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Building new pages after a domain is 301 redirected?

 3:00 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a website that I need to 301 redirect to a new domain. The existing domain is aged, has good PR and ranks very well for lots of competitive terms, but unfortunately, I have to move the entire site to a new domain.

The domain I am moving it to has very little links to it and is not as old.

I already know because I've tested it, that when I 301 redirect a page from the old domain to the new domain, it ranks pretty much the same way it always did once it gets re-indexed by Google for the new domain. One question I have is, If I create new pages on this new domain, are they going to rank the same as new pages I would create on the old domain (which always ranked great out of the gate)?

I assume passing PR to the new pages will help, but am I looking at a situation where all the old pages from my old domain that are 301 redirected to the new domain rank well, but any new pages on the new domain will not rank well?



 5:13 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

In my experience it probably depends on factors that are hard to separate out- thing like the quality and depth of the backlink profile, the presence or absence of any negative trust factors at Google and so on. In other words, trust for the new domain may still be partial even though the moved pages are now beginning to rank.

Most of the time, my experience is that once the newer domain is ranking well on the old urls (and that can take anywhere from weeks to months) then you can create new urls that will also rank well -- although it does seem to take just a bit longer. That might just be my impatience because I haven't kept any hard data, but that's the way it seems to me.

Your situation, as I understand it, is that the target domain for your 301 has some backlinks and is already ranking before you move the urls from the other domain. That's a hopeful sign to me that you will be able get new urls to rank quickly.


 5:52 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster. Actually, the new domain that I am 301ing everything over to only has a very few backlinks and I don't know now even hope that it would rank well in my industry on its own. Still think new pages will rank after everything is moved?


 6:29 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The issue is more the age of the domain, rather than its current strength. If the domain has been live for a couple years, and if its backlinks (few that they may be) are "respectable" and also have some decent age going for them, then you do have some good reason to hope a positive end result.

Most of all, if you make this move, then do it with full commitment and technical precision. Otherwise, if you do it tentatively and then there's a rough patch and you back out, you will be sending some strong signals that you are trying to manipulate Google, and they will not like that.


 10:01 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Then that's great news, since the domain I'm moving it to is actually a few months older (both are 2003 domains name actually)

I was also wondering, if I already 301 redirected some pages (like 1000) to another directory on the same old domain, but now I want those pages to 301 to the new domain, do I put the 301 on the original page or on the page it was 301'd to in the same domain but different directory?


 10:53 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now you're getting into potentially complicated judgement calls. What you DON'T want is to set up a chain of 301 redirects. You often lose link juice that way.

I'd study each of your urls carefully to see which ones have external backlinks and which ones currently get search traffic. If there is no search traffic and no external backlinks, then a 404 is fine. Don't start throwing around 301 redirects like chiclets.

There are some threads that go into more detail in our Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page. Make sure you handle canonical situations properly on all your domains, and avoid creating redirect chains while doing that as well. Every url where you employ a 301 should go through just one redirect and then land on the proper url.


 12:47 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

tedster, you are most helpful, thanks.

So if this /domain1/page1.htm now 301'd to /domain1/page2.htm

and now I want /domain1/page2.htm to go to /domain2/page2.htm,

So, do I want to re-do the first 301 (/domain1/page1.htm) and the new page (/domain1/page2.htm) 301 to BOTH point using 301 to the new domain /domain2/page2.htm?

This way, there are now chains, right?


 5:57 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sounds exactly right. Also remember that with www canonical fixes. In other words, avoid this kind of chain:

example1.com/page1 >> www.example1.com/page1 >> www.example2.com/page2


 8:58 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is vital to avoid "chains" when starting from any point.


 11:51 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)


So when you say "chains" do you mean a 301 going to another 301 to the destination page?

So do you agree that if I already 301'd a page to the same domain and I now want to 301 to a new domain, I ought to 301 both to the same new domain page?

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