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Moving a -50 penalty site to a new domain

 5:11 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I own quite a few domains/sites which are in the -50 box. I think the sites have been manually moved there because they did not have a good design and not the same functionality other sites which rank have.
I'm sure in my niche manual reviews play a big role.

Since reconsideration requests have been ignored by Google and the improved sites sit in the -50 for a few months, I really need to move them to new domains since I don't want to waste the content on penalty domains.

What I plan is to request a removal of the old URLs in WMT, then wait until this removal has been completed. Once no URLs from the old -50 domains can be found in the index I will move the content/site to the new domains.

Has anyone experience with moving a penalty site to a new domain? I will test it and report back, the main problem I see Google probably could still have the old content saved after removal of the site and compare it withe the content on the new domain.



 7:07 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

The big question, of course, is whether you will be moving the problem that created the penalty. But if the penalty comes from a backlink situation, a clean start could be the best approach for making good use of the content.

I have not had such a situation personally, but I have heard of a few who had good results. We'll look forward to your report.


 7:16 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

> sites have been manually moved there because they did not have a good design
Didn't know that bad "design" was a reason for punishing a site. Is it the design or the content that matter?

> Has anyone experience with moving a penalty site to a new domain?
Not me. But do have experience with moving penalty sites back up (using same domain).
If the reason was:
bad content = modify to good
bad inbound links = change neighborhood (not domain)

Takes lots of Patience.


 10:19 pm on Feb 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

We just saw sites released from poor-links -50 penalty after exactly 3 months. If it has not been 90 days, you'd better wait.
Why not actually 301 the sites to a new domain? 301 should not be taking penalty with you since it would be to easy to filter the competition...


 12:31 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

3 months sounds interesting, can anyone confirm?


 9:13 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

301 should not be taking penalty with you since it would be to easy to filter the competition...

Yah, so escaping filters would be easy instead. Why fight/rectify the problem when you can keep all the benefits but none of the downside?

I would think G, with their historical patent, would notice that a new domain containing identical pages at the end of a 301 was a moved domain, and would transfer the penalty.

301s generally take a while to settle down. I suspect a lot of checking goes on to see if its legitimate, black hat (manipulative but positive), or 'darkside' (malicious).

3 months sounds interesting

Not on the -50, but various auto filters get releases on time frames. I have observed, variously:
1 week
30 days
90 days
6 months

I have also observed that FOR A URL (thus not strictly comparable,) time frames appear to increase as transgressions mount.


 9:30 am on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have been considering something similar. I have two sites residing in -50 limbo at the moment that both feature excellent content. Two reconsideration requests have so far been ignored, but I intend to wait at least two more months before moving my domain.

As for the backlink-problem; I still find it hard to accept that google would penalize you for a factor that is largely out of your control. The idea of 'nuking' your competition by building a plethora of poor backlinks just sounds too easy. If link neighborhood presents a problem, then its more likely to be the outgoing links.


 12:32 pm on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

i moved a -50 website succesfully to a subdirectory on another domain using 301, also changed from html to php at that time


 7:04 pm on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Would be interested in doing this too. We gave it 3 months to come back. Will consider 301 ing penalised domain.


 8:33 pm on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

With the lay-off of thousands of external workers which Google announced the manaual review process for those -50 sites could take much longer than usual (just a guess).


 11:07 pm on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I saw a group of sites come out of -50 penalty after about 5 months. I had a client hire me to remove them. I did a re inclusion request confessing all that had been done and what was being done to reverse the offense and why it was done and how that now they know what they did is wrong and they won't do it again.

These sites were removed because of a large number of links from free counters and wp themes and other schemes. The penalty was because of incoming links. They thought there was no way you can get a penalty from backlinks.

The website is very old and ranks number one on most terms and top 3 on ones that are not number one. These keywords are $80 a click term in adwords.


 12:08 am on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for this report ogletree, 5 months sounds scary, really scary, it makes me sick hearing your story, I'm now convinced moving the sites to a new domain is the best way to go.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 12:10 am (utc) on Feb. 13, 2009]


 7:34 am on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

More opinions please about moving a -50 domain.


