What is an Orphan Page? (has no incoming internal links)
- 1 What is an Orphan Page?
- 2 Why Are Orphan Pages Bad for SEO?
- 3 How to Find Orphan Pages on Your Site
- 4 Orphan Pages vs Dead End Pages: What’s the Difference?
- 5 It’s Time to Fix Your Orphan Pages
In this article, we’re going to be showing you how to find and fix every orphan page on your website.
Fixing any orphan pages on your site can result in a nice boost in organic traffic whilst also boosting user experience.
The good news is, it’s an easy fix (once you know how). Once you’ve identified an orphan page, all you need to do is add internal links to the page from other content on your site.
Internal linking is a crucial part of on-page SEO. As well as helping users navigate your site and find other helpful content, internal links also help search engines crawl, understand, and index the pages on your site.
What is an Orphan Page?
An orphan page is a page on your website with no internal links pointing to it. Because no other pages are linking to it, it’s much harder for both search engines and users to find the page.
This can result in the page being forgotten over time and the hard work you’ve spent creating content being wasted.
An orphan page can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, you may update your website or delete old content that was linking to the page. You may also simply have forgotten to create internal links to the page after you published it.
Either way, it’s a problem that can be easily resolved once you know how.
Why Are Orphan Pages Bad for SEO?
Internal links help search engines navigate and understand the relationship between different pages on your site. More internal links pointing to a page will lead to a higher page authority, which can give you an edge over your competitors in the SERPs.
So basically, if a page doesn’t have any internal links pointing to it, search engines will find it harder to crawl and index it. This could mean that your page won’t receive any organic traffic.
If you’re not building internal links on your site, you’re leaving money on the table.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to find any orphan pages and add internal links to them.
How to Find Orphan Pages on Your Site
There are two ways to find orphan pages on your site.
Firstly, you can do it manually. This takes a while, but if you’ve got the time to spare, go for it.
The other way is using LinkWhisper, which will do all the hard work for you.
Here’s how to do it.
How to Find and Fix Orphan Pages Using LinkWhisper – Orphan Page Checker Tool
Link Whisper (internal linking tool) makes it easy to find orphaned pages and posts on your site. Head to the Link Whisper dashboard in WordPress, and click on the Internal Links Report page.
Here, you will find a report of all of your pages, along with how many internal links there are pointing to each page. Click on the “Inbound Internal Links” button to bring the pages with zero internal links (your orphan posts) to the top.
You can also filter by post type, depending on whether you want to view your orphan posts or orphan pages.
Then, all you need to do is click the ‘add’ button to add an internal link to the article. Link Whisper will provide you with a list of suggestions to choose from, which you can click on to add a link to your orphan page.
And that’s it! It only takes a few seconds.
If you have a large number of orphan pages and posts, using Link Whisper will save you hours of time.
Whether you do this manually or with an internal linking tool, fixing orphan pages solves a big on-page SEO problem.
Finding Orphan Pages Manually
To manually find the orphan pages on your website, you will need a list of all the pages on your site. You can then crawl your site with a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to find the indexable pages and compare the two lists to find your orphan pages.
First, find a list of all the pages on your site by using Google Analytics or by installing a free plugin like List All URLs.
Once you have a list of all of your URLs, export them into a spreadsheet.
Next, you can enter your site’s URL into the Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This tool will crawl up to 500 URLs for free, but you can purchase a license if you want to crawl more pages.
Once the crawl has finished, you need to export this data and add this to your first spreadsheet. The crawler won’t have been able to crawl any non-indexed pages, which is why you need to compare this data to your list of all pages.
The pages that don’t show up on the crawl are your orphan pages.
Another (much easier) way to find your orphan posts and pages is by using a tool like Yoast SEO Premium. If you have Yoast SEO premium installed, you will be able to see any pages without internal links from your posts page.
Now that you have a list of your orphan pages, you can go through and fix them by manually building internal links.
How to Fix Orphan Pages in WordPress
Building internal links manually involves going into other older posts and pages, adding internal links to the orphan page, and updating the page.
You can find relevant content to link from by using the search function on your posts or pages.
For example, if the orphan post you want to link to is about the best keyword research tools, you can type “keyword research” into the search bar to find related content that mentions keyword research.
Then, open one of the posts, find a relevant sentence or phrase, and add a link to your orphan post or page.
Orphan Pages vs Dead End Pages: What’s the Difference?
You may have also heard the term ‘dead-end page’ used and be wondering what the difference is between an orphan page and a dead-end page.
While an orphan page has no internal links pointing to it, a dead-end page is a page that has no internal links pointing to other pages. This effectively creates a ‘dead end’ for search engine crawlers, so you don’t want these either.
Luckily, dead-end pages are also something you can spot and fix using LinkWhisper.
It’s Time to Fix Your Orphan Pages
So, now that you know how to find and fix every orphan page and post on your site, it’s time to get started. You should regularly check for orphan content on your site, so it might be a good idea to set a monthly or weekly reminder, depending on how much content you publish.
After adding your internal links, you should start to see improvements in your rankings.
If you use LinkWhisper, it will be quick and easy to do this, and you will be able to add links to your content as you write it, helping to prevent orphan posts in the future.