How to Find and Fix Orphan Pages (The Right Way)

Sand trap anticipates clueless SEOs when they begin dealing with a site with a long history.

These pits of specialized site blunders, littered by a few ages of past organizations, dial back and obstruct Web optimization endeavors and progress.

Furthermore, when you’re the one entrusted to tidy it up, finding the convenient solutions is your main errand.

So you might begin with a fundamental site review and see a few vagrant pages. You’ve presumably heard that vagrant pages are terrible for a site yet don’t completely comprehend what they are and how to fix them.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What orphan pages are
  • What causes orphan pages
  • Why orphan pages are bad for SEO
  • How to find orphan pages
  • How to fix orphan pages
  • How to prevent orphan pages

What are orphan pages?

Vagrant pages will be pages that web indexes might experience issues finding since they have no inner connections from somewhere else on your site.

These URLs will generally escape everyone’s notice since web search tool crawlers can find pages from the sitemap document or outer backlinks, and clients can get to the page in the event that they know the URL.

What causes orphan pages?

For the most part, vagrant pages are unplanned and happen because of multiple factors. The most well-known cause isn’t having processes for site relocations, route changes, site updates, unavailable items, testing, or dev pages.

Vagrant pages may likewise be purposeful, similarly as with limited time and paid publicizing points of arrival, or any occasion where you don’t maintain that the page should be essential for the client venture.

Why are orphan pages bad for SEO?

Web indexes struggle with finding vagrant pages since they use connects to assist with finding new satisfied and grasp the page’s importance.

Google says this:

Google look through the web with computerized programs called crawlers, searching for pages that are new or refreshed. [… ] We track down pages by various strategies, yet the fundamental strategy is following connections from pages that we definitely know about.

For instance, suppose you distribute another page and neglect to connection to it from somewhere else on your site. In the event that the page isn’t in your sitemap and has no backlinks, Google won’t find or record it. That is on the grounds that their web crawler doesn’t realize that it exists.

Far more terrible, the page can’t get PageRank.

On the off chance that you haven’t known about the expression “PageRank” previously, it’s no joking matter.

PageRank, as a rule, is Google’s approach to understanding the meaning of the page by counting the quantity of “votes” a page gets. You can peruse more about what PageRank works and means for Search engine optimization here.

How to find orphan pages

To find vagrant pages on your site, you really want to look at a rundown of crawlable URLs (what Google can find) with a rundown of URLs individuals are hitting on your site.

This might sound very specialized, however be encouraged. We have separated how to find vagrant pages into three simple tasks utilizing devices you knew about.

1. Find crawlable URLs

There are a great deal of devices you can use to accumulate a rundown of every crawlable Url. We will utilize Ahrefs’ Website Review since it’s totally free with an Ahrefs Website admin Devices record and you have the choice to utilize outside backlinks as a source to track down considerably more URLs.

  1. Go to Site Audit.
  2. Click + New Project.
  3. Follow the prompts until step 3. Click on the URL sources tab and check Backlinks as a URL source in addition to the default settings.
  4. Click Continue, follow the instructions to complete the setup, then run the crawl.

Backlink information is helpful for finding vagrant pages since it brings URLs from Ahrefs’ connection record in with the general mish-mash.

In the event that a page has no interior connections, a fundamental crawler won’t track down it.

However, on the off chance that a page has a backlink, Ahrefs will find the URL on your site and realize that the creep tracked down no inside joins, so it should be a vagrant page.

At the point when the site review is finished, send out all inner pages from Page Pilgrim and save them. You’ll involve this in sync 3.

2. Find URLs with hits

The subsequent stage is getting a rundown of the relative multitude of URLs with hits on our site.

There are many ways of doing this, and it’s in every case best to use as numerous information sources as you approach.

On the off chance that you approach, log records function admirably in light of the fact that they are server-side information which is more exact. We will not be going into the bare essential of getting to these on the grounds that it relies heavily on how the server is set up.

Yet, assuming that you decide to go this course, the following are three authority guides for normal server types:

  • Access Apache log files (Linux)
  • Access NGINX log files (Linux)
  • Access IIS log files (Windows)

In this article, we will utilize Google Examination (GA4) and Google Search Control center on the grounds that the cycle is essentially no different for everybody.

This is the way to track down URLs with hits in Google Examination (GA4):

  1. Log in to your Data Studio account.
  2. Start a new blank report.
  3. Connect Google Analytics as your data source.
  4. Choose the account you’re analyzing > select GA4 property.
  5. Add a basic table to your report.
  6. Set data source to the GA4 property created in step 4.
  7. Set dimension to Page path.
  8. Set metric to Views.
  9. Sort by Views in descending order.
  10. Set default date range to before GA4 was installed on the site.

To trade the outcomes from your table, click the three vertical dabs in the upper right corner and hit Commodity. Save with a supportive name like “date_GA_URLs_people_are_hitting_brandname” in light of the fact that you will require it in the future in only a tad.

Since we traded the page way and not the full page URL, we want to add the space to the start of all cells in our calculation sheet. This is simple enough in Google sheets. Simply import the CSV into a clear sheet, embed another section to one side, and glue this equation into cell A1 (make a point to supplant with your space):

As different URL sources are in every case best, we will likewise pull information from Google Search Control center (GSC).

GSC limits commodities to the initial 1,000 URLs, however Google Information Studio has a flawless little stunt that permits you to pull more.