 5:00 pm on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just 301 redirect to a new domain. Not much else you can do. Make an effort to get your backlinks moved over. Contact all the people that link to you.

One of the things I did to fix this companies penalty was create a program that used a list of all the people that had linked to them using the counters and wp themes and sent them all emails. It would search the site for an email address and if it could not find one it would use the whois one.

Robert Charlton

 5:21 am on Feb 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are several other discussions about -50 penalties on the forum at the moment. This discussion in particular touches on some possible onsite factors....

Potential causes for dropping -50 across the board?

You might want to look at your site with these in mind, as you might be unnecessarily wasting a domain if you did a 301, and you wouldn't be fixing the problems.


 5:48 am on Feb 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are you sure you have a -50 penalty. It is not a -50 penalty if any term can bring up any result where you are not 50 results back. Even if it is a term that brings up 3 results and you have it in your title and other don't you should be 3. -50 means everything is -50 and if their are not 50 results you are near the end.


 8:01 pm on Feb 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have had success with a 301 redirect on 4 sites. All were hit with -50 penalty in late Nov and December, and were redirected to non-penalized domains.

The transplanted pages on the new domains are unpenalized. Can't say for sure if they rank as high as they did on the old domains, but the do rank at the top for various search terms.

I am holding off doing 301 for other domains that have been hit to see if they will come back to life after 90 days, or fix and reinclusion requests. But if all else fails, the 301 redirect does work for now.


 5:19 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Today I got the result:

After moving the site to a new domain, the new domain tanked -50 after having 4k URLs in the index. So it did not work out at all. The new domain (site) just has two PR4 links pointing to it, no outbound links, quality content.

I guess big Google is broken, they like quality content to appear at position -50.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 5:21 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2009]


 5:52 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Despite your bad results, this is an important result nonetheless. Maybe its good ol keyword density then? Apparently, something inside your content is causing Google to drag you down. Have you considered the anchor text of internal links, keyword density, intradomain dupe content problems?


 7:18 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm sick and tired playing Sherlock Holmes for their -50 nonsense, they should start communicating with webmasters.


 7:36 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I so agree...


 7:52 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ohh the joys of being an SEM/SEO


 8:41 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

On the other hand, a lack of communication will keep Google a moving target. This will prevent grey-hatters from pushing the envelope to the precise limits, since these are unknown. It keeps people cautious and prevents from reverse-engineering the algorithm.

I don't like playing the devil's advocate, but from G's point of view there is some merit in not being too open about whats wrong.


 9:34 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

This will prevent grey-hatters from pushing the envelope to the precise limits, since these are unknown.

I think it's unfair to consider anyone seeking information about a penalty a potential "grey hatter."

Putting out this type of penalty and then being unresponsive is just another example of Google catering to only a certain type of company these days.

Some companies get answers as to why. Others do not. Hmmmm. I wonder why that would be?


 10:09 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

The result definitely speaks for an on-site algo and not for having poor incoming links or linking out to bad neighborhoods. Someone here mentioned a Googler in Poland said it's because of poor incoming links, this seems not to be true or this information was not correct.


 2:29 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

The four that I have 301'd are all fine so far. But none were "new" domains, they were all aged, with plenty of inbound links and content.

Seopti - When you moved your content, did you remove the outbound links? On the inbound links, those must have all gotten 301'd to the new domains, so could still be a problem, no?


 4:07 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I didn't use a 301, I removed the old site completely, I never use outbound links.


 8:16 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wow, that really surprises me. So the incoming links didn't get moved, and there are no outgoing? It's purely the content that they don't like?

What about internal linking - is there much repetition in anchor text?


 9:02 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

No repetition at all in internal linking.


 6:14 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

One more try, maybe the spirit of Sherlock Holmes will help me ;) I will remove the content on the new penalty domain and set it up on a new domain ...

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >
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