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Entire site 301ed for a couple hours - now traffic has dropped

     
10:58 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I work with a couple large sites and twice last week, for only a couple hours each time the hosting company 301ed one entire site to the other through a caching error. Both time it was fixed within a couple hours and both times it was the same site being 301d but it still was redirecting a decent amount of traffic and a large amount of pages (100,000).

Traffic dropped a lot towards the end of last week but I assumed it was cause of Christmas. Here we are on tuesday and we have not regained any of this traffic. No weird errors or messages in webmasters world but i did notice when I run a site: search the homepage is not on the first page.

Could there be a penalty for this? Is my best bet to do a reconsideration request with Google?

Thanks for the help!
1:20 am on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Are you going to find a new hosting company?
1:30 am on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Traffic dropped a lot towards the end of last week... and we have not regained any of this traffic.


how much of a traffic drop was there?

And what period are you comparing traffic to?

if you are an ecommerce site, then this weeks traffic is not going to be close to the last couple of weeks traffic.
4:54 pm on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Starting on thursday it was a 75% drop from only the google organic channel, everything else stayed the same and on the year over year comparison this is a significant drop for christmas even though we are an ecommerce site. As of today we are still at 75% drop when we should be back up to where we normally were at after Christmas. We don't buy any links or do anything black hat so i would assume the penalty would only come from the 301 problem. Let me know what you guys would recommend in proceeding, other then a new hosting company. Thanks for your help!
6:28 pm on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Assuming that it was the two unintentional 301 redirects that triggered your ranking/traffic losses, I'd say the main thing you need now is patience. Google is very cautious about 301 "games" because redirects have historically been a spammers' playground. So their automated routines will take some time before your rankings are trusted again.

A Reconsideration Request through WebmasterTools might be of some help - explaining the error and its fix, especially if you can describe any steps taken to guard against a future problem.
10:39 pm on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Tedster I appreciate your help on this!
12:53 am on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just wanted to update this post to say that traffic is still down about 80% from Google organic after the 301 problem. I filled out a reconsideration request explaining the problem and Google said that there was no manual action being taken against the site. I will continue to wait as I am sure that is what is needed and will update the post if something changes.
4:50 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just wanted to update this to say that exactly 60 days from the date that the 301 error happened we have had a completle recovery of our site back to where it was.

So 301ing an entire site incorrectly took 60 days to have google give us fatih back in our site and recover our rankings. Thought that was interesting.