Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Allan Khazak on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 8, 2019).

I have discovered something interesting

I`m relatively new to SEO but recently I have discovered something interesting on one of my competitors websites. On each local citation page they have a page for the services they provide that are unique to that city. For example say they offer the following services: painting garages, painting doors, cleaning windows and cleaning eaves, they have a separate page for one of the cities they operate, say New York and than they have special pages for "Painting doors in New York", "Painting garages in New York", etc.... When I look up the pages on Screaming Frog SEO Checker I noticed that these pages for "Painting doors in New York" are "Non-Indexable" does anyone know why they are doing this?
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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Brenda Michelin: Errors on their end, I might guess? Very thin content? Duplicate content?
  • Allan Khazak: Do you think they are doing this for a link boosting standpoint? The content is very thin, does it provide extra value from SEO standpoint?
  • E Dieter Martin: Are they advertising on Google and use those pages as landing pages?
  • Allan Khazak: No they aren`t, when I check ahrefs these pages are ranking, the city pages, not service specific pages for each city
  • Brenda Michelin: so, which pages are they noindexing? the service-city pages? or the location pages?
  • Allan Khazak: service city pages
  • Richard Hearne: Non-indexable in Screaming Frog can to caused by:
    * different canonical URL
    * Robots META NOINDEX
    * HTTP NOINDEX Header
    * non-200 response code
    It sounds like perhaps these pages are intentionally set to NOINDEX. Google does not like doorway pages like this. Historically also referred to as "Cookie Cutter" pages.
  • Allan Khazak: Cool thanks, but does this benefit their SEO? And if so, how?
  • Richard Hearne: Unlikely to benefit, but it might perhaps have lifted a previous penalty or algorithmic dampening of their site. This type of content scheme resulted in lots of penalties for sites in the past, and is generally frowned upon these days. I wouldn`t take too much educational inspiration from a site that uses this content pattern.
  • Allan Khazak: great thanks for the details

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 8, 2019).

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