The POWER of 301 Redirects

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Here is another news letter we sent out that I thought I'd share.




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!

Link hard!


Justin
#301 #power #redirects
  • Profile picture of the author topnichekeyword
    Which software you have used to analysis Keyword? can you say the truth?
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  • Profile picture of the author CSSwilson
    HKSEO Rotzee i tried out your service looks interesting let me know if you can handle a large amount of keywords per a month for a good price.
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by CSSwilson View Post

      HKSEO Rotzee i tried out your service looks interesting let me know if you can handle a large amount of keywords per a month for a good price.
      Thank you, and yes...we can handle large amounts of keywords per month for a good price....you can PM me any questions you have. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author orvn
    They are indeed powerful, but there is a certain bit of decay when 301 redirecting:
    301 Redirects Do Not Pass Full PageRank & Link Value

    For most intents and purposes, it is negligible.
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    • Profile picture of the author jhnbrwn
      For sure, 301 Redirect has got amazing power to grab and turn previous traffic towards the new site. The only thing is if it is wisely employed, else, it really rocks.

      Regards
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by orvn View Post

      They are indeed powerful, but there is a certain bit of decay when 301 redirecting:
      301 Redirects Do Not Pass Full PageRank & Link Value

      For most intents and purposes, it is negligible.
      Having dozens of clients who can REFUSE to pay after we rank them....having a 301 that we can turn off and then watch their site drop like a stone hardly seems "negligible".
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      • Profile picture of the author Malphas
        Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

        Having dozens of clients who can REFUSE to pay after we rank them....having a 301 that we can turn off and then watch their site drop like a stone hardly seems "negligible".
        I think Orvn was referring to the decay and not the method
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        • Profile picture of the author mattbaehr
          So, if I have some old sites that I was learning on and built a few thousand backlinks to, but never ranked... Can I just do a 301 redirect to new sites to help boost their rank?
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    cool stuff, when my hosting installed a 301, i got my SEO juice back
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  • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
    This is a sound strategy for combating non-paying customers, but if its used as leverage to keep contracts, I don't agree with it at all. What about the links you acquired that they did pay for?

    If a client eventually loses budget for SEO services, and terminates their contract, do you switch off the redirect, losing the client the work that they've already paid for?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by MrWonton View Post

      This is a sound strategy for combating non-paying customers, but if its used as leverage to keep contracts, I don't agree with it at all. What about the links you acquired that they did pay for?

      If a client eventually loses budget for SEO services, and terminates their contract, do you switch off the redirect, losing the client the work that they've already paid for?
      Highly unethical unless you spell out what it is you are doing for the customers. If you tell them they are renting links from you then its upfront but If you are telling them that you are building links for them then thats what you should be doing.

      Its better to just get solid customers that pay upfront then you don't have to worry about not getting paid. 301 redirects are good for use for other reasons bit I never have to use them to get paid for the work I do.
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      • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Highly unethical unless you spell out what it is you are doing for the customers. If you tell them they are renting links from you then its upfront but If you are telling them that you are building links for them then thats what you should be doing.

        Its better to just get solid customers that pay upfront then you don't have to worry about not getting paid. 301 redirects are good for use for other reasons bit I never have to use them to get paid for the work I do.

        1. We don't sell backlinks at Human Kind we rank sites. We have a tool "www.onehourbacklinks.com", where we sell backlinks. But this is different customers than the ones we are using 301's with.

        2. We tell a customer we will rank their site, we tell them upfront that we have tools that we will use to rank their site and if they choose to quit using us...we will turn these tools off and they will drift back down.
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    • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
      Originally Posted by MrWonton View Post

      This is a sound strategy for combating non-paying customers, but if its used as leverage to keep contracts, I don't agree with it at all. What about the links you acquired that they did pay for?

      If a client eventually loses budget for SEO services, and terminates their contract, do you switch off the redirect, losing the client the work that they've already paid for?
      Putting it that way, maybe it should be called renting SERP rank up front.

      This way at least they know.

      Personally, I like the idea of renting out rank more than selling planted links to boost rank.

      I think the 301 redirect idea is a winner.
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  • Profile picture of the author zeeawk
    I thought a 301 was a permanent redirect. Wouldn't google forget about the original link after learning about the new site?
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Extropy
      Originally Posted by mattbaehr View Post

      So, if I have some old sites that I was learning on and built a few thousand backlinks to, but never ranked... Can I just do a 301 redirect to new sites to help boost their rank?
      Yes - your link juice would transfer to the boosted site. Note that whatever keywords you've loaded up on will move to the new site.


