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Does redirecting a site cause problems?

     
12:11 pm on Jun 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I recently purchased a competitor's site, which is perhaps 50 times larger in content and pages than my own site. The site earns pretty well and while positioned poorly in Google maintains very healthy top spots in Bing and Yahoo.

I plan to redirect the purchased site to my own site, as the domain I own is better suited to the content. If I 301 the individual pages, keeping the structure all at the same time will this flag up to Google and cause problems, or is it better to split the site into sections and redirect the sections over a longer period?
2:57 am on June 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, this can cause ranking problems - at least for some period of time. In your favor is the fact that your redirects will point to the exact same content.

Even in that case, Matt Cutts has always recommended moving a section at a time. This gives you a chance to see what the reaction is at Google and also a chance to get the technical bits ironed out on a smaller scale.
7:48 am on June 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Make sure that no request for old URLs, whether valid or non-valid, can ever result in a redirection chain.
8:29 am on June 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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On The site that I am redirecting would it better to remove the internal links that point to the redirected sections of the site?
2:54 pm on June 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Make sure that no request for old URLs, whether valid or non-valid, can ever result in a redirection chain.


Can you expand on that a little? What do you mean by 'request for old URLs' and 'redirection chain'?

I don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but I'm curious...and possibly nervous...
3:38 pm on June 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Here's a common redirect chain:

oldsite.com/page >> newsite.com/page >> www.newsite.com/page

What you want is

oldsite.com/page >> www.newsite.com/page
6:14 pm on June 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In regards to 301's in general Cutt's statement has been that they do pass page rank, but there is a 'slight' penalty to the amount of page rank being passed as Cutts says this could be abused otherwise.

In a private SEO newsletter I subscribe too, there is a rumor that this 'slight' penalty just went up quite a bit in significance and now I'm terrified to redirect anything.

The advice to do this slowly and in sections is very good IMO.
2:55 am on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I did a big 301 last year....all the links pointing to my internal page now pointed to the home page. It took Google about 4 weeks to figure out the new alchemy of the site but once it did all was well.
7:22 am on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have so far redirected 2% of old-site A to new-site B to see how it goes, I removed all the internal links from the old-site A that point to pages on the new-site B. I will now sit and wait for Google to pick these pages up before proceeding.

The 2% I have redirected gets the largest ammount of traffic 25 to 30%, so I feel I have just bet on a horse.
8:37 am on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google's handling of redirects has certainly changed over the last year or two. I redirected a few hundred URLs more than a week ago (within a site), and even though many have been crawled, there is no change in Google SERPs as yet.
2:41 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anybody know how google handles passing page rank through 301's if the content really changes?

So if I redirect acmewidgets.com/bluewidgets.html with lots of text about blue widgets, how to repair blue widgets, etc...and then redirect it to a page for say about office supplies (officestuff.com/paperclips.html)...with very little overlapping keywords...then that means if somebody searches google for 'repair blue widgets'...could they still see officestuff.com/paperclips.html in the SERPs even through the content is not relevant? What about if the anchor text is no longer relevant? So if pagerank 8 wonderfulwidgets.com has a link to acmewidgets.com/bluewidgets.html with the anchor text blue widgets...is google still even going to pass page rank through a 301 to officestuff.com/paperclips.html even though the relevancy took a serious hit? If this is a problem, where does google draw the line?

It's questions like these that really make me doubt the value of 301's unless the file path and content (outside the boilerplate) remains almost the same.
3:17 pm on June 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just had my first search from Google on one of the new redirected pages, reads new-siteB/page.html in results. Very quick to index (less than 12 hours) and so far pleased with it's position.
 

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