301 Redirect Dose May Not Be the Best Heal for Penguin 2.1 Penalty

Healing Penguin 2.1 Wounds or a Disease – Selecting the Right Dose Matters

Have you ever wondered about the connection between medications and search engine optimization? Medications are prescribed for treating diseases or any other health problem. For a specific problem, there are generally several alternatives. Likewise, since the advent of Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, diseases that were gnawing the best practices of search engine optimization (SEO) are increasingly coming to attention. The latest Penguin 2.1, which rolled out on 4th of this month, once more has showed the derogatory (read: blackhat) practices that SEO world encouraged all these years. The web is currently filled with suggestions (like prescriptions) for webmasters, telling them the possible ways to ward-off the devastating consequences of the hit. Among all these prescriptions, the option to choose 301 redirecting has gained significant attention.

301 Redirect

301 Redirect – Showing a Crisp Escape from the Burdens of Penguin 2.1?

 Can't Escape Penguin Penalty

Many feel that the effects of 2.1 are far worse than 2.0. At the same time, they also have specified that 2.1 has been more wholesome than its predecessor, as several websites that were hit by 2.0 have revived, nullifying the older concept of once hit by Penguin is like staying out of ranking forever. However, one of all the suggestions made to avert the effects is the option of using 301 redirect. In fact, webmasters are increasingly coming up with queries whether or not it is safe using this option.

The 301 redirect option, quite simply, allows a webmaster to transfer data from an old website to a new one. Ideally, this platform is perfect for those who have made up their mind to move the website to a newer domain. As this process not only requires an integrated approach but also a smooth one, 301 redirects provide them with exactly what they need. This very facility has given webmasters hope that even though Penguin 2.1 has affected their websites and it will be highly time consuming to revamp the site only to get it back to ranking, a possible outlet can be redirecting the penalized domain to a new one.

301 Redirect: Short, Simple But Safe?

 301 Redirect to a new domain

In one of our earlier blog posts, we discussed SEO in the post-Panda and Penguin world will not be the same. Google is all resolute to make the best principles of search engine optimization work and they are appearing more determined than ever. So, despite the increasing popularity of the possibility to redirect, choosing this option blindly may not be the right medication to heal the wounds caused by Penguin 2.1. Why? Let’s find out:

First, it can be difficult and highly challenging for a webmaster to implement 301 redirect and HTTP codes at the same time. This complication arises because webmasters not always have File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access and without this support, in no way it is possible to execute the redirecting procedure.

Second, it is better not to think about redirecting option if you are planning to rejuvenate a marketing campaign or your overall website within a very short run, after being hit by Penguin 2.1. Sometimes, it is significantly time consuming for your new domain to get recognized by the search engines. Receiving this attribute depends entirely on the rate in which the search engines crawl your website. If you have to fix problems of the website and get it back to ranking shortly, then it is better to stay away from 301 redirect; instead, you should try out manually removing the bad links or disavowing them and then send a reconsideration request to Google or simply wait for the next Penguin update.

Third and finally, webmasters often misuse the redirecting facility without completely understanding the hidden risks it may involve. Under the haste to increase traffic, they often redirect all pages of the penalized site to the new one’s homepage. But, in this way they can’t avoid Google spam-fighting algorithm updates or manual checking of the website. Redirection of links without proper scrutiny of links will also send the spammy ones from the penalized to the new domain. In this way, you are actually putting yourself in the same condition that you were after being immediately hit by Penguin 2.1.

It Is Fine to Use 301 Redirect but Be Sure and Don’t Compromise on Quality:

 301 Redirects: Do not compromise, just customize

As we mentioned earlier, the shortcuts and smarty tricks to attract more traffic to website are not going to work anymore and from this time onward, SEOs and webmasters have to be more specific, detailed and quality oriented before they make their presence established in the vast internet market. 301 redirect may appear for many webmasters as the shortest and easily accessible method to escape the grip of Penguin 2.1 but in practice, the situation turns out something very different from what was imagined. If you don’t want to lose everything on the penalized website, then use redirects but with the assurance that only quality links will be redirected to the homepage of the new domain. After this, it is important that you provide equal importance to both link development and quality of the content. Of course, you need to be patient! The good work, you will put in the new domain, will gradually increase its authenticity, causing increasing rate of search engine crawl and gradually you will start receiving business from it, just like the old times.

Images Credit: Moz.com, Submitinme.com

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Darpan Ghosh

Sr. Web Content Developer at Maketick Inc.
Darpan Ghosh is the Senior Web Content Developer at Maketick Inc., a supreme IT, eCommerce service and consultation provider, based in Silicon Valley, California. He is a web-marketing enthusiast, with particular attention to the dynamic search engine trends and Social Media Marketing.

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