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Website penalised for backlinks - what to do next

5:37 am on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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About a year and a half ago I bought a domain and uploaded a free wordpress template. It was just supposed to be an experiment to see what happened if I purchased back links for a new domain. Funny enough it started to go quite well, so I got a company to design a proper wordpress theme and had good quality content written for it.

All was going well and bookings started to come in. I kind of forgot about the purchasing of the back links until Penguin 2.0 came along. "Som nom na!" as they say here in Thailand (serves you right!). The website basically slipped away. It still gets found for certain key phrases (that I paid for back links, go figure).

What I'd like to do it copy the content to a brand new domain and start over.

I don't want to 301 the offending site to the new site and I want to use the same template and content (as they work well)

What can I do to copy the content from the old domain to the new domain without duplicate content becoming an issue? Just delete the old site? Will Google use a cache of the old site and see the new site content and flag it as duplicate?

I hope I described my predicament clearly!


10:03 pm on June 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes you can just delete the old site and after a period of time of Google not finding it, Google will drop it from its index.

Alternatively you can change the old site to return 410 Gone for all pages, including home page, with a friendly page to your visitors telling them that the site has moved and providing them with a link to a new site.

Regardless of which route you take, there will be a period of time whilst Google may have both sites in index, as it crawled the new one, but has not yet re-crawled all pages from the existing site to see (for example) 410 response.

If you want to ensure there is no duplicate content, then you can firstly remove the existing site from the index and then once it is gone, create the new site with the same content.
4:15 am on June 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks aakk. Yes, I think that I'll move everything across, delete the old site then add the new site back into Google WebMaster.

Never thought about a 410 - I'll take a look into that.
7:09 am on June 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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aakk9999, what would happen if the new site went live before all of the old pages were de-indexed? Would the new site not rank properly until the old pages were removed from the index or would it never rank properly or what?