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Moving Domains 301 Style to Escape Business Killing Zombies

     
1:58 pm on Dec 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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System: The following message was cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4827670.htm [webmasterworld.com] by goodroi - 12:46 pm on Dec 13, 2016 (utc -5)


I think a new thread is in order for 301's and moving domains. That's not the topic. Where are the chop happy mods?
5:50 pm on Dec 13, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for starting a new thread about this topic so we can keep the monthly Google update thread on topic and at the same time have a constructive conversation about using 301 redirects to possibly escape Zombie traffic and other Google SEO nightmares.

Feel free to share any experiences about 301 redirects saving the SEO success of a troubled website.
1:49 am on Dec 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't know that it would be possible to escape Zombie traffic by a 301. After all, any traffic showing up on the old site would just show up (through 301) at the new site.
But, if a person was just looking to keep link juice and attempt to avoid S.E. prejudice/penalties/general dislike, then it might be possible to:
Register newdomain.tld
301 redirect everything from olddomain.tld to newdomain.tld/olddomain/
htaccess anything other than /olddomain/index.html to /olddomain/index.html
Set the canonical of /olddomain/index.html to the page of your choice on newdomain.tld
Fill out the content of newdomain.tld to exactly reflect olddomain.tld
Maybe NoIndex /olddomain/index.html but leave as Follow (depending on your beliefs)

That's 2-3 hops of 301 which will reduce the link juice, but it provides granular control.
6:18 pm on Dec 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What about moving the site to a totally new domain and much simplified menu structure, then doing a wildcard 301 of all old domain pages to the home page (domain.com) of the new site? Surely assuming that all the existing juice would now go to just one page is wrong. I'm sure there is plenty of AI already in place to prevent that.
10:05 pm on Dec 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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If I was inclined to 301 from olddomain.tld to newdomain.tld with a simplified menu structure I'd probably still use a folder with a single index page. So newdomain.tld/olddomain/index
On the index page have your simplified menu top level pages as nav
That's two steps from olddomain.tld to top level menu pages with one of the steps requiring user interaction/choice.
11:01 pm on Dec 17, 2016 (gmt 0)

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301 old domain pages to the home page (domain.com) of the new site? Surely assuming that all the existing juice would now go to just one page is wrong.

If you don't benefit from the link juice and you're not helping your human visitors, what's the point? A universal redirect to the front page doesn't help anyone; it just annoys human visitors who thought they were heading for some specific page.

Even if the URL/directory structure is completely different between example.old and example.new, most individual pages will have a 1:1 correspondence. It just means a little more work coding the redirects.
4:22 am on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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That's a perfectly fine opinion. Good luck with that.
5:23 am on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Surely assuming that all the existing juice would now go to just one page is wrong.


I'm fairly certain you're correct. Redirecting all the web pages from one domain to the home page of a new domain will lose PageRank. They are treated like 404 pages. I can't find the citation other than a discussion about 301 redirects from expired pages to the home page not passing PageRank. But I'm 99% certain this is the case. This has nothing to do with AI.

A one to one redirect of pages from the old domain to the matching pages on the new domain will preserve the PageRank.
3:00 pm on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What if my new site is only ONE Page?

I've noticed many high ranking sites in my vertical consist of one long sprawling page rather than many pages menu linked pages. The content is consolidated / digested version and seems to be a better UI for mobile users....I mean really, when using mobile, how many time do you navigate a site further using the hamburger menu?
3:55 pm on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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What if my new site is only ONE Page?


Be specific. You brought up a scenario and you got your answer. Now you are asking a different question altogether. When most people discuss a site they're usually talking more than four or five pages. If you had been more specific and mentioned you were consolidating a (presumably) four page site into a one page squeeze page then you'd have received an answer specific to your situation. ;)

Most people have more than four pages on a site but if you can reduce an entire site to a single page then use named anchors and do a one-to-one redirect. You do a 301 redirect to a named anchor. [webmasterworld.com] You just have to use a no escape thingy [NE] when coding the htaccess for the pound sign (#).

Here is a blog post from 2009 announcing that Google will direct users from the SERPs to named anchors sections [webmasters.googleblog.com] of a site if the sections are identified with a named anchor and there is a table of content for it.

I do understand that the link graph is more granular than page level and that they do a good job linking to anchor link sections of pages from the SERPs. If you insist on using a squeeze page layout for a new site then one-to-one 301'ing to named anchors is your best bet.

Good luck,

Roger Montti
5:47 pm on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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<tangent>
Google will direct users from the SERPs to named anchors sections

This is one of the rare situations where analytics will give you information you can't get from raw logs. Only yesterday (really) I spent quite a while looking at piwik*, which I haven't fired up in yoincks. One revelation was that a goodish number of requests for certain pages were actually requests for a named anchor (fragment) on those pages. Mine tend to coincide with mid-level headers; I don't know if the search engine cares.

* Pro tip for people who are similarly lax: Your username is case-sensitive. It took me a LONG time to figure this out.
</tangent>
7:29 pm on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google will direct users from the SERPs to named anchors sections

It might be confusing for a first-time visitor to land in the middle of a long page.

This is one of the rare situations where analytics will give you information you can't get from raw logs

Statcounter shows this information too. Sometimes a person will bookmark a page when they are near an anchor tag. Then later when they return using the bookmark, the browser takes them straight to that part of the page.
10:25 pm on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It might be confusing for a first-time visitor to land in the middle of a long page.


The 2009 blog post advises the use of a table of content. Most sites that do that use section headings on a page.

It won't be confusing for situations like SamWest, who says he's consolidating pages of a site into sections on a web page.

Under normal circumstances different sections of a site are "announced" by headings or the use of a bold tag. So landing in the middle of a page is not an issue. Any publisher that doesn't call attention to different sections of a page is outside of the norm.
10:45 pm on Dec 18, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Easy folks, it's a hypothetical, and meant to be a rather ridiculous one at that. One that does seem to rank tho...