Yandex Penalties: Doorway Pages

Yandex, the Russian search engine, is taking a hard stance against webmasters who employ the practice of doorway pages.

Doorway pages are websites or webpages that have been designed with the intent to rank highly for a limited set of keywords on major search engines like Google and Yandex.

The practice of doorway pages violates both Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Yandex’s Requirements for Website Development; as such, both search engines have penalized websites employing this method for ranking in their respective index.

Yandex specifically goes into detail about what constitutes doorway pages: an excessive number of links to content-less sites (e.g. pages with images and excessive script tags), a lack of originality, large amounts of advertisements or links to affiliate programs, a lack of balance between text and images (i.e. the ratio of text to image is either too high or the image weight is too high), and keyword stuffing (i.e. number of words in anchor texts outweighs number of words in content).

Yandex also takes into account when an “individual holds several websites that are essentially duplicate copies of each other” and the “same webmaster under separate user names”. This is to ensure that a website is not penalized twice for the same set of doorway pages in both the Yandex and Google indexes.

In addition, Yandex penalizes websites with doorway pages that use “banned techniques” such as redirects (e.g. automatically redirecting the user to another page) and cloaking (i.e. displaying different content to search engine crawlers than what’s displayed to users).


Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of