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Remove 301 of spammy alias domain to help Penguin recovery?

 11:38 am on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of my clients has a site that has 2 domain names 301 redirected to it (used to be domain alias until panda). One of the 301 domain names has a lot of spammed links pointing to it from a previous SEO years and years back. It seems this domain 301 may have caused his current domain name with only 5 backlinks to tank shortly after Penguin 2.

My question is this, if I UN REDIRECT the domain with the bad back link profile, will the penalty drop away from the CLEAN domain name its now pointed to (the domain with 5 backlinks) or is the clean domain name now damaged beyond repair? FYI its an algo penalty not a manual, just got a message from the webspam team to say there is no manual penalty.


Robert Charlton

 8:44 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

CaptainSalad2 - Basically.. yes. The current setup could appear to Google that you're hiding bad backlinks via 301s. That was an old spammer's trick... and even before Penguin, depending on the level of transgression, it would cause problems in Google. With Penguin, I'm sure the bar has been raised. You can't escape bad backlinks using 301s.

Assuming that these redirected bad backlinks were your only issue, removing the 301 would remove the algorithmic aspects of the "penalty" from the clean domain.

That doesn't mean that the clean domain would automatically bounce up to pre-Penguin levels. As your post suggests, five backlinks to the clean domain isn't very much, and they might not be sufficient for the clean domain to rank. You might need to build up your content and promote it to create a good enough backlink profile to build up your rankings. I would avoid any types of linkbuilding that are going to look artificial, as I'm sure that the domain has been flagged. You didn't mention whether there was any manual penalty.

Note, btw, that I changed the original title you'd posted, "301 penalty drop away once 301 removed?", to the current title, "Remove 301 from spammy alias domain to help Penguin recovery?" for clarity, or as much clarity as I could get into less than 70 characters.


 9:50 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply Robert, biggest problem I have with this client for link building is hes just a tiny local "domestic" window cleaner. He doesn't have time or the desire to smooze on facebook/twitter and so forth. His content is all unique but there is only so much you can say about window cleaning...

I considered swapping a few links with other window cleaners but that would be deemed as artificial so haven't yet? In all honestly though whos going to want to naturally want to link to a small local window cleaner? I know google wants every website to be amazing to attract natural links but honestly... not every site is on a subject people want to think about after they click off, much less revisit!

Robert Charlton

 11:30 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

CaptainSalad2 - For a local window cleaner, perhaps five good links might do it. You'll know soon. I myself wouldn't do link swaps, especially not with only five backlinks in my profile.

See if you can find a local PTA type discussion group that mentions local resources, or a real local bulletin board type site that is not a free-for-all type link directory.

I would seriously look into setting up a Google+ local page and trying to get a few real recommendations. It's awkward for service type businesses to do, and there are alternative models being discussed for this kind of business. This would be more a topic for the Local Search forum [webmasterworld.com...]


 5:58 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just had the same problem CaptainSalad. However, I removed the domains 2 weeks ago and have not seen a change. But, I just created a mobile site for the company and its ranking in mobile for at least its name now. Before the name was not anywhere to be found except in referrals.

To make your client happy for the time being create a mobile site for them under a subdomain.

I think we need to wait for a panda refresh or penguin refresh. Who knows when that will be?


 7:31 pm on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

It might not be the spammy links in the 301.
The only way to tell is to undo the 301
and see what happens to the old re-directed domain.

I had the same problem I had and old domain with 1000 of old spammy links that re-directed to my main domain, after my site was hit in penguin 2.0 I removed the re-direct.
My old domain with all the spammy links is ranking all over 1st and 2nd page. I thinks that google spammy links is just a farce.

I see 2 of my competitor have 70% of there links spammy. Their is more to it then that. I think its just the opposite, to many good links that are
dubious will trip the algorithm or 2 many good links from the same c-class will do it also.

Robert Charlton

 12:50 am on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think its just the opposite, too many good links that are dubious will trip the algorithm or 2 many good links from the same c-class will do it also.

"Too many 'good' links" that are 'dubious' sounds like there's some confusion about what "good" means. "Dubious" links are never "good" links.

Similarly, multiple links from the same class C are likely to be under coordinated control, which essentially (by Google's definition) means that there's something spammy about them.

"Good" links in Google's eyes are freely given editorial links.

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