If you ever watched Batman, you would know that the person under the masked vigilante is an orphan. Similarly, orphan pages on your website are like Bruce Wayne – they have the potential to be great. 

In the world of websites, orphan pages are the pages that can’t be reached by clicking through from the homepage or any other page on the site. They’re isolated, lacking inbound links from other parts of the website. This makes them invisible to visitors and search engines alike, which can hurt a site’s SEO and user experience.

Just as Bruce Wayne turned his orphan status into the iconic superhero Batman, recognizing and managing orphan pages can unlock massive potential for your website’s SEO. In this article, we’ll go over what orphan pages are, why they’re bad for your website, and how you can find and resolve them.

What is an Orphan Page?

An orphan page is a webpage without any links pointing to them from other pages on the same website. These pages might hold valuable content but remain unseen due to their isolation from the site’s internal linking structure.

An orphan page does not have inbound links from pages within the same website
An orphan page does not have inbound links from pages within the same website

As a result, visitors can typically access them only through direct URLs or if they appear in search engine results. Without internal links directing traffic to them, orphan pages face limited visibility and reduced chances of being discovered.

Orphan Pages vs. Dead-End Pages

Orphan pages and dead-end pages might sound similar, but they’re actually different and hence affect your site’s health in distinct ways. Understanding their differences is crucial if you want to improve your site’s SEO performance.

Orphan pages are those without any links from other parts of your site. This means they’re hard for both users and search engines to find. They can contain valuable content but remain invisible, wasting potential engagement opportunities. As highlighted in the previous section, orphan pages lack connections, making them challenging to discover without direct access.

On the other hand, dead-end pages are those that lead visitors nowhere else within the site. They might be found easily enough but fail to encourage further exploration. This can frustrate users and increase bounce rates, signaling search engines that the webpage might not be valuable or relevant. Imagine if you can reach this article from anywhere within the site, but this article leads you nowhere else. 

Both types of pages present barriers to a smooth user experience and effective site navigation. Yet, their impacts on a website’s performance differ significantly. Orphan pages risk being completely unnoticed by search engines, reducing a site’s overall visibility. Meanwhile, dead-end pages can diminish user engagement and satisfaction levels.

How Orphan Pages Affect SEO

Now that you’ve got a full grip on understanding orphan pages, it’s time we discuss how they can impact your SEO negatively. 

1. Orphan pages might not be indexed

Search engines can’t find orphan pages because there are no paths leading to them. This means they might not get indexed. If a page isn’t indexed, it’s invisible to search engine users. I’m sure you know this already, but it’s crucial for all your content to be discoverable and visible. Otherwise, you might be missing the opportunity to rank this particular page.

2. Orphan pages can take up a lot of crawl budget

Crawl budget is the time and resources search engines allocate to crawl a website’s pages. Orphan pages, which are not linked from any other page on your site, can drain this limited crawl budget. Due to the difficulty of locating orphan pages, search engine crawlers end up spending more valuable time and resources which could otherwise be used to crawl and index important content instead.

3. Orphan pages generally don’t perform well

Orphan pages often see lower traffic and engagement rates because they’re harder to find—not just by search engines but also by users. 

Without internal links, orphan pages lack SEO signals that help them rank higher. These signals include user engagement and page authority passed through links from other parts of your site. Essentially, orphan pages are at a disadvantage from the start.

4. Orphan pages can hurt user experience

Orphan pages disrupt the flow of your website, making it harder for users to navigate smoothly. Pages that are hard to find or seem out of place can frustrate visitors, possibly making them leave your site altogether, which increases bounce rates.

How Orphan Pages Happen

Orphan pages happen all the time due to their high tendency of being overlooked. Therefore, it’s important to understand how they appear. Here are reasons why orphan pages exist on your website:

1. Poor or incomplete internal linking structure

Orphan pages often emerge because of incomplete internal linking. Websites grow and change, but sometimes, links don’t follow, which causes orphan pages. For example, let’s say you just published a new blog post on your website, but forgot to include a link from your older content to your new one. This results in your new blog post becoming an orphan page.

2. Poor housekeeping

Sometimes, orphan pages are simply the result of poor website maintenance. As sites evolve, old campaigns end, and new ones begin. Pages can quickly become outdated, and some pages get left behind in the shuffle—like old toys forgotten in a closet. Orphan pages can appear if you don’t remove or redirect these outdated pages when they become irrelevant.

For example, imagine you had a dedicated page for a Black Friday sale. After the sale ends, leaving the page live without removing it or redirecting it to your main product page creates an orphan. This abandoned page is essentially taking up space on your website without serving any purpose. You might think they’re out of sight, out of mind, but they can still negatively impact your site’s health and user experience.

3. Trouble tracking

Trouble with tracking updates is another big reason orphan pages exist. As content gets added or removed, some pages lose their connections to the rest of the site. Let’s say you update a product description page. In the process, you accidentally remove a link that previously pointed to a related blog post about using that product. The blog post is now an orphan, disconnected from the rest of your website.

Tip: To ensure all your pages are seamlessly connected, consider using a tool like LinkVector to easily track your internal linking profile. This will help you identify and fix any broken links before they create orphan pages.

How to Find Orphan Pages

Since we’ve covered why orphan pages happen, let’s explore their common characteristics and how to locate them.

There are three characteristics of orphan pages:

1. An orphan page has no inbound links

2. An orphan page is a live page but unreachable

3. An orphan page can still be indexed

Based on the three characteristics, here are four methods how to locate them (method #1 is highly recommended!):

1. Use an internal linking tool

To find orphan pages with no hassle, you should use LinkVector. LinkVector will scan your entire website for orphan pages and show those pages to you. Meanwhile, its intelligent algorithm will also analyze your pages to identify and suggest relevant pages that can link to those orphan pages.

