Delisted Page: 301 Redirect Old to New?


Sep 7, 2019
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One of my pages was #1 for lots of keywords. The centerpiece of that page was a practice exam that gets lots of searches. I had taken the questions from a more authoritative website for use on my website. At the time I did not know that my page was going to become so popular, my success was mostly an accident. Taking those questions from a more popular website is the only "black hat" thing that I have done.

I got away with this for a couple of years until I got an email from the bigger websites lawyers. It was a takedown notice. The lawyers had also contacted my host but my host ignores DMCA. I ignored the email too and left the content up and nothing happened for another year. Then I got another email from lawyers and ignored that one also.

Suddenly that page was delisted completely from Google. There were no notifications of a manual action in Search Console, or anywhere. The page was just removed from Googles index. I do not know if it was delisted because of a complaint to Google or if Google just figured it out on their own.

Here are my questions:

I already gave up on that URL and created a new one. All of the content on this new page is totally original and high quality. This new page is ranking at #5 and after 4 months I can't get it to go any higher. Currently, I have the old delisted URL redirected to the new URL because there are some decent backlinks. Is this a good idea? I mean are those backlinks now tainted in some way? Should I remove the 301 redirects?

Is it possible that my website will never rank #1 again for those keywords because I did something bad? I am able to get other pages to rank well for different keywords, but not these keywords anymore.

What should I do? I'm eager to get any tips or advice!