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What is best way to redirect traffic without passing on penalty?
...put an ordinary dofollow href link on each page of the old site with the anchor text "This site (or page) has been moved -- Click here to go to the new site (or page)".
Most visitors will click the link to go to the new site. And the links will also transfer most of the "pagerank juice" to the new site, but shouldn't transfer any of the penalty.
Robert Charlton wrote:
IMO, this has got it backwards. If there were direct traffic I wanted to preserve but the site had a backlink-based penalty, I'd put a nofollow link on the page. Seems to me that if the link passed PageRank, it would also pass the penalty.
Well I don't see how an ordinary (dofollow) href link could pass a penalty, because it would make it very easy for competitors to sabotage your rankings. They could just buy a penalized site and add a lot of links to your site.
Have you been living under a rock? This is exactly what some people have been moaning about recently. You don't even have to buy a penalised site, you can buy 'SEO' packages that will wreck a competitors rankings extremely cheaply.
"I've tried for many, many months to recover a site slapped by Panda and penguin."
If 70% of the traffic was direct BEFORE Panda and Penguin, I would seriously consider just keeping the old site.Planet13 made a very good point - unless you are also trying to preserve search traffic as well (since if you block the site via robots, the remainder of search traffic will disappear). If you are trying to preserve search traffic too, then I am wondering how much of the remaining 30% is the search traffic and how much are referrals and is it worth trying to preserve it?