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Will a 301 redirect on an authority website cause loss of rankings in Google?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by winordietrying, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. winordietrying

    winordietrying Junior Member

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    So here's the situation. I have a client who owns an authority website in his niche. The domain name is 14 years old.

    Now there is a section of the website, which consists of various pages that have content which is not related to my client's niche. Some of these pages have high PageRanks and are ranked well in the Google, which is where majority of the traffic comes from.

    My client wants me remove this section from the website, and set it up on a new domain name. So i'm thinking of doing 301 redirects on these pages pointing to the respective pages on the new domain, so that the new website continues to get traffic from Google.

    So my question is, will doing 301 redirects maintain the rankings for the various pages in Google? I searched BHW, and people have been saying that 301 redirects don't pass much link juice. If so, then what should I do to ensure that the new website continues to receive traffic?
     
  2. N1CHOLAS

    N1CHOLAS Regular Member

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    301 passes everything anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.

    But you may affect other pages of the existing site if those high pr pages were passing good internal link juice.
     
  3. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Contrary to the above statement, there is some PR decay through a 301, how much is anyone's guess (but Matt Cutts has confirmed the loss). There may be some other decay of beneficial factors, such as effectiveness of passed anchor text.

    However, you have to keep in mind -- where is that PR coming from? If you are having high PR links from external sources, of course you will want to preserve that PR and other link benefits with a 301 redirect. If all the PR is coming from internal sources (because your own website links to it) ... then all that PR is going to be lost when your main site stops linking to that content.

    In other words, if your homepage has high PR and it links to your inner page and it has good PR ... once your homepage stops linking to it (because you decided you didn't want it on that site) and you take it out of your on-site menu ... most, if not all the PR will be gone anyways.

    If those pages are quality, 301 them to a new domain. Just remember, if the only links those pages had were from the menu system of your 14 year old domain, the new links won't be getting any PR on the next update. Content on a new domain will not rank as well as content on a 14 year old domain ... and they probably will not retain their rankings (because the inner links they used to have from the 14 year old domain menu system are gone). Just because a 14 year old domain is 301 forwarding links to a new domain doesn't mean the new domain gets the ranking benefits and trust of a 14 year old domain in the SERPs.

    Overall, refining the content on the 14 year old domain may make that domain rank better for its niche -- so it could be a worthwhile thing to do. If the content you're moving is making hundreds of dollars a month though, you may want to take into consideration that it could all be lost.
     
  4. winordietrying

    winordietrying Junior Member

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    Thank you both for replying.

    @phpbuilt: Yes those pages are making money for my client. That content has links from the website's menu system, and a couple of internal pages which have a high PR, including the homepage.

    So what you are basically saying is that even if we redirect the pages to the new website,they will still lose PR and their rankings in Google to some extent. So my question is, will the loss be substantial?