  1. Reopen your Data Studio report.
  2. Start a new page (command + M).
  3. Open Resource > Manage added data sources.
  5. Select Search Console.
  6. Choose the site you’re analyzing > URL impression > web.
  7. Add a basic table to your report.
  8. Set dimension to Landing page.
  9. Set metric to Impressions.
  10. Expand rows per page to 5,000.
  11. Edit the date range to view at least the past three months.
  12. Export the results from your table. 

Name your sheet something supportive like “date GSC_URLs_people_are_hitting_brandname” on the grounds that you’ll require it again in a second.

Presently, consolidate every one of the URLs public are hitting from your various sources into one calculation sheet and tidy up the information by eliminating copies.

3. Cross-reference the two URL sources

You are in the last leg! The last step is cross-referring to crawlable URLs (from Ahrefs’ Site Review) and URLs with hits (from GA and GSC). To do this, make a clear Google Sheet and make three tabs. Mark them creep, hits, and cross reference.

In the main sheet, creep, duplicate, and glue the crawlable URLs from Ahrefs’ all’s Site Review.

To find these, open the sent out CSV from stage 1 and channel for results with incomingAllLinks equivalent to nothing. This is really significant on the grounds that these are vagrant pages, so remembering them for the “slither” tab will prompt incorrect outcomes while cross-referring to.

All things being equal, you ought to duplicate these URLs and add them to the “hits” tab.

Then, reorder the leftover URLs from the Ahrefs trade into the slither tab of your Google Sheet.

In the subsequent sheet, hits, duplicate/glue all URLs from stage 2. These are the pages you found utilizing Google Examination, Google Search Control center, or your site log documents. It incorporates website pages that clients have visited.

How to fix orphan pages

Advertisers frequently commit the error of basically adding inner connections to all vagrant pages in all cases.

The main pressing concern with this approach is that in light of the fact that a convenient solution can be applied across all pages doesn’t mean it ought to be.

Some vagrant pages are purposeful, as PPC points of arrival, while others can simply be eliminated, similar to test pages.

We would rather not squander assets fixing something not broken or is probably not going to have a positive effect.

The thought here is to ponder each vagrant page and choose whether noindexing, erasing, combining/solidifying, or essentially adding inner connections is the best fix.

For instance, in the event that a page was missed during a site movement and that page offers no incentive for guests, erasing it is likely the most ideal choice. Be that as it may, assuming the page has backlinks, it might likewise merit diverting the URL to one more pertinent page to save backlink value.

Internally link

Vagrant pages that are significant for site guests ought to be integrated into your site’s inner connecting construction to make them more straightforward for guests and web indexes to find.

For instance, suppose an article was forgotten during a site relocation or overhaul. We want to inside connect to it from a pertinent page we realize Google will soon (re)crawl.

Here is a simple method for doing that in Ahrefs:

  1. Go to Site Audit
  2. Open your site’s most recent crawl 
  3. Under Tools > Open Page Explorer.
  4. Search for a word or phrase in Page text.
  5. Sort the results by Organic traffic.

This finds logical inward connecting amazing open doors on pages that get natural traffic, and that implies Google is probably going to recrawl them as soon as possible and see our changes.


Vagrant pages that were purposefully not inside connected to, such as points of arrival for advertisements, ought to be noindexed to keep them from showing up in natural list items.

Most Search engine optimization modules have made this as simple as really looking at a crate, however you can likewise do it physically by reordering this into the  segment of the page:


Vagrant pages with something very similar or comparative substance to another page ought to be consolidated. This implies combining the substance and diverting the vagrant URL to the next page.

For instance, suppose you have two item postings for a similar item. One of them is a vagrant page; the other isn’t. You ought to take any exceptional significant data from the vagrant page and add it to the next page prior to diverting the vagrant page there.


Vagrant pages that offer no incentive for guests and fill no other need (e.g., paid traffic crusade) ought to be erased.

For instance, an unused CMS subject page can be taken out. This will bring about a 404 page and normally exit indexed lists over the long haul.

How to prevent orphan pages

As may be obvious, inspecting vagrant pages is time serious. So whenever you’ve invested the energy, you need to forestall vagrant pages from now on. The following are a couple of strategies and techniques to consider.

Have a plan for site migrations

Be proactive by having an arrangement any time you do a site relocation. You can stay away from broken connections and disarray on your site by diverting old pages to new variants with a 301 divert.

Set up your site structure for success

Assuming you need to inside connect to new pages physically, you will undoubtedly miss some and end up with vagrant pages. To this end you ought to decide on a site structure that handles inner connecting for you.

Most sorts of CMS do this because of the crate. For instance, each time we distribute another blog entry, WordPress adds an inward connection from our blog landing page and chronicle.

In any case, on the off chance that you’re utilizing a custom arrangement, you want to guarantee the vital code is set up for a decent site structure.

Remove discontinued products properly

On the off chance that you run a web based business webpage, you ought to eliminate ceased items from the index (alongside all inside joins highlighting them) and set a status code of 404 or 410. Neglecting to eliminate inside connects to such items is a typical reason for vagrant pages.

Assuming that the page has incredible backlinks and there is a refreshed or further developed adaptation of the item, you might need to consider keeping the page to protect the backlink value.

Run regular site audits

By running the review consistently, you can keep steady over any unintentional vagrant pages that might escape everyone’s notice. You can do this effectively utilizing the planning highlight in Ahrefs’ Site Review.

Final thoughts

Taking a gander at endlessly columns of vagrant page mistakes and attempting to figure out weighty specialized language is threatening.

While finding and fixing vagrant pages is time escalated, it needn’t bother with to be careful. Utilizing Ahrefs’ Site Review and the vagrant pages flowchart will assist with smoothing out your cycle.

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