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What is best way to redirect traffic without passing on penalty?
BlueDanube



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 7:35 pm on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I've tried for many, many months to recover a site slapped by Panda and penguin. Without success, I've now decided to build a fresh site with new content in the same Niche.

I would like to redirect traffic from the old, slapped site without harming the new one.

Can this be done and, if so, how?

 

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 8:51 pm on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you have pages that had ONLY GOOD links (as in natural, organic links), then you can redirect them to the appropriate page on the new site.

But if they had bad links, then most likely you would only be passing along the penalty.

BlueDanube



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 10:09 pm on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks Planet, I wanted to see whether the traffic but not penalty could be forwarded.

Looks like a true fresh start is on the cards...thanks for your input!

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 11:42 pm on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes it's possible that some of the pages on the old site aren't penalized, but I don't see how you can know for sure. And even if you safely transfer the traffic from those pages, there would still be other pages with traffic that can't be safely transferred.

Another approach, which will no doubt be criticized by some here, is to put an ordinary dofollow href link on each page of the old site with the anchor text "This site (or page) has been moved -- Click here to go to the new site (or page)".

Most visitors will click the link to go to the new site. And the links will also transfer most of the "pagerank juice" to the new site, but shouldn't transfer any of the penalty.

rish3



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 4:35 am on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

One approach would be to send back a 401 "access denied" for known search engine spiders, but a 301 back to everyone else.

Of course, Google could decide that's cloaking. Perhaps customizing the 401 page to say "we do not allow search engines to crawl this website. However, we do provide a 301 redirect for real human visitors, that takes them to the new location of our website".

That seems like something designed for real visitors, and not for search engines, which Google says it likes. Still risky though.

JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 7:29 am on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

What is best way to redirect traffic without passing on penalty?

Personally, if the site got direct traffic, I think I'd noindex the old site then meta refresh and put a link pointing to the corresponding page on the new site.

EG: "Hey, we've moved to a new site. If your browser doesn't redirect you within 10 seconds click [link]here[/link] and you will be taken to the corresponding page." (I say 10 secs, because to the best of my knowledge it has to be a fairly long meta to not be "counted" as a 301 redirect.)

If there's not direct traffic, I'm not sure what I would do, but I'm fairly certain I would not 301 redirect, because over time the "penalties" will likely catch up with you.

BlueDanube



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 7:49 am on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks folks, appreciate your thoughts.

JD's Meta refresh and forwarding looks interesting as around 70% of the traffic is direct.

Presumably some time would need to elapse (an 'air gap') between No indexing the old site and making the new site live?

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 8:35 am on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

...put an ordinary dofollow href link on each page of the old site with the anchor text "This site (or page) has been moved -- Click here to go to the new site (or page)".

Most visitors will click the link to go to the new site. And the links will also transfer most of the "pagerank juice" to the new site, but shouldn't transfer any of the penalty.

IMO, this has got it backwards. If there were direct traffic I wanted to preserve but the site had a backlink-based penalty, I'd put a nofollow link on the page. Seems to me that if the link passed PageRank, it would also pass the penalty.

I'd definitely not 301. JD_Toims is correct that a short meta refresh is likely to be counted as a 301. I've got no opinion about whether a meta refresh of any kind, either short or long, would pass a penalty, but I'm not sure I'd want to experiment in this kind of situation to find out.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 11:04 am on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Robert Charlton wrote:
IMO, this has got it backwards. If there were direct traffic I wanted to preserve but the site had a backlink-based penalty, I'd put a nofollow link on the page. Seems to me that if the link passed PageRank, it would also pass the penalty.

Well I don't see how an ordinary (dofollow) href link could pass a penalty, because it would make it very easy for competitors to sabotage your rankings. They could just buy a penalized site and add a lot of links to your site.

Savanadry



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 1:38 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well I don't see how an ordinary (dofollow) href link could pass a penalty, because it would make it very easy for competitors to sabotage your rankings. They could just buy a penalized site and add a lot of links to your site.


Have you been living under a rock? This is exactly what some people have been moaning about recently. You don't even have to buy a penalised site, you can buy 'SEO' packages that will wreck a competitors rankings extremely cheaply.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 1:47 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Have you been living under a rock? This is exactly what some people have been moaning about recently. You don't even have to buy a penalised site, you can buy 'SEO' packages that will wreck a competitors rankings extremely cheaply.

Apparently you're confusing two different things. Those "SEO packages" work (or try to work) a different way.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 2:58 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

To try to get back to the original topic of this thread, which is about which types of redirects or links transfer a penalty to the new site. Here are some methods that have been mentioned so far:

301 or 302 redirects -- very likely transfer a penalty, unless they are somehow successfully cloaked

meta-refresh with short delay -- most likely tranfers a penalty

meta-refresh with long delay -- likely tranfers a penalty (in my opinion)

nofollow href clickable link -- most likely doesn't transfer a penalty

dofollow href clickable link -- unclear what happens

These are just my suggestions to throw out for discussion. Maybe some others would like to give their opinions or conclusions

rish3



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 5:00 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Convoluted, but...

Display an iframe from a 3rd site that hosts a framebreaker/meta refresh combo?

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 5:25 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

When you say:

"I've tried for many, many months to recover a site slapped by Panda and penguin."


What EXACTLY have you tried?

~~~~~

If 70% of the traffic was direct BEFORE Panda and Penguin, I would seriously consider just keeping the old site. You said that you plan on building a new site from scratch, so why not just put the new content on the old site?

Is your home page the one that has the most bad links (that generated the Penguin penalty)? In theory, until you can remove enough links, if you get lots of direct traffic, you could have your home page serve a 404 response, but still keep the functionality of it for direct traffic landings.

Or you could make a new home page (/home.html) and again 404 your original home page.

~~~~~~

aristotle had an interesting suggestion. As he proposes, I doubt that a penalty is passed along by a link from a penalized site to a different site.

On the other hand, I doubt much, if any, page rank is flowed TO another site FROM a penalized site (although I can't say that with any certainty.)

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4599116 posted 6:39 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the aim is to redirect the direct traffic to a new site, but to avoid the penalty being forwarded, and the ranking of the old site in Google is not important (since the site is slapped with a penalty), then you could:

- block the old site completely with robots.txt
- wait until Google picked up the changed robots.txt (once blocked, check your logs to ensure Google is not requesting pages from your site, other than robots.txt itself)
- then implement a redirect from the old site to the new site

However:
If 70% of the traffic was direct BEFORE Panda and Penguin, I would seriously consider just keeping the old site.
Planet13 made a very good point - unless you are also trying to preserve search traffic as well (since if you block the site via robots, the remainder of search traffic will disappear). If you are trying to preserve search traffic too, then I am wondering how much of the remaining 30% is the search traffic and how much are referrals and is it worth trying to preserve it?
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