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How to Find Orphan Pages in Screaming Frog

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Orphan pages are one of the most neglected items in SEO. It can be easy to get caught up in new content that you forget to optimize what you already have.

In this article, I’ll show you how to find orphan pages using Screaming Frog.

Step #1: Start Your Site Crawl in Screaming Frog

So before you get started, the first thing I would want to do is just to set up the crawl or the pages you want to crawl.

Sometimes in Screaming Frog, all pages won’t be fully crawled.

Say your site lacks internal links and you have a lot of JavaScript; that might prevent some of the pages on your website from being discovered.

So before you begin to crawl, I just recommend coming to configuration and selecting Spider. 

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After that, you’ll want to head down to the XML Sitemaps.

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From here, you’ll want to add all of the sitemaps that are found on your website. 

By doing this, you’re basically giving Screaming Frog all of the URLs on your site. You’re making it more accessible for Screaming Frog to find all of the URLs on your site that you want indexed. 

Step #2: Head to the Links Tab

Once you have that and you have your crawl running, you’re going to want to select this little drop-down menu, and you’ll want to click the links tab, which is typically found more towards the bottom.

Step #3: Filter From Lowest to Highest for Unique Inlinks

Once you have the link tab open, you’ll want to head over to the unique InLinks section of this link tab. 

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Once you have unique inlinks selected, you’ll want to filter the links from lowest to highest. 

In most cases, you’re going to have at least one unique internal link and this is usually going to be from pagination.

Having these links buried within pagination is still not going to be enough, especially if these links have a high crawl depth. 

Crawl depths means you’re X amount of clicks from the home page and ideally you want your crawl depth to be around 3-5 clicks. Google sees pages as less important the further away they are from the home page.

So if you see a page with 1 unique inlink and a high crawl depth, you’ll want to add more internal links to that page from other relevant pages.

So you can see in the photo below, some of these pages don’t even have a crawl depth:

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So this basically means that Screaming Frog doesn’t know where this page is located. It’s probably buried so deep within the pagination that Screaming Frog can’t even find it. It’s only linked to in the sitemap. 

And if Screaming Frog can’t find it, that means Google probably can’t find it either.

To make things easier, you can also add custom filters to your Unique InLinks and crawl depth. 

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You can add a filter that shows pages with less than 2 Unique InLink, and you can also add another filter that sets your crawl depth to your desired range. I recommend setting it to only show pages with a crawl depth of 5 or higher.

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So, all in all, this is a very easy way to find orphan pages in Screaming Frog.

Fixing Orphan Pages Found in Screaming Frog

Once you’re done with this, I recommend taking your data and exporting it to a spreadsheet so you have all the data in one location.

After that, just go through these pages and add internal links where relevant. The more equity you can distribute the better.

Closing Thoughts

You should have what you need to find orphan pages in Screaming Frog. Now you just need to go and fix them. You should do this once every few months to ensure every page on your website is linked to in some way.

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