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Reversing an old 301



7:36 am on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

There has been a lot of conversation lately about 301 domains. I have a 301 question I have been pondering over for a while.

Around three years ago I had an EMD domain for a popular search with a hyphen (wideranging-widgets.com) for wide ranging widgets which once ranked well but for a while had gone in reverse in Google.

I was too busy with other domains at the time to find a reason, so I had purchased another domain, a PMD without a hyphen rangingwidgets.com. I decided the easy option was to redirect the entire site to rangingwidgets.com and see what happens. After some time I got my answer, it still did not do my Google situation any good but seemed to do a lot better in Bing.

Now some three years later I now have a bit more time so would like to do something with these. Searching on Google if I begin the predictive search still predicts the original site wideranging-widgets.com, although displays the current site, rangingwidgets.com. The current site has no Google searches what so ever, but is massive in Bing and making a modest income from it supporting one of my employees.

Here is what I have been thinking,

Creating a new site for the original wideranging-widgets.com and cancelling the 301 redirect. I have time and ideas now that will make a good quality site for the wide ranging widgets products.

What would the repercussions be for this, would I be best hosting it with a different server to try and make a break from the other site.
Can an EMD ever rank, or is it best to forget about it; would it be better to make a break and buy a new domain, putting my new content on that. Any ideas would be good, as it will be a long project no matter what way I go.


6:19 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

courier having the time and energy to put into an EMD will do the trick. The domain has been 301'd I assume for 3 years so in all reality your starting over.
EMD domains still do real well if they are worked as a real website. The EMD filter was not for websites that are active but those that were build had a link or 2 pointing at them and ranked.

Me if I had a good one and had the time no question I would go for it.


5:50 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reassurance,I can see in the results that an EMD still can work also. My concern about this EMD is that it has a hyphen in it so is it maybe seen as low quality by G, thus a penalty before I start.

A couple of things bothering me before I start are:

1. if I remove the 301 would I have to remove the other site that it was redirected to also?

2. Should I remove the 301 and allow it to return a 404 for a time, or is G already seeing this site as a 404?


7:15 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Matt Cutts said in 2006 that they don't use hyphens as a spam signal - [mattcutts.com...]

Can't find anything more recent that's definite though.


10:19 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@FranticFish some interesting comments in that discussion, although I wonder if Matt Cutts would give the same definite assurance now?


10:38 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

There's a YouTube video from 2011 of him recommending them over underscores for urls, but I can't find anything about domains.

If it were me, I wouldn't fret one - or even two - in the domain, as long as your other 'signals' are going to be strong.


10:51 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If anything has taught us recently with Penguin is you can throw a lot of the old advice from Matt out. There are several spammers in my niche (I am not saying you are, they are for other reasons :-) who rank very high with multiple hyphens in their domain names. I also have seen a lot of sub domains with hyphens that don't seem to have any issues ranking.

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