Robert McAnderson Author
I keep being asked the question about 301 redirects so I thought I would post a comment and save myself a lot of time.
Firstly, 301 redirections that are used to redirect traffic from one URL to another are a perfectly acceptable to search engines when used the correct way. As an example, if I have an existing website on a URL that has been in use for several years and for business reasons I want to establish a new website under a new URL then the use of a 301 redirection to redirect visitors who search for my old website to my new website is acceptable to Google and other search engines.
Masked 301 redirections are used to display the old URL when the new URL website is presented to the internet visitor and are considered as unacceptable when both URL’s are pointing to the same Website.
The problem with domain masking is that it creates perceived duplicate content in search engines, particularly Google who see the two addresses, http://www.my-old-site.com.au and http://www.my-new-site.com.au as two different websites showing the same content.
Because Google and other search engines do not want to display multiple copies of the same content in their search results, they will likely choose one or the other of these URLs to index. Worse yet, if Google runs into a lot of duplicate content on your domains, it might decide that one or both are not worth visiting as often.
Here are a few options that might work for you:
- You could keep the two separate sites and build each of them up with unique content, and be transparent about the links between them.
- You could combine your materials into a single website.
- You could set up the two separate websites and then wait for a period of time for links to build. Then you could set up a 301 redirect to pass the accumulated link equity to the other domain.
- You could follow the masked redirection and just let the chips fall where they may; assuming that one or both of your URL’s may get penalties.
- You could proceed with the masked redirection approach, but exclude indexing of one or the other URL using the robots.txt file. While we do not know for certain that the links will still carry through to the unindexed site from the indexed site, we think it would.
The DNO the SEO Revolution approach is to create multiple separate websites with customised content specifically developed to match the domain name keyword.
With Google’s latest Penguin release and the focus on duplicate content the 301 redirect may have limited use and appeal going forward. What we do know however is the creation of a website with content developed to meet the website keyword results in a highly relevant webpage and after all this is what Google have built their reputation on delivering.