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Dead, unrelated domains 301 to my main site - is this bad for google?
ScubaAddict




msg:4321093
 2:47 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

After being unable to recover from Panda, I am looking deeper into server configuration files. I just noticed that the first site on the server (in httpd.conf) is my main site that took the major hit from Panda.

What this means is that any domain that points to the IP of my server, but doesn't have a virtual website set up will 301 to the first configured site.

So...

I have old domains that no longer have configured sites on my server like "myfootballdomain".com that is now 301'd to my main education related site. Many directories and sports sites still link to "myfootballdomain".com, so they are taken to the education site.

Is this bad in the eyes of google?

 

tedster




msg:4321103
 3:24 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can't sat it's definitively bad for Google - but it certainly is bad for any humans who follow those sports backlinks.

I'd suggest trying to give visitors something more on-topic. You could even make it a short "apology" page, saying that you are no longer publishing those sites, and include a link to what you are currently publishing.

netmeg




msg:4321109
 3:30 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are those old domains indexed in Google still? If not, you probably don't have anything to worry about. If so, then I'd go with tedster's advice.

tedster




msg:4321115
 3:42 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Netmeg, Google doesn't normally index a domain that 301 redirects as far as I know. Wouldn't the issue be that Google still indexes the "many directories and sports sites still link to "myfootballdomain".com"?

ScubaAddict




msg:4321137
 4:06 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are those old domains indexed in Google still?

I just checked, and yes - well sort of. The sports site domain is listed with

site:mysportssite.com

But the SERP url contains the path's of pages on my education site - for example, the result looks like this:

mysportssite.com/lesson_plans/math/

but clicking on that result took you to the education site with that path:

myeducationsite.com/lesson_plans/math/

I have actually fixed it today so I am now 301'ing my sports site to another sports site I have - but the question still remains. These 'dead' sites (of which I have several) were all being redirected to myeducationsite.com as of Dec 10, 2010 (the date of a catastropic server failure and rebuild). I just never rebuilt the dead sites-hence the automatic 301 default redirect to the first configured site on the server.

The sports site (and other dead sites) are listed in Yahoo Directory, DMOZ and therefore Google's Directory - among others - in addition to the normal search results.

I would think that if I could hurt my main site with incorrect 301's, it would be a great way to kill competitors as well - so it doesn't make sense that I would be punished for it...

netmeg




msg:4321147
 4:28 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Netmeg, Google doesn't normally index a domain that 301 redirects as far as I know. Wouldn't the issue be that Google still indexes the "many directories and sports sites still link to "myfootballdomain".com"?


No, I know that, I meant are they still indexed from before the 301 was done.

I've 301'd domains and had it take a long time for Google to figure it out.

tedster




msg:4321152
 4:40 pm on Jun 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

But the SERP url contains the path's of pages on my education site - for example, the result looks like this:

mysportssite.com/lesson_plans/math/

but clicking on that result took you to the education site with that path:

myeducationsite.com/lesson_plans/math/

I'd definitely fix that - it's not a good configuration and it creates a canonical URL issue.

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