Google penalties may follow you to a new domain - even without redirects

25 replies
  • SEO
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I always thought this might be likely, but John Mueller confirms it.

Just moving your content to a new domain after getting a penalty, may not be enough.

Starting over now means starting over.

Moving Your Penalized Site To A New Domain Won't Necessarily Remove Your Google Penalty
#domain #follow #google #penalties #redirects
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    I won't dispute that the same content will be penalized but Mueller has never been a reliable source to me. he is even more an evangelist for google than Cutts giving the party line. He has said some very questionable things and isn't in the loop like Cutts ids. He also said that you can change domains and have the same content and google will redirect the urls for you even when you don't do a redirect. yourself.

    Sorry I am not buying that. That sounds like a bunch of hueey . pages showing 404s are not giving you juice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    Mike A just beat me too it.

    My reply would have been classed as a duplicate post
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I am not saying Mueller is the best source.

    However, let's say someone has a 20 page site and gets it penalized because they hired an SEO provider in the WSO section. They take the same 20 pages of content and plop it onto a new domain. You don't think Google could recognize that this is the same site and take action on it?

    I've long thought it was likely if you do not create new content on the new domain, you could be equally screwed.

    Sounds like a case study worth checking out. So which WSO SEO provider is the is the most efficient at penalizing domains? :rolleyes:

    I know what my answer would have been 18 months ago, but I think they closed up shop around here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    I went back and listened to the extended version of the video.

    Mueller is implying that if you root the content from one domain to another, the algo will see this as a site move and give the new site the weight of the old sites link profile. Now he did say this was an algo function so here is the pickle flip side.

    If the algo can pass links without a 301 redirect from the old domain, and purely do it based on some sort of content recognition algo.

    We can all head off right now over to TDAM, find ourselves some super boss domains. Then swing over to wayback and pull the old content, then we will be all sitting on a bunch of sites with 100 PR6+ pages by morning.

    I'd take on the copyright lawsuits without problems too, because I will have 100 PR10 sites by next month and will be banking so hard I could wipe my ass on the lawyers face.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Kevin Maguire View Post

      If the algo can pass links without a 301 redirect from the old domain, and purely do it based on some sort of content recognition algo.

      We can all head off right now over to TDAM, find ourselves some super boss domains. Then swing over to wayback and pull the old content, then we will be all sitting on a bunch of sites with 100 PR6+ pages by morning.

      I'd take on the copyright lawsuits without problems too, because I will have 100 PR10 sites by next month and will be banking so hard I could wipe my ass on the lawyers face.
      ...or copy/paste old Wikipedia pages from their history, lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Kevin Maguire View Post

      .

      We can all head off right now over to TDAM, find ourselves some super boss domains. Then swing over to wayback and pull the old content, then we will be all sitting on a bunch of sites with 100 PR6+ pages by morning.
      Just backoff!!

      because you will NEVER beat my PDF to WSO Release

      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      ...or copy/paste old Wikipedia pages from their history, lol.
      The real action would be at the wayback machine.

      I think Cutts and the crew get frequent laughs from Mueller's webcasts

      "He said what????......rofl"
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        The real action would be at the wayback machine
        It was a joke, aka lol.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          It was a joke, aka lol.
          I know it was a joke Yukon. I was just adding that if it were true the wayback machine would be the new hotspot for SEO with all that duplicate content on discontinued sites.
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          • Profile picture of the author 4D
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            I know it was a joke Yukon. I was just adding that if it were true the wayback machine would be the new hotspot for SEO with all that duplicate content on discontinued sites.
            lol, this sounds like a WSO waiting to happen.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    How in the world can a link be redirected without a redirect? Doesn't make any sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    If it is true, I would imagine there are some sort of filters being used. It is probably far more complicated than we can imagine.

    For all the bashing people do of Google, they really are not that stupid.

    I think they learned how far people will go in an attempt to manipulate things after the fiasco that was nofollow and PR sculpting.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      If it is true, I would imagine there are some sort of filters being used. It is probably far more complicated than we can imagine.
      He's probably leaving out something important, example the cloned site being listed in the same WMT account as the original site.
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  • Profile picture of the author netanel23
    Mueller lol, don't take what he says worth a grain of salt.

    Do you really believe that Google has built a gigantic database of cached data to CROSS reference for penalized domains content and it reappearing on the web? Sounds like a good use of resources.

    I'd also love to see how much data would be required to cache this data.

    Always ask this question when thinking of the algorithm and "leaks" like this one. Does this increase Google's bottom line?
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  • Profile picture of the author dennis09
    Interesting. I've reused content from penalized domains without a problem and know of several people who've done the same, so i don't know what to make of this besides...lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author jxam69
      Originally Posted by dennis09 View Post

      Interesting. I've reused content from penalized domains without a problem and know of several people who've done the same, so i don't know what to make of this besides lol.
      Later in that hangout John Mueller, in response to another question by Barry Schwartz, went on to say he was talking about a "one to one copy" of the site.

      I suspect their 'automatic site move' algorithm would only kick-in when it's almost identical content & URL structure.

