The Power of 301 Redirects
We know that Linklicious is both powerful and easy to use. There really isn't much more that we can say about best practice - just paste and kick back. But I want to send out emails on occassion to share high level info or special updates about new products we're rolling out. There will be more advanced stuff in this email, so if you don't understand don't fret. You will after you read up on it some more in the forums and elsewhere.
How it all began...
Before Linklicious we were web developers that worked on projects ranging all the way up to $1,000,000+. But over time we found that our clients can have a great site but would see no results because SEO wasn't there. And thus began our gradual shift into the SEO world. As web developers, we all know that the smallest clients can be the biggest pain in the asses for paying for work - and the crazy thing about SEO is that it is permanent - so what could we do when a client didn't pay? We can't just take their site down anymore...
301 redirects give you control
It didn't take long for us to find out the power of 301 redirects. We build a page/site for a keyword and then do a 301 redirect to the client's page. This will then move the link juice from the page/site we own and give it to the client's site. Links can be built before or after the 301 redirect is in place - it really doesn't matter. But what we like most about the 301s is that they give you control. If the client doesn't pay, just turn the redirect off and they drop!
Now those of you who know us know that we are hardcore testers. Half of what is spread out there in the forums is disinformation, so we don't trust it. Instead, we come up with a theory and test! (And don't believe what I'm saying here. Test for yourself!) That said, here is a great graphic showing just what I'm talking about with a 301.
Of course an example...
In this example we took a client from #109 to #7 in 10 days. Over the next two months we improved their ranking to #4 where they were for about two months. However, this client decided not to pay their bills so we turned off the 301 redirect off. Take a look at the chart below to see what happened...
We turned off the 301 on 2/23 and they dropped off the front page in 3 days and are now sitting around #22 and are trending downwards. We use 301s for almost every single client for just this reason - we totally control it.
We don't know everything about 301s, but let me do share what we believe to be true:
301s don't pass all of the link juice through to the target site. This will probably be the purpose of a future email where we show a case study of it happening with one of our clients. Our guesstimate is 50% of the juice is passed, meaning that you'll need to build twice as many links.
You can sandbox/dance a site using only 301s. Links get credited to the target page/site just like if they were built normally, so be just as cautious when you use them.
301s can be done using a domain, a subdomain, or an individual page. In our tests it seems that juice flows better from a redirected page, but we haven't tested enough to state that for a fact.
I have another case study showing a site where we ranked a page on our site for the target keyword. We instituted the 301 and both our page and the client ranked on page 1 for a few days after which our page dropped off. After turning off the redirect, their page dropped again and ours was back at #2. It is a PR4 site with a happy client, so I don't want to share the keywords. Sorry.
Hopefully you now know a bit more about 301s. Now go out there and test it for yourself and let me know if you find anything interesting. Google moves the target on us, but we have the brains and the manpower to keep up!