      Originally Posted by zeeawk View Post

      I thought a 301 was a permanent redirect. Wouldn't google forget about the original link after learning about the new site?
      A 301 is supposed to be permanent, but it doesn't necessarily work that way. We can dance a site up and down just by turning the 301 on and off. It's like magic when you're selling a client on the fact that you can rank them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Hampton
        Is there any way to tell if a site is ranking due to juice from a 301?

        Let's say that site X is redirected to site Y.

        When checking the links for site Y, will the links to site X also appear?

        Thanks,
        Jeff
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      • Profile picture of the author ferriswannabe
        But there has to be a point, lets say after 6,8, or 10 months, after telling Google that you've done a permanent redirect to the new domain, and technically your no longer using the old domain that Google will ignore the links to your old domain and thus no more linkjuice, right?

        Don't you believe there has to be some sort of a time period where google will discredit the linkjuice from a redirected domain?
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        • Profile picture of the author mattbaehr
          Thought I would run a test a let everyone here know the results.

          Main site - #16 currently (has 1667 backlinks)

          I redirected 2 sites to the main site. The 2 sites are in the same broad niche, decently related.

          Redirect one - 2075 links
          Redirect two - 404 links

          Both redirects are now pointing to the main site as of 5 minutes ago. I will let everyone know how it goes.
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        • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
          Originally Posted by ferriswannabe View Post

          But there has to be a point, lets say after 6,8, or 10 months, after telling Google that you've done a permanent redirect to the new domain, and technically your no longer using the old domain that Google will ignore the links to your old domain and thus no more linkjuice, right?

          Don't you believe there has to be some sort of a time period where google will discredit the linkjuice from a redirected domain?
          Great question, most people believe that there is link decay, but we have only done rigorous testing for 6 months. In THAT time frame, we have not seen any loss in juice. We will continue to actively test and will update any note of decay.
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          • Profile picture of the author mattbaehr
            It has been a week, and in my small test, I actually have dropped in SERPs. Not sure what the deal is, but I am worse off since my 301s.
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            • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
              Originally Posted by mattbaehr View Post

              It has been a week, and in my small test, I actually have dropped in SERPs. Not sure what the deal is, but I am worse off since my 301s.
              1. You redirected entire domains..not backlinks.

              2. Did you stop creating back links to the domain your trying to redirect?

              3. In a similar test we redirected 25 high PR domains to a total of 5 untargeted domains each and we saw no positive or negative effects while redirecting domains as opposed to backlinks.

              note: This particular test hasn't been tested long, we WILL do a case study on this..and if you are on our linklicious user mailing list....we will send it out to you guys.
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              • Profile picture of the author mattbaehr
                Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

                1. You redirected entire domains..not backlinks.

                2. Did you stop creating back links to the domain your trying to redirect?

                3. In a similar test we redirected 25 high PR domains to a total of 5 untargeted domains each and we saw no positive or negative effects while redirecting domains as opposed to backlinks.

                note: This particular test hasn't been tested long, we WILL do a case study on this..and if you are on our linklicious user mailing list....we will send it out to you guys.
                1. Ok, then I am confused. What do you mean redirect a backlink instead of domain?

                2. No I didn't do anything different.

                3. Interested to see how it goes. Again, my experiment is only one week old.
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                • Profile picture of the author ferriswannabe
                  mattbaehr,

                  maybe your just starting that your "google dance",please keep this thread posted with your results.

                  I assuming by OP's response

                  "....Did you stop creating back links to the domain your trying to redirect? "

                  that we are suppose to be continually building backlinks to the redirected domain?

                  Is that right, HKSEO Rotzee? and thanks for responding to my above comment.

                  In my case, I was interested in this method, not so much as an ON/OFF switch for offline clients, I would like to use it as way to keep a site "clean"

                  I am building an legitimate real physical product ecommerce site, that I plan to build for the long term. I don't want to have spammy links pointing at it. Using the 301's I could blast those, and keep my site clean, and only have "legitimate" backlinks pointing at it.
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                  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
                    Originally Posted by ferriswannabe View Post

                    mattbaehr,

                    maybe your just starting that your "google dance",please keep this thread posted with your results.

                    I assuming by OP's response

                    "....Did you stop creating back links to the domain your trying to redirect? "

                    that we are suppose to be continually building backlinks to the redirected domain?

                    Is that right, HKSEO Rotzee? and thanks for responding to my above comment.