      Reusing just some portions of content from a penalized site wouldn't seem to be a problem according to what was said.
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  • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
    I went and actually listened to the relevant section (starts about minute 29). It sound like it's not a punitive thing, but there's some sort of google side redirect for a "1-1" copy that's possible.

    So best practice would be I guess to get some articles that are different to post up.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Whether or not they are actively doing this or have the ability right now to do it is certainly debatable. The fact that he mentions it though, tells me it is something that is likely on Google's radar. If you are considering this as a long term strategy, you might want to rethink it. That's all I take out of it.

    I can remember a lot of people saying that Google was unlikely to ever actually penalize websites for bad links a few years ago. How did that work out?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I can remember a lot of people saying that Google was unlikely to ever actually penalize websites for bad links a few years ago. How did that work out?
      Mike I can see Google having something to flag duplicate content from a penalized site (for a while) But Google directing Urls for you based on seeing the content move to a new domain without a redirect comes across as nothing short of baloney from Mueller . Its not comparable to bad links hurting you. Like netanel23 stated from a processor resource issue that favor would just not be worth the drain on resources.

      Basically google would have to store the information from my previous site, match it to the new site and then use the algo to redirect the effects of all the links from the old domain to my new domain. Why? just as a favor for me not doing a redirect.

      Now that doesn't mean you are wrong. I would not put it past Google to store the data of the penalized site and then in an internal process besides the algo do an audit of sites based on that content and manually hit them again. Its just the whole "we will redirect for you" just makes no sense for google to spend programmer hours and server processes to achieve.
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  • Profile picture of the author GyuMan82
    I am calling complete BS.

    Just more propaganda.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I agree it is unlikely for them to store that data, but how hard would it be for them to store it for 3 months? 6 months? Most people who are doing this are not taking their site offline for 6 months, and then putting it on a new domain. Just keeping the data stored for a short amount of time would catch the majority of the abusers they would want to catch.

    As far as processing power, they could make it more of a filter like Penguin that runs from time to time, rather than something that is written into the algorithm.

    Like I said, the fact that he mentions it, tells us it is probably something on Google's radar. Whether or not they have the ability to do something about it today is completely debatable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I agree it is unlikely for them to store that data, but how hard would it be for them to store it for 3 months? 6 months? Most people who are doing this are not taking their site offline for 6 months, and then putting it on a new domain. Just keeping the data stored for a short amount of time would catch the majority of the abusers they would want to catch.
      Yeah like I was saying thats feasible. You store the penalized sites and have it automatically checked against the index in non peak hours of each geo center. To be specific its the redirection without redirection bit from Mueller that I am just not buying.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        To be specific its the redirection without redirection bit from Mueller that I am just not buying.
        Yeah that part seemed odd. Why would Google even care to do that?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I agree it is unlikely for them to store that data, but how hard would it be for them to store it for 3 months? 6 months? Most people who are doing this are not taking their site offline for 6 months, and then putting it on a new domain. Just keeping the data stored for a short amount of time would catch the majority of the abusers they would want to catch.

      As far as processing power, they could make it more of a filter like Penguin that runs from time to time, rather than something that is written into the algorithm.

      Like I said, the fact that he mentions it, tells us it is probably something on Google's radar. Whether or not they have the ability to do something about it today is completely debatable.
      If it is part of their current algo, I'm yet to hear from anyone who came up against it. And if it is a future plan to roll out, there is one problem. Well not so much problem but observation.

      From my experience "looking" at churn and burn sites. I have never found one that was built around any type of good content to begin with.

      I don't think many churn and burners will cry too hard when they hear they're going to need to buy a new $7 article, change their YT embedded video, switch to another default wp theme and go steal some different images from istock.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    This is interesting and I'm not going to take a side cause this is far too complex for my tiny little brain.

    What I can say is I had a domain penalized back in September. I didn't move all the content to a new domain. I did much better content on the new domain. I used a new theme, used a similar sounding domain name, and the domain is on the same ip of the one that got penalized. The only "duplicate content" I'm using is a high quality YT video that was embedded on my old, penalized site. But I don't really consider that "content" as much as I consider it just a link. Google can't read the video, but maybe it can match the embedded link up with my old domain? About 99% of the content is new except that 1 video. Or maybe its the ip causing it I really don't know.

    All I know is the new site is showing some serious problems ranking. It just wont move up page 1. Its been stuck at position 8 for like a month now (which is extremely rare). However, I have another site on the same IP, using the same theme, different content... and it ranked #1 in 6 weeks and has been there for about 9 months now.

    So I have no idea wtf is going on. Its just not typical for a site to take this long to hit #1 (2 1/2 months for a local home improvement type site). If it doesn't move up in the next month I'm gonna have to assume something is up.

    -RS
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I have been thinking more about this. In most cases, I think it would be extremely hard for Google to identify when someone moves a site a new domain, or at least, be sure enough to feel confident penalizing the new domain.

    However, the one segment where it would be extremely easy for them to do this is local SEO. The new site is going to have the same business name, address, and phone number. It would be a piece of cake for Google to tie them together.

    If that is where they are primarily doing this, that sucks. Most small local businesses that get penalized find themselves in that situation from using an SEO that spammed the crap out of their site. Now that business owner is going to be stuck with that stench following them around short of changing their name, moving into a new location, and getting a new phone number.
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