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Google and 301 handling
the kiss of death?

 4:42 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have been watching and playing around with using a 301 permanent redirect to move pages on established authority domains to both brand new domains and older sites.

In every single instance the new page on the recieving end of the redirect has lost its rankings.

In the past 3 months, has anyone at all been able to successfully perform a 301 and been able to maintain the rankings of the old url?



 3:33 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, it's puzzling to me as well. In a perfect world, one could change their domain if they had to, or simply wanted to, without having to lose all ranking. However, IME, 301 = all rankings gone (google).

I wonder if this is a flaw or by design? Seems to me google should rank a page on its merit regardless of what the owners want the name to be. I webmasterworld decided they wanted to change their name to websomethingelse and kept the same content, why would/should any of their scoring change?

Anyone have any good experiences with a 301 to a new domain (competetive)?


 4:40 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

We added a 301 redirect from non www to www several months back and our rankings if anything have improved. I am sure the improvements are not just because of the 301, dont see how they could be, but we certainly haven't been negatively affected.


 5:03 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I tried a 301 from one domain to another and its only after i took the 301 down that the targetted domain rose to where it should be.I assume that this is part of google's fight against spam.It used to be a rort buying expired domains and redirecting them to your money site.
But 301's still work well for internal pages.


 6:37 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

In every single instance the new page on the recieving end of the redirect has lost its rankings.

In the past 3 months, has anyone at all been able to successfully perform a 301 and been able to maintain the rankings of the old url?

i did 301 between two estblished websites about 4-5 weeks ago. it works just as I wanted, i.e. the old page disappeared and the new one shows up.
in 3 cases it worked perfectly and the target pages' SERPs increased even more than I would imagine.


 7:19 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

PR drops to 0 after a 301 redirect.

I have a 7 year old site that has a over 100000 internal pages indexed in google.The home page has a PR of 6 and the internal pages has a PR of 4 ,3 and 2 depending on the hierarchy level.All the internal pages of this website www.domain.com had listings without www in google for the past few years i.e an internal page named [domain.com...] used to show [domain.com...] in the SERPs. There was a 302 redirect from [domain.com...] to [domain.com...] for the past few years.

Recently (about a month back) this 302 redirect was changed to a 301 redirect.Over the past few days i have noticed that the page rank of all the internal pages has gone down to 0 in around 73 datacenters. However the home page still has a PR of 6 in all those datacenters.Then i checked the status of the page rank by adding the www and then removing the www. I got the following results :
Case 1 : Without www(i.e running a PR check with [domain.com...]

The page rank is ok. No drop.
Tha back links are same as before. No drop as such.
Case 2 : With www (i.e running a PR check with [domain.com...]

The Page rank has dropped to 0.
The backlinks has also dropped to 0.

Pls help,


 8:19 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

seochristine, i guess you need to wait for PR to be updated.
what about rankings? did you notice position drops too?


 12:51 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are some good threads dealing with the issue of redirects in between www / non www. Lets keep this thread focused on using 301 redirect from established authority domains to new domains or to other older sites.

idolw, would you consider the terms you ranked for competitive?


 2:03 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this helps, posted it awhile back too, but last year Feb 2005 I had to move 4 established websites to a newer domain (domain still 4 yrs old but minimal traffic and no ranking). This was a page-to-page 301 redirect on sites ranking for fairly competitive terms, genrally ranging from 5-50 mill competing pages. It took almost exactly 6 weeks for the old URLs to begin to drop out of G's index, then about a 3-4 week lull until the new URLs started to appear. The new URLs received maybe 70% of the legacy link stregnth. This kept up for about 3 months or so till big daddy, when they popped above original rankings.

Having spent a year in 301 hell I can safely say that you should really really really think about the benefits/risks before deciding to move to a new domain.


 3:15 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi I found this message and start looking into it. my site like many others here has had traffic drop largly in the past month...

after reading about the redirects, I looked at the awstats and noticed my site was a wopping 98% (302) redirects....

I have no idea what is causing it, but have now disabled
LoadModule speling_module modules/mod_speling.so

or checkspell.. I'm hoping this is why my pages have been dropping out of google so fast.

As with google not liking the 301 redirect it is posted here thats what they recommend you do.

Seems like they don't like the (302) temp redirect

in either your .htaccess file or conf files put

redirect permanent /dir_name [site.com...]

I know this is a bit off topic, but... maybe its time to clean up our pages, and fix this messages and make it easy for our sites to get crawled.


