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What’s Doorway & How to Apply It in Traffic Arbitrage?

This article is intended as a follow-up to the Complete Guide on Commodity SEO: where we discussed the key SEO promotion techniques and specifics of search traffic. This material is dedicated to the SEO approach which we didn’t feature earlier.

Today, we’ll discuss doorways. You’ll learn all about them and ways to apply them in traffic arbitrage. In this article, we will consider this approach from all sides, and share some tips on offers selection, doorways development, and monetization.

All There’s to Know About Doorways

Doorways are pre-landing web pages intended to redirect traffic to the advertiser’s resource. In other words, the doorway stands for an intermediate website that is intended only to receive traffic from the search engine and redirect it to the landing page.

As a rule, doorways are re-optimized websites that are featured at the TOP of the dropout intentionally. The content of the doorway is useless since it is only intended to be featured at the TOP of the dropout and receive traffic before it is blocked.

The major part of doorways’ content is keywords. The abundance of keywords affects the content but it’s good for the dropout rating.

When a user visits the doorway, they are being redirected at once with references, redirection scripts, or click-under ads for the most part. The user may not see the doorway page because they’re redirected to the landing page with the offer at once.

This is what the doorway looks like “from the outside”.
This is what the doorway looks like “from the inside”.

There are white and black doorways. White doorways are showcases or catalogs that are intended to collect information about different offers; they are promoted with “white” methods. This approach implies that the webmaster is more careful about SEO optimization methods, they monitor the content value and avoid aggressive promotion methods.

Such doorways are allowed in search engines and penalties are rarely applied to them.

Black doorways imply an opposite approach when the webmaster optimizes the content to the greatest extent possible and do all they can for the website to get featured at the TOP of the dropout. As a rule, such websites are banned by search engines rather quickly and do not last longer than a week.

To make black doorways work, publishers create whole networks of such web pages. Search engines identify and block such web pages but you can always create new ones and keep on making money. They commonly use doorway page generators for this. It’s a specialized software that generates and uploads doorways.

Now, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of doorways.

Let’s start with their advantages:

  • Search traffic. Search traffic is the hottest and most interested in purchasing the product;
  • Freemium traffic. The costs of managing doorways are minimal – they are much lower than those of social network targeting;
  • Unlimited resources. You’ll have an opportunity to target a huge audience of search engines around the world;
  • Many automation options. You can generate doorways en masse using doorway page generators;

Quicker results compared to SEO. Commonly, the webmaster receives the SEO traffic in one or two months while with doorways you can start earning in one to two weeks.

However, there are some drawbacks:

  • Challenging forecasting. As with the SEO, you won’t be able to predict the volume of traffic, its quality, and many other parameters;
  • Instability. Most of the doorway promotion schemes are banned by search engines. For stable operations, you must monitor search engine updates;
  • Limitations imposed by advertisers. Many advertisers do not accept doorway traffic, so you might want to consider it when selecting an offer to promote.

Otherwise, doorways represent a time-proven source of traffic that remains relevant to this day. We asked @teftelkaaa to share their opinion about the doorway relevance for beginners in 2022:

“Traffic arbitrage and doorway promotion in particular is challenging today and you might want to enter with some minor knowledge at least. However, if truth be told, it’s only the approach that is changing for all businesses and verticals: it’s evolving and being improved, but the overall promotion principle is the same as it was many years ago. Mobile subscriptions have evolved into bank card payments or apps with subscriptions, while human doorways moved from VK to Telegram, and so on.”

Which Offers Do I Choose for Doorways?

With doorways, you can drive traffic within the majority of the verticals but the most efficient among them are:

  • Commodity. These are goods for country houses, cars, etc. It’s a good option if you’d find trending offers but you’ll also have to meet competition with larger platforms and teams;
  • Nutra. These are “Beauty and Health” products like dietary supplements, weight loss products, plant fertilizers, etc. The vertical is distinguished by little competition and an abundance of offers;
  • Finance. These are banks and institutional lender offers. The competition in this case is extremely high, especially for “white” doorways.
This is what a white finance doorway might look like.

You might want to focus on “white” offers and avoid “adult” offers. If you have to optimize your content for “hardcore” offers, search engines will find and block your websites faster.

Otherwise, you might want to consider the nutra vertical first. You can find offers for any season and GEO in this vertical with low competition, which makes the nutra vertical one of the most convenient options to start with.

How to Create Doorways?

The doorway developing principle is the same as that of any SEO website. You’ll require a keyword database but you can create a custom website in website builder or using a doorway page generator.

To create a doorway, you’ll require the following:

  • Keyword database. You’ll find tips on keyword database creation in our Complete Guide on Commodity SEO;
  • Domain. You’ll learn more on domains below;
  • Hosting. You can opt for any popular shared hosting;
  • Content. The quality of the content depends on the doorway promotion scheme: the “darker” it is, the lower the content requirements.

Now back to the domains.

There are several options for the doorway domain:

  • Newly created domains. These are new domains that do not feature any websites yet. It is more challenging to get them featured in the dropout TOP but there won’t be any penalties imposed on such domains;
  • Drop domains. These are domains with a history which is one of the best options for doorways. Before you purchase such domains, make sure that they are indexed and are not under any penalties;
  • Free hosts. These are free second- or third-level trusted domains that you can obtain on WordPress, for example;

We interviewed @teftelkaaa about the best options:

“I create high-quality doorways like pharmacies, shops, platforms, catalogs, and “official websites” indistinguishable from well-designed websites. Therefore, I prefer trusted domains with a history within the .com (.net, .org) zone that have a pool of visitors from the CIS. For websites customized for a specific offer, I use the cheapest new ones in the .ru zone that look like [OFFERNAME]”

Once you select the domain, hosting, and keys, you can start creating the doorway. We won’t dive into the technical matters of working with website builders since they all have their guides.

