Google’s Penguin update caused a massacre killing tons and tons of websites even though not all of them were involved in unethical link building. If you were hit, you would very first clean your bad links in the hope of getting your rank back after the next update. That’s one solution (or probably the only way you find feasible in the beginning of the recovery process). But, what if that doesn’t give you your lost rank back? Well, then you would have to build a brand new website (say newsite.com) and redirect your users from your old site (oldsite.com) without letting your link signals pass to the new one.
So, how would you accomplish this? As of now, there are 6 ways you could use, but I tell you one thing that none of them is 100% safe since Penguin is still a confusing element, which is yet to be understood and explained in full detail.
I researched a lot and found these 6 ways could be helpful. If you think you can help add value to this post, please comment below
- 301 Redirect
In case of a 301 Redirect you have to change your .htaccess code in order to redirect your users landing on the old page to the new page. A 301 Redirect, however, passes almost all link signals to the new page, so Google will see the same link issues once again on the new page. This is why the chances of getting your new site Penguin-hit are quite high. Understandably, ranking of your new site does not get affected instantly, but it would surely get hit the next month, the next week, (or even the next day) when Google reruns the algorithm. So, 301 Redirect is not at all safe.
- 302 Redirect
A 302 Redirect is similar to the 301 Redirect in terms of altering the code. The only difference, however, is that a 301 Redirect is long-term/permanent, while the 302 Redirect is a temporary change in the code. For example, if a particular product ran out of stock and you want to redirect visitors to another page until the product is available, you would implement 302 Redirect. However, if you use the 302 Redirect for a longer period of time, Google will treat it as 301Redirect, and your site would get affected by Penguin.
- Meta Refresh
Have you ever come across a situation when a page loads and says something like – “If you don’t get redirected in 5 seconds, click this link.”? That’s a Meta Refresh. According to Google a Meta Refresh is just another form of 301 Redirect as the 301 Redirect takes 0 seconds and the Meta Refresh takes 5 seconds, and hence is not a recommended technique. Google also says that a Meta Refresh is confusing to the users since it is not supported by all browsers.
< !– window.location = “http://www.newsite.com/” //–>
- Splash Page with Nofollowed Link
A Splash page is a page on your old URL that says – “We’ve moved! Please visit www.newsite.com to find us.” Here, your users are not redirected to the new site directly, but with a nofollowed link, so it does not pass the link signals, and your new site can remain free from Penguin. It doesn’t give you 100% guarantee since Google’s an ever-changing entity, and Penguin is a confusing update by Google.
- Redirect through Robots.txt Blocked Page
This is the safest of all 6 techniques we currently know about redirecting a site/page. This is accomplished by first redirecting your users to an intermediate page that is blocked to search engines by robots.txt, and then redirecting them again from that blocked page to your new site. You can omit that intermediate page nonetheless and block your old domain directly by robots.txt, but Google recommends incorporating the intermediate blocked page. This will trap your rank successfully and drive your users to your new site, but won’t pass bad links.
Of these 6 techniques available today, the splash page with nofollowed link and robots.txt blocked page are the recommended ones, but there’s still some risk involved in each. Whether you would be able to completely protect your new domain from Penguin attack using any of these 6 ways is still a question unanswered.