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Site hit by Penguin 2.1 - should we 301 it to our other site?

 3:54 pm on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Site 1:

Site 1 has been live since 2004 and has participated in reciprocal link exchange for years. We've also acquired links through various other means such as guest blogging, directories like Yahoo directory, etc. About a year and half ago or so we started outsourcing our link building and these guys did such a great job that we got an unnatural links penalty.

It took us quite a while to get out of it by removing links and uploading disavow files. It took 3 reinclusion requests to have the unnatural penalty removed. The rankings never came back to their previous positions prior to the unnatural links penalty but the site still ranked somewhat descent. We also uploaded a more thorough disavow file about 4 months ago or so.

Site 2:

Site 2 has been live since 2008. We planned on rebranding and made this site with the new brand name. For this site we just built citations with the new brand name during this entire time.

A few months ago we did a 301 redirect from Site 1 to Site 2. Again, the rankings weren't that great even with this move so we decide to remove the 301 altogether about 4 weeks ago and see how Site 2 would do without all the link juice from Site 1. In the meantime, we also started doing things like guest blogging, etc. Now, the site is nowhere to be found for many main keywords ever since Penguin 2.1 arrived.

So, my question is: should we redirect Site 1 back to Site 2 since it does have quite a bit of link juice in it or should we just build links slowly for Site 2?



 3:55 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

It sounds like your rankings dropped alot when you removed the 301 redirect, so why not put it back in place?


 4:52 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Because when we log into our Google Webmaster Tools account, Google still thinks Site 1 is redirecting to Site 2. Keep in mind Site 1 had an unnatural links penalty more than a year ago. As a result, Penguin 2.1 penalty is being passed over to Site 2 via the 301.

Site 1 still has quite a bit of unnatural links pointing to it. We've removed as many as we could and the rest were uploaded into the disavow file.

Goodroi, you still recommend we put the 301 back in place?


 8:13 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

It sounds like you are saying rankings for site 2 were bad.
Then you redirected site 1 (which has a link warning) to site 2 (which has no warning) and rankings became much better.
Then you became scared and you deleted the redirect and soon after the rankings for site 2 became very bad.

Is that the situation?


 9:25 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Site 1 has existed since 2004. It got hit with the unnatural links penalty and rankings plummeted. Eventually, we got out of the penalty and the site has struggled since. Site 1 has good links to it and also baggage which we couldn't remove all and put into a disavow file...

Site 2 was created in 2008 for rebranding purposes and only citation links were being built to it since we planned to 301 redirect Site 1 to Site 2 eventually.

About 4 months ago we 301-ed Site 1 to Site 2. Rankings really didn't improve that much but we needed to rebrand anyway. We build links ourselves during this time such as guest blogging to relevant sites with fluff anchor text, etc.

Almost 4 weeks ago we decide to remove the 301 and see what happens to Site 2 without Site 1, because we didn't see much change and Site 1 still has baggage. October 4th arrives and poof, gone!

Google Webmaster Tools still thinks Site 1 is redirecting to Site 2.

Site 1 has been hit with previous Penguin iterations and the unnatural links and I'm thinking that all of this was being transferred via 301 to Site 2. When Penguin 2.1 arrived, it was hit as a result.

I hope this makes sense.

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