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Redirecting Multiple Domains to One - should there be lag time?

   
11:08 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am cleaning up a network of very similar sites and rolling them up into a single site. Of the three main sites two were penalized in the Aug 2011 update by Google for having "doorway" pages (with a -50 penalty). Those sites have passed reconsideration requests and are now penalty free. To better comply with Google's best practices instead of operating several near duplicate sites, we will be operating only a single site going forward.

I have heard that there can be issues with redirecting several domains to a single domain at the same time or over a short period of time. Has anyone experienced negative effects from redirecting too many domains at once? Are there any best practices for the lag time between redirecting each domain being shut down to the one that will be retained?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
5:55 am on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Are the original domains clearly owned by the same entity? Or is the common ownership hidden via anonymous domain registration in the Whois, or via some other method like different owners?

Do they share a Webmaster Tools account, or some other Google service?
6:35 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Tedster, they have shared some Google (analytices, adsense)services in the past but no longer do so. The Whois does not show ownership by the same entity. Goog is aware at this point that the sites were in the past operated by the same entity, which is what resulted in the penalty in the first place. At this point we are attempting to do the right thing according to Google and consolidate several near identical sites down to a single site. I'm just trying to extract as much value from the domains that will be shut down as possible. My understanding is that the best practice is not to 301 redirect the pages from all of the sites to be shut down to the remaining site all at the same time. I'm not sure if it's truly the case that there is a risk from taking several sites (all currently unpenalized and in the SERPs) and redirecting them at the same time.
7:14 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I never had a situation with a penalized site, but I have several sites with multiple domains redirected to them and as far as I can tell, have never had an issue. But your situation sounds a little different.
9:36 pm on Mar 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Netmeg, I'm thinking the best way might be redirect one, wait for a few weeks to see the impact, then redirect another, assess the impact, etc. At this point I'd only be redirecting unpenalized domains to another unpenalized domain.
3:16 am on Mar 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Are there any best practices for the lag time between redirecting each domain being shut down to the one that will be retained?


Not sure about time lag, but I've been advised in the past to do funneling if I'm redirecting multiple domains to the one (live website). For example, if I have six domains I want to 301 to the live website, I should pick the domainX that 301s to the live website and 301 the other five to the domainX.

I can't say if that was because of something like this or else, not an expert:
[bruceclay.com...]
4:43 am on Mar 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



if I have six domains I want to 301 to the live website, I should pick the domainX that 301s to the live website and 301 the other five to the domainX.

Wouldn't this run afoul of g###'s often-stated dislike for multiple redirects? I wouldn't think that redirecting from A to C via B would fool them for more than three, four seconds. Five, tops.
7:40 am on Mar 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



That article does not cover this topic - at least not exactly. We're discussing several already developed domains with similar topics, but they are not exact copies. But this article is talking about the very common situation where several domain names point to the exact same content.

I agree that using multiple redirect hops is not ideal at all. The situation already has a somewhat spammy profile (even though many registrars promote it) so I wouldn't try to camouflage things any further.
5:19 pm on Mar 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My understanding is that multiple 301 redirect hops are undesirable in almost all instances. I'm not trying to obfuscate the redirects or the fact that the sites are related. All I'm trying to do is clean up a network of near duplicate sites and extract the most value I can from the sites being shut down, without jeopardizing the one that will remain.
5:57 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just tried to add what I've been advised about some years ago. The link I provided was what I found later on.
Multiple redirects sound bad to me, too. I thought that funneling would be bit different and did not thought about it much as the advice came from some SEO guys.

Now I'll rethink it.

Thanks