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301 Redirect Of Old Competitor's Domain?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 thx1138

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:43 AM

A competitor of ours went out of business just over a year ago.  The domain they had registered for their website expired a couple of months ago and became available for registration last week.

 

Whilst they were in business they built up some links to their website and I wondered if it would be worth registering the domain and doing a 301 to our site.

 

Given the minimal cost it seems worth doing, however are there likely to be any negative affects?

 

Charlie


Edited by thx1138, 02 July 2013 - 12:37 PM.


#2 Alan Perkins

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:05 AM

Should be fine. Don't expect any SEO benefit, but you could benefit from actual humans following links or other marketing material to the old competitor domain.

 

For max transparency consider creating a new page on your site explaining that the old competitor went out of business, that they're not associated with you, and that the equivalent products/services you offer to the old competitor can be found here, here and here, etc. - then 301 to that new page, rather than your home page.



#3 thx1138

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:09 AM

That's a good idea Alan, cheers, might consider that second option if I can think how to word it.

 

Charlie



#4 qwerty

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:12 AM

Not to be overly paranoid, but I hope you've carefully checked the links pointing to the competitor's old domain. In the Age of Penguin, you don't want spammy links messing up your own link profile, even if they're coming to you through a redirect.



#5 Alan Perkins

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:37 AM

The fact that the domain expired and was re-registered should wipe the record clean, Bob.



#6 qwerty

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

I hope that's true, Alan, but since Penguin 2.0 came out, I've read a few case studies that claimed that sites that had transferred link equity via 301s -- both by building churn and burn sites, waiting until they're hit for having spammy link profiles and then redirecting them to another site, and by buying up expired domains and redirecting them -- had been hit.

 

The idea here (and I don't know if it's true, because I've never built spammy links :) ) is that the situation used to be that a domain could be penalized under the original version of Penguin for having an untrustworthy link profile, but that penalty didn't pass on to another site if you redirected the link equity from the penalized site to it, and that Penguin 2.0 changed that.

 

I'm not trying to spread unfounded rumors, but it does make sense to me that Google might make an effort to stop a site from gaining credit from links it didn't earn itself, whether those links are editorial or spam. If I didn't build a company and its site, then why should I get credit for the votes other people chose to give to that site simply by taking over ownership of the domain name? After all, in the real world, taking over a domain isn't the same thing as buying a company and folding it into another.

 

Similarly, why shouldn't I be penalized for trying to benefit from the dishonest tactics that were used to promote a site if I've chosen to buy that domain and redirect its traffic to mine? Couldn't Google conclude that that's my primary reason (maybe my only reason) for doing this?



#7 thx1138

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:37 PM

I did have a quick look at their link profile, didn't see anything spammy.  Of course a lot of links have gone anyway as the domain hasn't been pointing at anything for a while.

 

Charlie



#8 Alan Perkins

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:23 PM

Bob, the situation here is a little different. Charlie wrote "the domain they had registered for their website expired a couple of months ago and became available for registration last week".  That means Charlie will effectively be buying a brand new domain.

 

Charlie should not be expecting any Google benefit at all, but at the same time he shouldn't be expecting a penalty. Suppose Charlie knew nothing about the prior usage of that domain.  It would be pretty dumb of Google to penalise him for buying a new domain. Google are not that dumb, in my experience.

 

For a long time, at least since Google became a registrar, they have been negating the value of links to domains that change ownership, let alone go back into the pool and get re-bought some time later. I don't see that they need to go any further than negating the value.



#9 cline

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:25 PM

There's also a marketing element to factor in. Consider putting up a page saying that the competitor is out of business and suggesting visitors click on a link to your website. 



#10 BrisbaneSEOServices

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:02 PM

Does anyone have information directly from Google or a credible source to backup how Google treats 301s?

 

I have purchased expired domains in the past which seem to have held their PR and backlinks... SEO-wise, the value of the domain is based on the number and quality of the backlinks. If they are only a couple hundred say, and the domain age and authority (according to tools like Moz, Raven Tools, etc) are not particularly high, then there may not be much SEO benefit at all - and just the traffic from people that actually click on the links, which Alan eluded too.

 

I agree that reputation-wise, you do not want to seem like you took over that company, especially if they have a possibly bad track record in business, but in terms of redirecting, you should still be able to inherit link juice as far as I can tell from my own sites... it's just whether that domain has any decent link juice to begin with.



#11 chrishirst

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

SEO-wise, the value of the domain is based on the number and quality of the backlinks

 

SEO is nothing to do with SGB PR and SGB PR is nothing to do with SEO.

 

Does anyone have information directly from Google or a credible source to backup how Google treats 301s?

 

http://www.youtube.c...cutts redirects

 

 

and the domain age and authority (according to tools like Moz, Raven Tools, etc) are not particularly high

 

Not using useless 'tools' and relying on imaginary 'metrics' would be your best option.



#12 BrisbaneSEOServices

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 03:40 PM

What a rude reply to my first ever post here, chrishirst - not very welcoming to a new member. Who made you a mod?? I was just trying to be helpful afterall...

 

The main reason I asked about sources was because there were a few claims above about how Google treat domains but with no source to back it up... a pet peev of mine especially when it comes to SEO because so much misinformation out there.

 

Anyway, I found some videos on YouTube where Matt Cutts says 301 redirects are treated exactly the same as normal links, and that if you buy a domain you inherit all the history - so no automatic clean slate if you are new owner.

 

 

 



#13 chrishirst

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:17 AM

What a rude reply to my first ever post here, chrishirst

 

Nope, it's called being blunt and to the point, read around the forum a bit more and you'll find that considering SGB PR as some magical figure for 'SEO' is NOT part of this forum's ethos.

http://www.highranki...gs-dont-matter/

 

 

Same with using useless tools and imaginary "SEO metrics" that have ABSOLUTELY nothing at all to do with SEO.

 

especially when it comes to SEO because so much misinformation out there.

 

There certainly is:

Such as Toolbar PR being 'useful'.

Domain age being a 'factor'.

And all the imaginary metrics that SEOmoz dream up being true.






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