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301 Redirects & On-Page SEO

     
12:03 am on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)



Suppose Site A is ranking #1 for "blue widgets" and has excellent on-page SEO (kw in the domain, title, content, etc). If site A is 301 redirected to site B, which does not have good on-page SEO (no kw in domain, title, etc), will it still rank #1 due to the 301 redirect from site A or will it rank lower?

In other words, does the on-page SEO benefit of site A get transferred in a 301 redirect or does only the link juice get transferred?
7:42 am on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



...does the on-page SEO benefit of site A get transferred in a 301 redirect or does only the link juice get transferred?

No, the on-page content of a page on site A effectively ceases to exist when you 301. Only the link juice gets transferred (and it's been guestimated that roughly 15% of the link juice is lost).

Note also that when you 301 a page, the links that were on that page cease to exist, so the outbound link juice from links that were on the page disappears as well.
8:30 am on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



@Robert Charlton, Is what you are saying based on recent testing? When I last tested it, Site B would rank for keywords that site A ranked for. So probably the anchor text benefits got transferred as well, which is essentially what many would want. But this test was done a couple of years ago and so I am not sure about current behavior.
12:13 pm on Jun 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



@indyank
From what OP says, it can be concluded that the Site A is ranking mostly because of the great on-page SEO. So Robert's response is correct as all on-page SEO is lost with 301 Redirect.

If the Site A ranks primarily because of links (which is, btw, not what OP said), then the results of 301 can be unpredictable - it would depend on Site B pages' content, the power of links, whether the content of the each page on Site B is relevant to links received via redirect from Site A, etc. I think that in this case there is no "one size fits all" response.
6:18 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



indyrank - I can see how the second paragraph of my answer might have been the cause of some confusion. To add more nuance to my answer...

First, the question I answered, with my emphasis added, is...
...does the on-page SEO benefit of site A get transferred in a 301 redirect or does only the link juice get transferred?

Again... there is no longer any onpage benefit to be transferred, because site A no longer exists.

I also said: "Only the link juice gets transferred". As aakk9999 points out, while "anchor text benefits" get "transferred", all sorts of other factors related to the link source and destination enter into the effects of that link. It's not only about anchor text.

To clarify further, though, I'm saying in my second paragraph that only the anchor text benefits coming into A get transferred to B. That's because, in a 301 A->B redirect, B is replacing A. This needs to be considered on a page-by-page (or, more precisely, on a url-by-url) basis.

What I'm excluding from the transfer are any effects of internal anchor text and link juice redistribution that had occurred within the site A. If you think about it, site A's internal nav structure and offsite linking are onpage factors, and they disappear in the redirection of A to B. As I put it...

...the outbound link juice from links that were on the page disappears as well.

This is true whether the redirects are done on a sitewide basis, or on a "page-by-page / url-by-url" basis. The internal structure of site A is lost in the redirect even if each page is redirected individually.

That said, if, eg, only the domain name were changed, and if A and B were otherwise identical, then a "page-by-page / url-by-url" redirect would apparently preserve the same link juice flow, but it actually would be the reproduction of internal nav and site structure that would be doing the preservation.
7:19 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If site A is ranking #1 for "blue widgets" with excellent on-page SEO, what's the question?

Many people would be happy with a #1 rank.
Redirects, and the manipulation associated with them, is fairly complicated and isn't easily addressed in a forum setting.
7:58 am on Jun 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



WoW Robert! That is perfect :)
 

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