2. Use Google Analytics

You can also use Google Analytics to find orphan pages. First, look at the traffic sources for your pages. Pages with very little or no traffic might be orphans, especially if they don’t show up as landing pages from external sources. This method requires a bit more detective work because you’ll need to cross-reference these suspiciously quiet pages against your site’s navigation structure.

3. Do it manually

Finally, manual checking is an option, though it’s more time-consuming. Start from your homepage and try to navigate to every page listed in your content management system (CMS) or sitemap without using a direct URL. If you find pages you cannot reach through internal links, those are orphaned.

Remember, finding these pages is crucial because it affects how well search engines understand and rank your site. Orphan pages can hold valuable content that goes unnoticed, which means you’re not getting the full SEO value from your efforts.

How to Fix Orphan Pages

After identifying orphan pages on your website, fixing them is the next crucial step. This makes them visible to search engines and users, and fixing them can significantly improve your site’s SEO performance.

There are 2 different methods to fix orphan pages, and here’s both of them:

1. The 3-Step Method

This method involves 3 steps, and hence will take up more time and effort. For a faster solution, we suggest skipping to the next method.

The first step in this method is to create a list of all orphan pages you’ve found. This makes it easier to track which ones you’ve addressed and which ones still need attention. Then, decide whether each page is worth keeping. Not all orphan pages deserve a spot in your website’s structure – some might be outdated or irrelevant, and it’s better to remove those.

For the pages you choose to keep, integrate them into your site’s navigation. You can:

1. Add them to relevant categories or sections.

Categorize your orphan pages
Categorize your orphan pages

2. Link them from related articles or blog posts.

Link your orphan pages to related articles or blog posts within your site
Link your orphan pages to related articles or blog posts within the same site

3. Include them in your sitemap if they’re not already there.

Include orphan pages in your sitemap
Include orphan pages in your sitemap

This integration helps search engines and users discover these previously hidden gems.

Consider the user journey on your website. Every page should have a purpose and lead the visitor toward a specific action or piece of information. If not properly integrated, orphan pages might disrupt this flow.

2. The LinkVector Method

The second method is more straightforward and streamlined. It takes less time and is way easier to execute. We’ll call this method the “LinkVector” method: using LinkVector to automatically find and fix the orphan pages on your website.

LinkVector uses advanced algorithms to crawl your website and locate orphan pages (as covered in the previous section). Then, it will analyze existing pages to look for suitable pages that can link to your orphan pages. With just one click from you, LinkVector will insert those links within your pages, hence eliminating orphan pages.

How to Prevent Orphan Pages

Now that you know how to find and fix orphan pages, it’s important to know how to prevent orphan pages from happening again. Preventing orphan pages is key to maintaining a healthy website structure and ensuring all your content contributes to your SEO efforts.

Here’s how you can do it.

1. Plan your website structure

Before creating content, plan out your website’s structure. You need to ensure that every page has a clear purpose and fits into a logical hierarchy. This will be a significant step to help you avoid creating pages that don’t have any internal links.

2. Check your website’s internal linking regularly

This means making sure every page links to and is linked from other parts of your site. You are recommended to use LinkVector frequently to find any isolated pages. LinkVector can also scan your entire website and let you know the overall health of your site.

3. Internal linking your new content

When creating new content, always look for opportunities to link to existing pages on your site. This not only helps prevent orphan pages but also improves navigation and boosts SEO by spreading link equity.

4. Make sure everyone is well-informed

Lastly, educate everyone involved in creating and updating the website content about the importance of internal linking and how it prevents orphan pages. This includes writers, editors, web developers, and anyone else who adds content to the site.


In this article, we’ve explored what orphan pages are, why they’re bad for your website, and most importantly, how you can find and fix them. By taking the time to identify and address orphan pages, you can ensure all your valuable content is discoverable and working hard to improve your website’s ranking and user experience.

However, manually finding orphan pages can be a time-consuming task. To simplify the process, we highly suggest using LinkVector. This internal linking tool can scan your entire website, identify orphan pages, and even suggest relevant linking opportunities to integrate them seamlessly into your website’s structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are orphan pages in SEO?

Orphan pages are web pages that aren’t linked to from any other page on your site. This makes them hard for search engines and users to find, which can hurt your SEO efforts.

How do orphan pages differ from dead-end pages?

While orphan pages have no inbound links, dead-end pages don’t offer a way out—they lack outbound links. Both can negatively impact user experience and SEO but in different ways.

Why should I worry about orphan pages affecting my SEO?

Orphan pages can harm your SEO because they’re harder for search engines to discover and index. If search engines struggle to find these pages, it means lost opportunities for ranking and visibility.

What are some common reasons orphan pages exist?

Orphan pages often result from outdated content, site restructuring, or errors in linking. They’re usually not intentional but can accumulate over time as your website grows.

How can I find orphan pages on my website?

To find orphan pages, use a combination of website crawlers that identify what’s indexed by search engines and compare it against your site’s internal link structure. Tools like Google Analytics and specialized internal linking tools like LinkVector can help uncover these hidden pages.

What steps should I take to fix orphan pages?

To fix orphan pages, first you need to identify them. Then, decide whether to delete, update, or integrate them into your site’s navigation. Linking these pages appropriately ensures they contribute to your site’s overall SEO health.

How can I prevent creating new orphan pages?

Prevent new orphan pages by regularly auditing your website’s structure and ensuring all new content is properly linked from relevant sections of your site.