Tips to Consider When Redirecting Users from a Penguin-Hit Site to a New Domain

penguin-penaltyInstead of fixing the current problem, there are a number of webmasters who prefer to start from scratch when slapped with a Penguin penalty by Google. They just redirect their customers from their old sites to their new ones instead of implementing the necessary but often time-consuming fixes imposed by the tech giant. If you’re planning to do the same thing, you should exercise extreme caution to ensure the success of your new site. Marie Haynes, founder of HIS Web Marketing, shared some pointers on how you can safely redirect users from a Penguin-hit site to a new domain.

Avoid 301 redirects. A 301 redirect is basically a redirect where you change your .htaccess codes to enable users who land on your old site to automatically redirect to the new domain. According to Marie, this strategy is something that you should avoid because it usually “passes the vast majority of the link signals” to the new site. This basically means that if your old site has problems with Penguin, it is very likely that you’ll be sending that same problem to your new website.

Avoid meta refresh. An example of a meta refresh is when you landed on a web page and then it tells you to click on a link if you don’t get redirected after a certain period of time. Marie said this strategy is another no-no because Google itself has advised against using meta-type refresh. According to the tech giant, this type of redirect is not supported by all browsers. In addition, it can confuse users and search engine crawlers.

Use a splash page with a nofollowlink. While this may not be the “prettiest,” Marie believed that this strategy is one of the safest methods of redirecting customers to a new domain from a site with a Penguin penalty. In this strategy, visitors to your site won’t be directly redirected to your new site. Instead, they will see a page on your old site that tells them where your new site can be found.

Don’t utilise 302 redirects. While a 302 redirect might work when, for example, you have a product that is temporarily out of stock and you want to steer your customers to a more appropriate page, this strategy is not something that you should be using as a permanent solution. According to Marie, a 302 redirect probably doesn’t pass the link signals to the new page. However, if it is in place for an extended period of time, Google will start to treat it as a 301 redirect. This means that over time, all of the problems associated with your old site, including the Penguin penalty, will be passed on to your new domain.

If you want to have a clean slate after being penalised by Google, make sure that you weigh your options carefully before using certain strategies to redirect users from old site to your new one. Be sure to follow the pointers discussed above to avoid more problems and future Penguin hits.

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