Orphan Page

What Is An Orphan Page?

An Orphan Page is a webpage that doesn’t have any internal links from other pages on your website.

That means there is no way to access the page without knowing the exact URL.

orphaned pages

But that’s not all…

Because orphan pages don’t have internal links, it’s difficult for search engines like Google to find them.

That means Google will find it hard to crawl the page and won’t add it to the search index.

That’s not good for SEO.

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How Do Orphan Pages Affect SEO?

Orphan pages affect SEO because they are almost invisible to search engines and users. Because they can’t be found, they won’t be crawled and indexed by Google.

This will ultimately lead to low (or no) visibility in the search results.

Here’s how orphan pages affect SEO:

  • Reduced Discoverability: Orphan pages stay hidden because they don’t have any internal links.
  • Wasted Crawl Budget: It costs search engines more to find orphan pages, so they won’t bother trying to find them.
  • Lower Rankings: Orphan Pages don’t gain any authority from other internal or external links, which impacts their ability to rank.

Orphan pages can have a significant effect on your SEO. It’s important to identify and fix them quickly.

How To Find Orphan Pages

The best way to find orphan pages is by using an SEO tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your sitemap.

It’s important that you configure the SEO spider to crawl ONLY your sitemap. This ensures that the crawl analysis will still pick up any orphaned pages.

You could also look at the inlinks column for quick reference:

Once you have identified orphaned pages on your website, you can fix them.

How To Fix An Orphan Page

There are 4 steps you can take to fix orphan pages:

  1. Build Internal Links
  2. Add A Noindex Tag
  3. Merge With Another URL
  4. Delete The Page Entirely

Which step to take depends on the type of content and the topic of the page.

1. Build Internal Links

The easiest way to fix orphan pages is by adding internal links from relevant content on your site.

This will help search engines find and index them. Strategically placing internal links also boosts the page’s SEO value.

That’s a win-win!

Check out our complete guide to internal link building tutorial to learn more.

2. Add A Noindex Tag

If you want to keep the page on the site but it doesn’t contribute to your site’s SEO value – You can simply add a noindex tag.

This will mean the page is accessible to those who have the link but it’s removed from the search results pages.

For example, let’s say you create a temporary landing page and only want to send paid traffic from Facebook ads to that page. You can choose to noindex the page and stop it from showing up in Google’s search results.

That way it’s still accessible to people from your Facebook ad campaign but won’t negatively affect your SEO.

3. Merge With Another URL

Does the page have similar content to another page on your site?

Merge them both using a 301 redirect. This eliminates the issue with the orphan page and transfers any link equity across to the new URL.

4. Delete The Page Entirely:

Found an orphan page that offers no value?

Simply delete it!

Deleting unnecessary pages cleans up your site, making it easier for search engines to navigate. You may need to redirect it to prevent a 404 error.

Important: Consider if the page content can be repurposed or if it has historical backlinks worth redirecting before deleting.

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