An orphan page is a web page that is not linked to by any other pages on a website. This can make it difficult for users to find and access the page, as they will not be able to navigate to it through the website's internal links. Orphan pages can also be difficult for search engines to discover and index, which can negatively impact the page's search engine ranking.
Why orphan pages appear
There are several reasons why a page might become an orphan page:
- The page was created and published but was never linked to from any other pages on the website.
- The page was linked to from other pages on the website, but those links were later removed or modified.
- The page was created as part of a larger website and was later moved or deleted, but the links pointing to it were not updated.
How to deal with pages
To prevent orphan pages on your website, it's important to ensure that all pages on your site are linked to from at least one other page. This will make it easier for users to navigate your site and for search engines to discover and index your pages. If you do have orphan pages on your site, it's a good idea to identify and fix the links pointing to them or redirect the pages to relevant content on your site.
Here are some steps you can take to find and fix orphan pages on your website:
Identify orphan pages
- Use a tool like WebSite Auditor to scan your site and identify pages that are not linked to from any other pages. On the image below, orphan pages are shown as grey nodes.
- Check your website's sitemap to see if there are any pages that are not linked to from the main navigation or other pages on the site.
- Check your website's internal linking structure to see if there are any pages that are not linked to from any other pages.
- Use a tool like Google Analytics to see which pages on your site are getting the most traffic. If there are pages that are getting a lot of traffic but are not linked to from any other pages, they may be orphan pages.
Fix or delete orphan pages
Once you have identified the orphan pages on your website, you have several options for dealing with them:
- Fix the links pointing to the orphan pages: If the orphan pages are getting traffic or are important to your website, you may want to fix the links pointing to them. This could involve updating the links on other pages to point to the correct URL, or adding new links to the orphan pages from other parts of your site.
- Redirect the orphan pages to relevant content: If the orphan pages are no longer relevant or useful, you can redirect them to other pages on your site that are more relevant. This can help improve the user experience and prevent users from landing on a page that doesn't have any links or is no longer useful.
- Delete the orphan pages: If the orphan pages are not important to your website and are not getting any traffic, you can delete them to simplify your site and remove unnecessary pages.
It's important to regularly check your website for orphan pages and take steps to fix or delete them to ensure that your site is easy to navigate and that all of your pages are being properly indexed by search engines.