I did quite a bit of research for the company I worked for (up till yesterday, i quit because school is a bit demanding right now)
Doorway pages are not a good idea. From what I've read, they're not accepted by every search engines. When they're submitted to search engines, they're filtered out and not accepted.
Well, what are they?
They are an entry page designed to be viewed before the home page of a site. Not a "splash page" because the goal of a doorway page is different.
A common aspect of a doorway page is for it to contain the smallest size of type, in the same color as the background (ie. white on white) that is nothing but text that relates to the site. Most search engines have the capability to search through the pages on sites, and index the relavent keywords.
so people use doorway pages to increase the possibility that their site will be indexed, and place higher in searches.
But, like I said, most of the big search engines (yahoo, alta-vista, etc.) filter these, and the site is not indexed.
Like I said, they're not a good idea, and searchengines.com is an excellent source of info.
I'd suggest optimizing the homepage on a site instead of creating the doorway page, or if you want a splash page, optimize that.
I just know that from what I've read, they're not the best way of doing things. too much detailed stuff.
But read up on that site, spend some time reading about search engine placement.
AND DO NOT DOWLOAD ANY SOFTWARE THAT SAYS IT WILL CREATE DOORWAY PAGES, OR OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE!! IF YOU'VE GOT HALF A BRAIN IN YOUR HEAD, YOU CAN SPEND A FEW HOURS READING UP ON IT, AND DO IT BY HAND YOURSELF. At my job, the VP kept telling me about this software (webpositiongold) that would optimize the site. they said they'd buy it. I looked at an evaluation, and it did not work well, was total fluff, and did not even create pages as well as I did by hand, after reading things first.
From the site:
What are doorway pages?
Doorway pages are pages specially optimized for one search engine and 1-3 keywords. They are also known as "gateway," "bridge," "entry," "jump" or "supplemental" pages. You can achieve higher search engine rankings by tailoring doorway pages to conform to each engine's unique ranking formula.
Doorway pages stand on their own, separate from the rest of a site. They usually feature a logo, some text and a link that encourages visitors to enter the site proper.
Why are doorway pages important?
Doorway pages provide webmasters with an opportunity to rank high for any keyword with any search engine. They're a must for sites with content that's typically overlooked by search engines, such as frames, dynamic content, multimedia files and large graphics. But other sites can benefit from doorway pages as well.
Aren't doorway pages spam?
Doorway pages have gotten a bad name from webmasters who created thousands of them loaded with meta refresh tags, invisible keywords and same text. If your site doesn't employ these spam elements, most search engines won't penalize you for using a moderate number of doorway pages.
Recently some search engines began penalizing sites using several nearly identical pages. Since all doorway pages contain basically the same text, some sites using them were blacklisted as spammers. To keep this from happening, be sure to vary the text on your doorway pages. Don't just substitute keywords from one page to the next -- vary sentences and the size of each page. Your best bet is to create pages with unique content.
Create effective doorway pages
Effective doorway pages use only 1-3 keywords each. If you use more, your pages' effect will be diluted. Pick your three most important keywords and optimize with them for the top 5 search engines. Don't overdo -- too many doorway pages can be easily detected and banned.
Beware of any search engine optimization service that promises to create 20 or more doorway pages without first asking how many total pages your site has.
Even though you'll need to study each search engine's ranking formulas before creating its unique doorway page, there are certain guidelines you'll want to follow for all such pages. You may not know yet whether you'll need to use meta or ALT tags, but you'll always need to pay attention to three elements:
Keyword Frequency - This is a measure of the number of times a keyword is repeated in a page.
Keyword Weight/Density - This refers to the percentage of keywords in relation to all the other words in a page. The higher the percentage, the better.
Keyword Prominence - Place keywords at the top of your page and the beginning of a sentence.
A doorway for every engine
To give search engines what they want, you need to know what that is. If you aren't familiar with the different elements search engines consider when composing their rankings, review them here:
You'll need extensive knowledge of each major search engine to create successful doorway pages. Any statistics you find will be useful in this stage. Analyzing other sites in your field may also help you strategize. To learn more about analyzing your competition for search engine rankings, click here.
The following tables provide all the necessary information to optimize for each of the top engines.
What search engines want - This table was compiled from search engines' Help and FAQ pages. It provides the latest information about tactics you can use on each engine without being penalized for spam.
Search engine statistics - This table tells how each of the major search engines ranks sites.
Search engine partnerships - This table provides information on services used by major search engines and directories. Learn to whom you should submit and create better doorway pages.
Never use doorway pages for directories
Directories, which use human editors to review web sites, frown on doorway pages. You risk being blacklisted if you submit a doorway page to a directory.
Learn what tactics each search engine considers spam and refrain from using them for those doorway pages. Refer to the search engine statistics table for more information.
Can help your site rank high for any keyword in any engine
Should be optimized for one keyword, one engine
Should be tailored to each engine's specifications
Should never be used for directories