In SEO, an orphan page is a page present on the site, regularly indexed by Google, but which is not linked to any other page in the internal mesh of your site. It’s a problem that can occur on clients’ websites and that we take care of at Net’Wash. More details in the following !
Orphan pages: why are they harmful to SEO?
In short, an orphan page is a page which is not linked. In other words, there are no links on your site to it. As a result, the orphan page is absent from the site tree, making it potentially invisible to search engines. That said, in rare cases, it may be indexed, but it does not generally contribute to the visibility of a site.
As long as the problem only affects one page, the impact on visibility is limited. However, in the majority of cases, the problem often affects a set of pages, which negatively impacts the number of potentially indexable pages.
Where do orphan pages come from?
Orphaned pages can come from several sources, but all depend on the technical solution used for your site. Today, recent CMS such as Drupal, WordPress or Prestashop have a system of meshing that limits the risk of orphan pages. However, they can still appear, especially after a redesign, where old pages are still accessible. Their presence can also be explained by content pages that have not been meshed in the menu or footer, or when the URL of a page has been updated without 301 redirection.
How to correct the problem of orphan pages?
The answer can be summed up in a few words: internal linking. Your site’s intermeshing must be worked on manually. Although tedious, this method is by far the most effective in correcting the problem of orphan pages. It is therefore a matter of taking each orphan page on your site and making sure you create a link to it. You can use tools to optimise your internal linkage at this level. Finally, once this is done, you can add the relevant pages to your sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console.