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Theoretically once google has been to the old site again (all links from the old site are now translated to the new site url) it will know that the site kind-of no longer exists there. Will google penalise me?
I have read googleguy's response and understand that the specified action will not result in the penalty you said might occur, but would you give a link to the penalty you are referring to or describe it more fully. (is it a penalty for contacting people and asking them to change their links?)
do you know what the penalty is that bignet is discussing with google guy?
if you know, what gives you the right to judge others as being 'paranoid' for also wanting to know?
if you do not know, you do not seem to be a competent search engine optimiser if you believe that wanting to know about it is an indication of 'paranoia' (In this case I wonder why you are reading this forum if you are not interested in understanding how google works).
Google doesn't, in general, penalize for duplicate content. Tons of sites have domain.com and www.domain.com which appear as duplicates, but Google just disregards one of them in any particular SERP. Still, a 301 redirect is the proper way to deal with this.
If you have two sites that are the same except that one of them says We've moved; Please update your links... that shouldn't really draw a penalty.
Now, if you have multiple domains like WidgetWorld.com, WorldOfWidgets.com, and MyWidgetFactory.com, and the content is all the same (not redirected), then that appears to be a deliberate spam attempt to push more of your competetors out of the SERPs.
Only problem is that I think i have missed this months major crawl, may have to wait a while for google to realise what is going on, and in the meantime google might not like what i have done :O
Hey all, we're just talking about moving websites. Just nuts and bolts; no penalties/paranoia needed. Asking people to update their links to point to wherever your site moved to is perfectly natural.
Could you please give me some guidance on whether it is better to have .htaccess do a permanent redirect from a directory, that has been emptied, to an alternative page or have a custom 301 page.
Does it matter how you do this as far as Googlebot is concerned? Paranoia has me thinking that just about anything I inocently do may be misinterpreted because someone somewhere has found a way to misuse it.
My concern is that if Googlebot tries to crawl to a dead link and is redirected it may see this as duplicate content or does it note the 301 returned and stop crawling?
Now that I have put 301 redirects on the site (which uses php for dynamic content) i have redirected the php file and now any links that come in that look like this [domain.com...] are converted to this [website.com...] will the pr be put onto the new website, or will it be put on the old address, as the link still points to the old address. There a hundreds of links that still use the old address (which i cannot get people to change), i'm still a little wary of the change.
will the pr be put onto the new website, or will it be put on the old address
A 301 redirect should transfer the PR to the new page. It'll take some time for that to take effect, of course.
whether it is better to have .htaccess do a permanent redirect from a directory, that has been emptied, to an alternative page or have a custom 301 page.
Either way should be fine. Google hits links, not directories. So if it hits a /path/file.html, and gets a redirect, it won't know if it's because the directory is redirected, or because the file is redirected.
crawl to a dead link and is redirected it may see this as duplicate content or does it note the 301 returned and stop crawling
A 301 doesn't have any content, just a new url. So there's nothing to be duplicate. When it sees a 301, it understands, and moves on to the new URL.
The exception here is Inktomi - last I checked, it still didn't follow 301's correctly. Instead of replacing the old url with the new one, it would keep using the old url, but index it with the content from the new page. That's 302 behavior. On Inktomi, this would lead to duplicate pages, but I don't think they care. That's their fault, anyway.