Google Penalty Question. Any Suggestions

5 replies
Hi Everyone,

I originally posted this in the SEO forum but didn't get a single response so I'm hoping I may get a little more help here.

Over the last few weeks ive come across a penalty which i have never seen before and cannot work out whats happening to our site. (link in sig)

We moved from an old domain to a new domain with a 301 redirect about 3 months ago, we topped the new domain up with a few links and when the 301 redirect took effect we retained all our rankings for our local based keywords with the new domain name.

However several weeks ago, we noticed we had gone from No1 for a target keyword to not been found in the first 20 pages. Other keywords had gone from number 1,2,3 to the second page. But then a week later all the rankings returned and we thought nothing more of it.

However we are now stuck in a predicable cycle, every 4-5 days we get the same penalty, to exactly the same lower positions, then 4-5 days later they return to their No1 spots, then 4-5 days later we get penalised to the exact same lower positions again.

Can anyone shed any light on this and what can be done to stop the drop in rankings and stabilise them.

Does it have something to do with the 301 redirect from the old site?

Any help would be appreciated.

Tom
#google #penalty #question #suggestions
  • Profile picture of the author GMD
    Banned
    It's actually not a "penalty" -- a "penalty" being something imposed for a wrong committed.

    First, it's universal and accepted: 301 redirects are the correct way to move a web page or even a domain.

    What you've experienced (and are experiencing) is the horror of putting a 301 redirect in place only to find that your old page or pages are dropping out of the rankings and then back up again (like a yo-yo). This is NORMAL. And while it's not convenient, it's part of the "process". So expect (and live with) these fluctuations in your rankings because of the 301 redirect.

    All that being written, if you're not sure, go back and make sure that you've actually correctly setup the 301 redirect. This includes making sure, for example, that your redirect is in your sitemap.

    Also, if for whatever reason your OLD site had been penalized and the 301 redirect was some kind of work around to remove the penalty, that, unfortunately won't work.

    But hey, if everything's on the up-and-up and you've correctly implemented the redirect, with time, you'll see your site (or pages) stabilize in the SERPS.
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    • Profile picture of the author thomaspaylor
      Thanks GMD,

      I'm not sure the old domain would have had a penalty, it was a very old and authoritive domain that had a number 1 position for around 8 years.

      Lets hope that Google is just stablising things. Does a 301 redirect have to stay in place permanently or can it be removed after say 6 months etc?
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      "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison
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      • Profile picture of the author GMD
        Banned
        Originally Posted by thomaspaylor View Post

        Thanks GMD,

        I'm not sure the old domain would have had a penalty, it was a very old and authoritive domain that had a number 1 position for around 8 years.

        Lets hope that Google is just stablising things. Does a 301 redirect have to stay in place permanently or can it be removed after say 6 months etc?
        It might not be the answer that you'd like to hear -- because the answer just means feeling "powerless" for a while as things are sorted out; more than likely, it's Google stabilizing things as you've mentioned.

        For all search engines, the redirect code/command "301" is interpreted as "moved permanently". So no, it need not be removed after a week, a month, six months or ever.

        By the way, if you want to check that your redirect was done properly, here's a cool little tool you can try for free:

        Search Engine Friendly Redirect Checker
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  • Profile picture of the author thomaspaylor
    Thanks for you help, according to the tool you've mentioned the redirect has been done correctly and is SEO friendly.

    Ill leave it a month or so and see if things have settled before we make any changes or start any other forms of link building to the new domain name.

    Thanks again.
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    "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison
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