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301 Redirect to Avoid the Sandbox?

5:49 pm on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A question, and a theory:

Q: Can you use a 301-redirect from an old domain to get a new domain around the sandbox restriction?

It seems like you ought to be able to. If anybody knows, I'd love to hear. Because if you can, then...

T: Why don't we just buy up a handful of domains, plug some content on them now, and let them start waiting out their sandbox time. Then as we get clients who want new sites, we build the new sites and 301 redirect the placeholder domains to the new ones.

Simple, huh? Instant sandbox-busters!

What do you think?

11:45 pm on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Don't think this is going to work. My experience is that no matter how established the 'old' domain is, once redirected the the 'new' domain, no benefit from age, prior links, DMOZ listings, etc carry forward to the new domain with respect to the sandbox, although they seem to help the new domain's PR. The new domain remains in the sandbox, and the old one disappears from the SERPS because it has been redirected.

On the other hand, if you know the domain name you want in advance for the new domain, but aren't ready to publish a real site yet, it's been suggested that getting it running with some 'business card' type content (along with a link or two) may help later on.

11:49 pm on Feb 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Uh-oh... I have some spare domains, which used to mirror my main site. To avoid duplicate-content penalties, I 301ed these. I might want to develop them in the future.

Guess I'd better cancel those 301s NOW and build "business card content" on them?

I mean, how permanent IS permanent in Google's eyes?

12:06 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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301 certainly doesn't help avoid the sandbox. we 301ed an existing domain over to a new one & the new one was sandboxed for 5-6 months or so. It came out fully last Sunday after originally being 301ed on Sept 13 last year. Traffic is now just above the level it was last September, I presume because we have loads more back links.

Putting a one pager on your spare domains (with an inbound link) sounds like a good plan.

12:09 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oh, forgot to mention.

If you must 301, don't ask your existing inbound linking sites to update URL to the new site.

Albeit on a small sample of one, it would appear from the way the traffic has come back, that the links we updated to the new domain were the ones in the sandbox.

So, perhaps, if we handn't asked for URLs to be changed we would have been out of the sandbox sooner, or indeed, not have entered it in the first place.

Heck, I was just following googles own advice in the matter. But their advice is rather out of date.

7:48 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I merged an old site into a related site that's in the sandbox. I used 301s and did not get any of the old links updated to the new URL.

Results: the old domain's pages are disappearing (very, very slowly in the case of inner pages), but the newer site remains in the sandbox.

1:22 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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2 months ago, I redirected a whole site to a new domain using 1000's of 301's. I have not been able to maintain one ranking from the previous site.

Pretty bummed out about it. Putting all efforts into PPC and content creation.

Any other suggestions?

7:48 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ditto: no, 301 will land you in the sandbox. However it's still not clear to me what the status of the sandbox is post alegra.

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