 5:43 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a question about the 301 redirect. I run a php driven shopping cart and am looking to upgrade it to the newest version. However, main category links in the upgrade have all changed. All of my current links rank pretty well and am very concerned about how upgrading would affect rankings. The new links are much more se friendly and the reason for upgrading is there have been many enhancements to the current cart and it's beginning to become outdated and unsupported. Would using a 301 redirect on these old links be a huge gamble on my serps? Please advise on the best way to handle this.


 7:21 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

what you should do is see where those current links are getting their pr value.... ie. total site pr flowing through or do people directly link to those links...

get the new google tool bar. And click on each category. then on the tool bar click the pagerank arrow and then select backlinks. this will tell you how if anyone has linked to those pages.

I beleive if now one has linked to those pages directly and just the main url, the pr should flow onto the new urls...

So if people just like mainsite.com and not mainsite.com/directory1/ then the pr is coming from the home page and changing will be fine....

if people do link to those pages, i think what google is saying in that link i posted that they carry the pagerank over...but that doesn't make sense...

because I could buy three domains build their pr up to 5 6's and then redirect the pr from two to the third...

anyway hope this helps... I'm hoping my spellcheck helps with my pages


 7:34 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the past 3 months, has anyone at all been able to successfully
perform a 301 and been able to maintain the rankings of the old url?

New domains have been impossible for me this year -- Big Daddy's use of old data seems to have really botched things up... not that moving to a new domain was ever a Google picnic. I am hoping to see things shake out a bit better really soon -- crawl little bot, crawl!

For now, I recommend to clients that they postpone moving to a new domain if it's at all practical for them from a business perspective.

Hey, I would be satisfied with just retaining SOME of the rankings of the old domain and building from there, especially when the content hasn't changed. But all I've been able to do so far in 2006 is get deep-sixed.


 7:45 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

idolw, would you consider the terms you ranked for competitive?

3 successful redirects were for a hotel page for a major city in europe.
2 other for smaller cities.
i mean city hotels searches here


 8:48 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

On 12/15/2005 I did a 301 from site "A" to site "B".
Site "B" is the strongest of the two sites.

I noticed that site "B" was getting traffic from google under a keyword "Widget Word".

Site "B" has nothing to do with "Widget Word", however site "A" did at one time, but not for years. Site "A" still had existing "Widget Word" ibls.

I removed the 301 on 2/24/06.
A couple of weeks later I notice that site "B" no long ranked for "Widget Word" nor did site "A".

So in this case, moving from a weeker domain to stonger domain with a 301 worked.

[edited by: minnapple at 8:56 pm (utc) on April 14, 2006]


 8:55 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the past 3 months, has anyone at all been able to successfully perform a 301 and been able to maintain the rankings of the old url?

We have about 8 sites. Did a 301 redirect from www.mysitem.com to mysitem.com. The site we did that with has lost almost all of its google referred traffic -- about 90+% on or about March 6. Other sites not so redirected not affected that way.

Go figure. Trying to do things right doesn't always work.

OT, we started a blog on blogspot, owned by google. Ultimate irony -- it's been listed at MSN and Yahoo. Hasn't appeared in Google. Sigh.

If this continues, I'm moving away from the entire Internet/Web business as a revenue source. Without a crystal ball, it's getting too crazy for this boyo.


 11:26 pm on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

From my experience...

I moved to new CMS system and made 301 redirection of my 300 old article to 300 new url's ... page rank didn't moved still (3 weeks passed) but google search index has accepted my sites... and removed old ones.


 12:42 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

page rank could take months..... to ""show up"" google has spoiled us.... we would make changes and they could appear within 24 hours to a week....

well msn, yahoo and others still take awhile


 2:22 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's Google's way of sticking it to the man. Want to move and grow, you can't do it without loosing status. ..and keeps you coming back for more ;)


 6:52 am on Apr 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I recently moved a small (10 page) site from a subfolder of one of my little used domains to its own domain with a 301 for each page. The site had previously ranked well in google SERPs (top 5) for most of the relevant terms, and I fully expected to plummet after the move. To my surprise the site has retained and even improved rankings for some terms on the new domain.

The old site had only PR2 and half a dozen backlinks, 3 of which I had control of and obviously changed plus a DMOZ listing which is now also changed. It may not last, but frankly I am amazed. I'd full expected some sandbox effect as the new domain is only 4 weeks old. About half of the other top 10 listings for most terms are fairly spammy which may have helped.

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