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Transfer link juice from a deindexed site to new site?



4:07 am on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Is this even possible to do a 301 redirect a site that has been deindexed in Google? Here are the details:

I had an established site that was ranking #2 for it's main keyword (the domain name was "prefix+mainkeyword"). I also had 15 other posts targeting other keywords in the niche. I was getting good traffic from all these terms as well as the main keyword.

For some reason this site was deindexed from Google, but still ranking #2 in bing/yahoo, but the traffic is now like 15%. I sent Google an email to try to get it reindexed but nothing.

So this site has about 900+ backlinks with about 90% or so to the home page and the rest spread out among the other 15 keyword pages of the site.

Now I started a new site within using a keyword in the same niche (not the same KW as the old site) and the domain name is "keyword+suffix." I have around 180 links to this site and it only has 3 posts so far and ranking on page 5 for it's main keyword.

So would it be possible to transfer all the link juice from that deindexed site to this new site by doing a 301 redirect? How would this work in that I don't have as many pages on the new site compared to the old site? Could I just transfer all the links that are going to the top level domain of the deindexed to the top level of the new site by editing the .htaccess file of the deindexed site with the following:

"Redirect 301 olddomain.com hxxp://www[dot]newdomain[dot]com"

Would that be the correct code for doing something like that if possible?


5:02 am on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yes, the redirect is possible technically. Since you mentioned .htaccess, I assume you're on an Apache server, so for the correct syntax and technical details I would refer you to our Apache Web Server forum [webmasterworld.com].

However, there is always the possibility that your penalty is due to something with the backlinks. In that case, you might just transfer the penalty right over to the new domain ;(

For that reason, I'd suggest some digging and analysis to understand why your site was penalized in the first place. It usually takes something very serious to get truly thrown out of the index altogether.


8:55 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I had 12 sites hit with -50 penalty about 18 months ago. A couple came back after reinclusion request. Most I gave up on and did a 301 to other sites and none brought penalty along with them.

I didn't spend enough time analyzing to determine for sure if, or how much, the link juice transferred or helped the receiving domain.

Some were wordpress blogs, so I just exported the posts from old domain and imported to new, so the content and any links were found on the new domain.


9:55 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Thanks for that, trakkerguy. It's good to remind ourselves that even bad situations can be changed, and there's nothing like a success story to do that. There is a difference here, however. mrez74 reports being "deindexed" - and that's more severe than being penalized.


11:40 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

trakkerguy - Interesting. Do you believe the -50 penalty was for bad link practices ?

As Tedster says, for this there is probably a big risk of transferring the bad influence of the old links.

[edited by: Whitey at 11:53 pm (utc) on Jun 6, 2010]


11:51 pm on Jun 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, deindexed is worse penalty for sure. Actually have an experiment with a couple of those also.

2 sites I bought last year must have done something bad, as they were deindexed by G about 2 months after I bought them, before I made a single change. I then removed a lot of outgoing links, but couldn't see anything that was for sure the cause the of deindex, so after 12 months or so I gave up on them.

On May 11 I did a 301 to point the deindexed domains at one of my competitors to see what would happen. So far, no noticeable effect to him, good or bad.

Of course in this case, the content wasn't moved to the new domain.


12:44 am on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

My sense is that a de indexed site can involve a manual review. Once the effected site is flagged by an editor , the effect will be held as part of the algorothmn in the site's history for any transfers , along with any other profile information on the owners or related sites. The only way out of this is to fix the problem , seek a reinclusion and hope.

For a penalised site such as the -50 , it might be slightly different and rely on an algorithmn for minor things or a combination of algorithmn flagging and manual reviews - especially in competitive verticals where the index is being constantly reviewed and reported on. Redirecting this may not hold the same risk if the offence is minor, but it is still a risk, so 404'ing the old pages may be wiser. The more aggressive the penalty and site practices , the greater the risk.

There have been several comments by members that Google does not do this algorthimically because of the risk that a competitor can redirect a badly penalised site at a competitor. This wouldn't be fair. So my hunch is very much that Google takes precautions before doing this.

Quite how they do it - of course i have no idea - since it might involve some complexity to combat the tricks of such tactics. It may even involve some escalation to higher editorial control levels.

Often webmasters complain that spam reports were not acted upon for many months , if ever - and this further plays into the notion that it involves a heirarchy of priorities. Again , popular verticals and high traffic sites , for example, would take priority ( i would have thought )

I have no testing knowledge, nor seen any proven reports of this, so I can only speculate.


1:38 am on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The thing is on the same day 5 of my sites were deindexed. I did try for an inclusion, but nothing happened. I think it might have been a manual review or a competitor reported my sites. At the time I was using a 3 way link service for the sites so that might have had something to do with it. It could be that one of sites that was linking to me in the 3 way service linked to a bad neighborhood and that transferred to my sites as well. Other than that the only other links for those sites were article directories and blogroll links.


2:33 am on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Spammy links from off topic sites pointing to you can take you out of the SERP's , if they are part of a 3 way link scheme or similar. I've seen sites reverse these out and be quickly re included in the SERP's , provided they are not repeat offenders.

It might be better to identify the cause first, rather than " shift the chairs around on the Titanic " ( so to speak ).

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