                    In my case, I was interested in this method, not so much as an ON/OFF switch for offline clients, I would like to use it as way to keep a site "clean"

                    I am building an legitimate real physical product ecommerce site, that I plan to build for the long term. I don't want to have spammy links pointing at it. Using the 301's I could blast those, and keep my site clean, and only have "legitimate" backlinks pointing at it.
                    Yes, its just another layer
                    and
                    Yes, it would be perfect for that, good luck
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                • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
                  Originally Posted by mattbaehr View Post

                  1. Ok, then I am confused. What do you mean redirect a backlink instead of domain?

                  2. No I didn't do anything different.

                  3. Interested to see how it goes. Again, my experiment is only one week old.
                  1. What I mean is you redirected a site, we redirect pages on a site. We think/thought that redirecting a site would work as well...but the reality is, it doesn't work.

                  It seems that pages within a site do work well though. We have theories of why this is happening...but I don't want to share it and spread disinformation until we do more testing.
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              • Profile picture of the author Fernando1954
                Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

                1. You redirected entire domains..not backlinks.
                Sorry if this sounds dumb,i'm assuming you do the 301 redirect with the htaccess file.
                If so what would be the correct code to add to htaccess for doing redirect for back links
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          • Profile picture of the author maveric
            Originally Posted by HKSEO Rotzee View Post

            Great question, most people believe that there is link decay, but we have only done rigorous testing for 6 months. In THAT time frame, we have not seen any loss in juice. We will continue to actively test and will update any note of decay.
            Hi Rotzee,

            First off, great info and thanks for sharing.

            It's been about 9 months since this post... any updated data about link juice transferred over a long period?

            Also, would love to know if you have any more info on the topic. Have you written anything before/after this content?

            What's the best way to get on a list?

            Thanks,
            Eric
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  • Profile picture of the author milton11011
    damn i redirected my site (except not using 301). idthink its helped. gonna look into this though
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  • Profile picture of the author LemonSqueezy
    Seems like an interesting idea, have you explored 302?
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by LemonSqueezy View Post

      Seems like an interesting idea, have you explored 302?
      As far as I know, 302 is only really beneficial in website development. It is a temporary redirect that doesn't give you any benefit.
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by quicklinkbuilder View Post

      So a 301 redirect isnt frowned upon?
      Debatable. Isn't technically being used as originally "Intended"...but there has been no "Warnings" by google or anyone for using it this way. As of this point, it is what I would call "Safe".
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    • Profile picture of the author BarryWheeler
      Originally Posted by quicklinkbuilder View Post

      So a 301 redirect isnt frowned upon?
      Not if you're using it like it's intended to.

      I changed my URL structure when I trimmed content, revamped my blog.

      I redirected old URLS to new URLS, same content. Things have worked out so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ephrils
    I bought an expired domain that was the former #1 ranked of my niche. I had been building backlinks to my site for a long time and was easily moving through the search results bu could not pass Wikipedia or IMDB. After buying this new domain I put a 301 on it. Within a week I was in the #1 position.

    After the latest Google update I still sit at #2 after all the shifting and dancing, right under the official site, which I was outranking before. My un-301'd domain has a wide variety of links pointing at from forum profiles, blog comments, a decent amount of nofollows, things like that. What the 301 did was let me take advantage of the link juice of the former #1, despite any decay, and point it at my site, giving it a huge power boost.

    I didn't want to use this newly acquired domain as the new home for my site because it had and still has a bad reputation with it's former webmaster and contributors. I just wanted their 5 years of work
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  • Profile picture of the author walleyg
    Sorry to barge in like this. I find this subject is pretty interesting. Let's clarify the 301
    redirect a little. The 301 is defined as moved permanently. This will carry link juice to the
    new page. The most common uses are if you changed domain, renamed a page for SEO
    purposes, and the most common is something we all should be doing. That is using
    www or not. IE: wwwdot your domain dotcom and your domain dotcom
    These are treated as 2 totally unique and different URL's.

    I'm sure that didn't help many of you but, at least it is here for reference.
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    • Profile picture of the author ferriswannabe
      Originally Posted by walleyg View Post

      Sorry to barge in like this. I find this subject is pretty interesting. Let's clarify the 301
      redirect a little. The 301 is defined as moved permanently. This will carry link juice to the
      new page. The most common uses are if you changed domain, renamed a page for SEO
      purposes, and the most common is something we all should be doing. That is using
      www or not. IE: wwwdot your domain dotcom and your domain dotcom
      These are treated as 2 totally unique and different URL's.

      I'm sure that didn't help many of you but, at least it is here for reference.
      Well...that clears everything up.
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  • Profile picture of the author jprees
    I know of one competitor that uses this to really accelerate his pages so that the are getting link juice from two different pages but they are all directed at one page. It has to work because they are using it on pages in the site and they have more links on their pages that are the redirects then they do the one it redirects to.

    It is working because they are sitting in the #1, 2, or 3 spot on most of the terms that are competitive and worth while.
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by jprees View Post

      I know of one competitor that uses this to really accelerate his pages so that the are getting link juice from two different pages but they are all directed at one page. It has to work because they are using it on pages in the site and they have more links on their pages that are the redirects then they do the one it redirects to.

