quickly as possible. Broken links is also an issue that needs fixing.
If the search engines or Google needs to index your page, then they will have to know they exist and where. This can be achieved in two ways like the
- The link is followed by a crawler from another page
- An XML sitemap lists the URL and the crawler finds through it.
The Orphan page usually goes undetected by the search engines on the search results. Even if it finds its place in the XML sitemap list, it still creates a problem for the SEO. Since there are no internal links, the page does not receive any authority. The search engine is unable to evaluate the page because it has no structural context or the semantic. So one would be clueless as to where the page fits exactly in your site. So, let’s find a solution to detect the Orphan Pages.
- Identify the crawlable pages
The first thing you will need is the URL list that can be proffered by going through your site’s link. This task can be completed with the help of SEO spider and ScreamingFrog suits best.
No matter what type of crawler you use, its work is to crawl only pages that go undetected by the search engines.
- Resolve 2 common causes of Orphan Pages
The orphan pages have two common causes and they should immediately be addressed and dealt with. The common part in this causes is that they duplicate the page that needs to be automatically redirected to single URL. If it fails to redirect, then some part of the page that is not linked end up as Orphan page.
The problem, in this case, is not about the Orphan page, but it is about the duplicate page. This can be dealt with by using HTTP or https more often. Or one can use www or non-www fairly.
One should also look out for constant use of trailing slashes. Make sure to check the URLs with and without the trailing slashes. And see to it that it automatically directs to the same page consistently. Also, use this method to check out in other pages of your site too. It sure takes time, but it is all worth it.
- Get a list of URLs from Google Analytics
The crawlers will have a hard time finding the Orphan pages. And using the SEO tool will also create problems. So the best place to find is your Google Analytics Data. The Google Analytics Data sure has a record of everything that has been visited.
- Identify your Orphan URLs
The Orphan URLs can be identified by comparing the Analytics URLs and Crawlable URLs in the spreadsheet.
- Other places to look for Orphan URLs
This process can be repeated using other data sources than Google Analytics. The following tools will have the page list that has been crawled through your site.
- Moz Link Explorer
- Raven Tools
It is not mostly recommended for signing up any of the above specifically for the Orphan tools. However, there are chances that these tools will help in finding the Orphan page or that which has not been directly crawled. It is also wise to join hands and work with the dev team to check out the possibility of getting the URLs complete list from the server.
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