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Loss of Ranking with internal 301?

     
6:09 pm on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed a drop in a page's ranking with Google after 301 redirecting it within the same domain? I've read about the nightmarish scenario involved with changing domains and 301ing pages to the new domain, but does any portion of that apply when 301ing a page internally?
6:55 pm on July 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Most of the time I see the internal 301 kick in on Google within a few days -- and the new url takes over the previous ranking. I've only seen big trouble when many internal 301's are introduced at once.

There is another problematic scenario -- when there's a chain of more than one 301 redirect involved. If the established page was already receiving a 301 from an even earlier url, then a second 301 seems to lose the backlink influence that's still pointed to the very first url. This also applies to a chain of redirects that involve a no-www to with-www canonical correction.

3:03 am on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Got it, great info, thanks tedster.
3:31 am on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The only problem ive run into is when I 301 a page that is in google sitemaps. we recently changed location of numerous pages and did not update the sitemaps file. It showed as a "Warning" that there were too many redirects. It think we may have been penalized for it.
3:33 am on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Does the sitemaps file seem to help a lot with rankings?
11:56 am on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We rewrote all of our urls on March 5th and used 301s, and we are still showing a gray bar.
1:46 pm on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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davidgid,

I'm surprised to hear that. Sounds like a real problem. Has Google traffic dropped way off too?

2:41 pm on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Several days following the rewrite we had a good surge in traffic. Then as each new datacenter was picking up the rewritten urls almost all google traffic disappeared as the rewritten urls were picked up.

It has been very slow, but traffic is starting to increase. All I have is a gray bar though.

3:10 pm on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If the established page was already receiving a 301 from an even earlier url, then a second 301 seems to lose the backlink influence that's still pointed to the very first url.

1) Does this apply forever? (i.e. what if a 2nd 301 is used a year after the first one was used).

2) Is there a recommended practice: e.g., in such a "time-extended chain", should an old (original) ref be dropped (if we're using the same example) and a 404 be served (after some period of time)?

3) Given the possible loss in ranking, would there be an even worse penalty if one were to "undo" recent 301's? (i.e. go back to the way things were.)

4) If a site, over time, has evolved with such chained 301's, would using/submitting under sitemaps be of any benefit?

.

7:07 pm on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Let's assume there are still valuable backlinks pointing to url1.

Instead of a chain:
url1 > url2 > url3

I'd suggest:
url1 > url3
url2 > url3

7:55 pm on July 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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tedster.. thanks for the info.

In our case, whenever we had to redirect after an "original redirect", we did break the chain down to individual (unchained) re-directs to the new target as suggested.

Is there any evidence of a penalty if redirects are done in this manner. Should the "oldest" re-directs be deleted after a period of time (say a year), or should they be retained forever?.

10:42 am on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What do you folks mean by "a grey bar" in the above messages?

A sitemap greenie,
Dave

11:03 am on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A grey bar means a Page Rank of 0 on Google Bar.
This is very bad...