Create and optimize a doorway: learn more about SEO optimization methods in Complete Guide on Commodity SEO.

Keep in mind that you must use as many keywords as possible for doorways; they might include more than several thousand keys. Focus on low-volume keys: they are better to obtain the TOP dropout rating.

Now it’s time to learn how the doorway page generators work. Despite the main trend of doorway “whitening”, it remains relevant and will allow you to obtain traffic when working by “gray” and “black” methods.

Let’s study the case of the JakoDorgen.

So, to start generating doorways, you’ll require to:

  1. Download the doorway page generator. Some of them may be fee-based;
  2. Run the doorway page generator;
  1. Go to “Settings”;
  1. Select the “HTML” website type and “Generate” Content. Select the number of articles on the website and the word count. Set the keyword density around 3-6%;
  1. Open the “Generator” tab and select “Add Project”;
  1. Enter the core key in the “Title” and “Header” fields;
  1. Upload a file with keys in UTF-8 format;
  2. If you have a database of articles for content generating, upload it as well;
  3. Click “Add” and you will be redirected back to the home screen;
  4. Specify the destination folder for the doorways;
  1. Click “Generate” and wait; soon, the doorway will be generated and ready for uploading in the specified folder.

The doorway page generator capabilities may vary but the principle of operation is the same. You just have to select keywords and adjust the parameters of the doorway and the software will do the rest.

Once the doorway is generated, you’ll have to improve the content or delegate it to a copywriter. Remember that the higher the quality of the content, the longer the doorway will last.

Don’t forget to enable a redirection script or references to the landing page to redirect the traffic you receive. Once it is done, the doorway is ready to go live.

How to Promote Offers Via Doorways?

The promotion scheme depends on the “color” of the strategy.

If you are promoting white offers, you must create high-quality trusted websites. These might be catalogs, showcases, or websites with reviews. You can create a doorway of a similar category and promote it like an SEO website with optimization and references.

For example, this is what a white pharmacy doorway with adult offers looks like.

You might not want to use aggressive methods such as bald text. White doorways may last for a very long time and might not get blocked at all. Therefore, you might want to focus on the future without any attempts to obtain traffic faster with “black” promotion methods.

There are many more gray and black promotion methods via doorways.

For instance, these are the following:

  • You can create a high-quality “white” doorway and a network of low-quality “gray” doorways to promote the main one. Place references, click-under ads, or redirection scripts on gray doorways;
  • You can create a network of black doorways using a doorway page generator and add new websites in case they’re blocked. In this case, redirection scripts must redirect the visitor to the landing page;
  • You can also create “gray” doorways with minor violations and medium-quality content for long-tail queries;

The “color” of the strategy determines the account life span and the content requirements. If you are willing to spend time preparing high-quality materials, give preference to the white strategy while black and gray options will require doorway networks.

Once the doorways are live, you must index them as soon as possible. Below, @teftelkaaa shared the approach that allows them to speed up indexing and get websites featured in the dropout:

“Yandex indexes websites rather quickly when I use a common webmaster’s “reindexing” tool. It takes more time with Google but I try to customize the websites to Google’s requirements to speed up the process. There was a time when something changed and it was impossible to index any website. If the website is new (fresh, in the sandbox), I can additionally promote it on Twitter, message boards, and social networks. If I receive traffic, then I “intensify the strongs”, add good crowdfunding, etc.”

Doorway Tips

We asked @teftelkaaa to answer a few more topical questions related to doorways:

How can a beginner manage bans without giving up?

“I make the highest quality SEO websites, SEO stores, YouTube videos, and “official website” clones for commodity and nutra offers in the CIS. I didn’t experience any bans but my websites were sometimes filtered by search engines with decreased dropout ratings. I managed by adjusting to the algorithms and rules of the game and tried my best to customize websites to the search engine policy (https://, turbo pages, services, expert commentary, standard links, and social signals)”

How often do the rules of the game change (SEO requirements and ranking algorithms)?

“They release a major update once a year but during this time, several small updates might as well be released affecting the previous update.”

Doorway page generators vs manual operations: what’s best – custom doorways or ready-made ones?

“Either manual operations or website builders (WordPress, store builders: yes, these are quite old but trusted ones) and message boards. For YouTube, I also create custom video templates in Canva or PowerPoint.”

High-volume, mid-volume, or low-volume keys: which are best for doorways?

“Oh. I’ll try to explain. For example, there’s a new original offer in the affiliate program with zero impressions according to wordstat. The following day, the in-house media buying dept and teams start to promote it, thus the impressions count skyrockets. People start to search for it on the web, and then the affiliate program may resale it to other affiliate programs and the offer climbs to the TOP. As was the case with goji berries, green coffee, etc. So, I try to take advantage of the situation. For instance, the [OFFERNAME] query was both long-tail, head, and mid-tail when it became irrelevant. Therefore, I use all of them, any I can find, especially for new offers. It may also have zero impressions for a long time with none of the publishers interested in it.”

Why doorways? There are many other promotion options 🙂

“Because the entry threshold is relatively low, promotion schemes last longer, and expenses only include domains or website builders; also, there are fewer risks of losing money compared to traffic arbitrage and the opportunity to work solo.”


Doorways represent an old but proven method of promotion. Although search engines monitor and block doorways, they are still efficient for promotion if you select the right offers and domains, work on content and optimization, and automate operations using the doorway page generators.

Thanks for your time!

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