      It is working because they are sitting in the #1, 2, or 3 spot on most of the terms that are competitive and worth while.
      Yup, it is a very powerful tool.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cosmit
        Matt Cutts says what's he's told, not what it really is. They say nofollow links don't count not because they don't (they certainly do) but because they want to eliminate spammers and it works to an extent (people will rather go after dofollow than nofollow).

        301 redirects in my opinion carry 100% of the juice.

        there are many factors that could alter rankings if you did a perm 301 to a different domain such as age, domain keywords, server change, etc.

        some people may do a perm redirect to the new domain only instead of the pages which would mean lots of pages would lose ranks

        i did a 301 on one of my sites and i gained ranks

        Matt Cutts will rarely tell you anything that will benefit you, the SEO warrior. Remember, everything you do in SEO is not approved by Google (blackhat or whitehat it doesn't matter) building backlinks is not natural so either way you're getting links artificially and it's against Google's idea of search engines.
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  • Profile picture of the author Riddley Walker
    Slightly off topic but still relevant to using the 301 re-direct.
    What are peoples thoughts on this tactic? just an idea i've got but not sure if it has value.
    Instead of just getting a new relevant domain name im looking to combine any possible benefit of acquiring an old domain and applying a 301 re-direct to a more relevant domain name. Both the old and new domain are in the same niche.
    Is this a good idea or not?

    Great idea Rotzee, rent rankings and keep control - like it
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by Riddley Walker View Post

      Slightly off topic but still relevant to using the 301 re-direct.
      What are peoples thoughts on this tactic? just an idea i've got but not sure if it has value.
      Instead of just getting a new relevant domain name im looking to combine any possible benefit of acquiring an old domain and applying a 301 re-direct to a more relevant domain name. Both the old and new domain are in the same niche.
      Is this a good idea or not?

      Great idea Rotzee, rent rankings and keep control - like it
      Actually, we did that test (For different reasons) and sadly, no, it is not a good idea because what will happen is instead of passing the old domains value, you are pulling the new domains value making the old domain worthless.

      Note: We've only tested this a few times...BUT, every single time...that is what happened.

      Anyway, glad you liked the idea, keep thinking and sharing!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
    If anyone has any other questions, let me know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    It's great...but...shady.

    We use it every once in a while too.

    Personally I'd never hire a company that uses 301 redirects like you do, for the exact reasons you just put down.
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    • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
      Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

      It's great...but...shady.

      We use it every once in a while too.

      Personally I'd never hire a company that uses 301 redirects like you do, for the exact reasons you just put down.
      lol, because it guarantees you pay us when we do what we said we would? riiiight, really shady :confused: we even tell before hand. Nothing shady about it.
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      Linklicious.me - Pings your links until Google crawls 'em. Drips out links at your rate.
      OneHourBacklinks.com - FAST link building service. Index, high PR, d0follow options.
      Drip Feed Links - Automated Link Building Service - SEO Blasts
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  • Profile picture of the author treezie
    Hey HKSEO Rotzee thanks for the info. I have a bit of a question though. I have a site right now that has 30+ posts and a fair amount of backlinks to it. However, when I originally bought the domain name, I bought an an exact match+prefix domain name, intending for it to be a thin niche site. However, now I want to build an authority site. The problem however is that I have a bunch of backlinks to page on my current domain and some of my keywords are Top 10 rankings. I don't want to get rid of that. So how would I do a 301 redirect now? Would I take all the old content and then paste it on a new site/domain and then erase everything on the old site and do a 301 redirect? After redirecting, would I continue building links to the old site or would I build it to the new site?
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    301 is a powerful way to control, and the best thing is the landing page still gets the link juice
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  • Profile picture of the author Osawa
    I'm confuse on 301 redirects, Could anyone tell me how to 301 direct on any domain?

    Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephanie Marie
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Keen F
      I've heard of people ranking pretty well with aged expired domains then 301'ing their money pages. I haven't really tried this myself however, after reading this thread I might go ahead and put this into action.
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  • Profile picture of the author yousrname
    Great info. I appreciate your sharing, Rotzee.

    I was curious about something though. If I purchased a decent, aged, high PR domain on the Go Daddy expiring auctions that doesn't have any keywords that are related to my money site, is there a way to boost my money site's rankings by 301ing the auction domain, even though the links/ domain name don't really relate to my site? If I built a directory or subdomain that related to that topic and then 301ed to that, do you think I would see a jump in the SERPs for my money site's main keywords, or just the stuff from the auction domain?

    If anyone else can weigh in, I would really appreciate it as well.
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