Case Study: Transferring Google PageRank With Redirects

Jan 6, 2009 • 8:23 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

An older WebmasterWorld thread has been updated to share the time frame it took this webmaster to transfer his Google PageRank scores from old URLs to new URLs.

In summary, he set up a new URL structure (possibly a new domain, but that is not so clear). He redirected his old URLs to the new URLs. He then noticed his PageRank was gone, completely. So he got nervous. The folks in the thread suggested he relax and wait it out and ultimately, it worked out.

Here is the timeline:

  • October 2nd - Site migration and 301's implemented
  • October 10th - Week or so later lost all PR on new URLs (all to PR N/A)
  • October 30th - Month later, PR N/A now changed to PR0
  • December 29th - 3 months after 301 redirects back to original URL PR

So from start to finish, it seems like it took three months for the toolbar PageRank to transfer over.

How does this help any of you? Well, it really doesn't, outside of having something to point a client of your to. What I mean by that is that although the Toolbar PageRank didn't appear in the new URLs for three months, it likely had PageRank internally but not yet visible in the toolbar. I am sure the traffic from Google took less than three months to get to where it was.

In addition, these numbers will vary from site to site, depending on many factors. Those factors include, but are not limited to, size of the site, when the move was made, number of redirects, how popular the site was originally, if you use Sitemap files, and many more factors.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Are Low Google AdWords Quality Scores Due to "Penalties"?


Nick Welch

01/06/2009 03:05 pm

I wish that Toolbar PR would just go away entirely. Useless little bastard.

Jordon Meyer

01/06/2009 03:30 pm

Makes sense. The Google Toolbar is updated 4 times a year...every 3 months. It does not display "real time" pagerank. So I'm sure in this case study, the actual pagerank transfered to the new URLs much faster than reported.


01/06/2009 08:27 pm

Exactly same result which i have experienced. After feeling need of changing domain name i had set up 301 redirect from my old domain name to new one and it took exactly 3 month to see Pagerank and same amount of traffic.


01/08/2009 08:01 am

In some cases it would be preferable that the transition is not during peak usage/business periods. Then 2-3 months as a time span should be manageable. e.g. An online retailer should'nt preferable do this after mid September as December is usually the peak buying season (maybe let's skip that example for last year :))

No Name

01/08/2009 01:22 pm

That is pretty stand procedure when you move your site to a new Domain. Just do the redirect from the old site to the new one and wait till the next update. Most of your PageRank should transfer over. The big problem with this when people redirect more than one Domain to the new site. Google usually flags that and then you get spanked.

blog comments powered by Disqus