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How long should you leave a 301 in place when moving to a new domain?

     
8:52 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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About 2 years ago, I moved an entire site to a new domain, did the typical 301 redirect and let it sit.

Around a year ago, I added a new host provider and moved a lot of domains around. Soon afterward I saw some rankings drop on the new site. After some investigation, I found out that it was due to the old domain not being moved. The 301 was put back in place, and the rankings soon returned.

So, must one keep an old domain 301ed for eternity to a new site - or is there a time limit after which where one can sell, redevelop, etc an old domain?

9:01 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Check your webstats and see what kind of traffic its getting.

If you are still getting a lot of real people looking for the site and hitting the redirect, then leave it up.

If the new site is fully indexed, and the redirect is only getting hit by spiders and search engines, then I would say its safe to take down.

The redirect should not be effecting your serps any unless there is still content on the old site that started to get reindexed when you had the 301 redirect down.

Make sure all the old content is down as well.

9:07 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There is one other issue in addition to traffic - backlinks whose influence transfers through the 301 redirect. It sounds like there might be some strength there for you. I'd say as long as those good backlinks point to the redirected domain, you may want to leave the 301 in place.
11:35 pm on Jan 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The number of direct referrals to the old site are pretty low. There are some type-ins; but again, it's not a large number.

It seems that the 301 is mostly helping due to the backlinks for the website.

I know there's another good question in here based around do SEs ever just transfer a link's love to the new domain regardless of the 301 or do SEs always recalculate backlinks on the 301 regardless of the 301s age, etc -- just not sure of the proper wording.

12:00 am on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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do SEs ever just transfer a link's love to the new domain regardless of the 301

Not in my experience. If the links point to the old domain, the 301 needs to be there or no love.

1:10 am on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In answer to original question.......... forever
 

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