Jennifer Slegg of The SEM Post makes a valuable point about PPC landing pages in her post on What SEOs Need To Know About Google’s Doorway Pages Search Ranking Adjustment. Here’s what she says:
Pay per click landing pages – particularly ones that take a minimalist approach – can also be mistaken for doorway pages by search engines. And with this change having the potential to impact an entire site, you should definitely block Googlebot from these landing pages (but do allow the AdWords bot for quality score purposes).
Google & Doorway Pages
What she is talking about is the looming Google update on doorway pages. And the growing commentary on the subject shows that it is controversial. Part of that controversy is because a PPC landing page and what Google considers a doorway page are close: “pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)” sounds pretty much like a PPC landing page.
Google is taking the viewpoint that a user who is searching for what you offer isn’t going to want to wade through similar results that all lead to the same site, especially if that user is on the smaller screen of a mobile device. So they do have a valid concern since a user who gets frustrated with Google’s results will use a different search engine.
The PPC Landing Page Difference
But a pay per click landing page doesn’t need to have a search engine bot find it, right? The user finds this link to your page because the ad has caught their eye and triggered a response. The user is the search engine in this case. You did your homework and put your PPC ad where the user you are targeting already is looking at stuff online. It’s already been filtered.
This is why Jennifer Slegg suggests blocking Googlebot from your PPC landing pages — there’s no need for it to be there and there could be problems with the doorway page update if you don’t. We talk about PPC for Small Business regularly because it is something that changes, along with all internet marketing, every time search engines change algorithms. Keeping up with changes in SEO is a basic part of being an internet marketer.