Google Penalties: Stop Following Me Already!

Jul 7, 2014 • 8:41 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

stop following meWe know that Google penalties may follow you when you 301 or create a new site when your old site was burned to the ground. We also know that Google tried to prevent this from a negative SEO standpoint. Google also recommends you start fresh in some severe cases.

But what happens if you start fresh, but accidentally 301 redirect the penalized site to your new domain? You then realize the penalty transferred and you then 410, page not found, the penalized site and remove the redirect. But it may be too late by then?

That is a case I spotted in the Google Webmaster Help forums. One site was penalized, they created a new one but 301ed the penalized site to the new one. Then after they decided to 410 that old penalized domain but it seems to be too late.

Google's John Mueller said the new domain now has a link issue that needs to be cleaned up. He wrote:

I don't see a manual action for either of these sites -- otherwise it would also be visible in your Webmaster Tools account. That said, I do see that these old links are still pulling the site back, in particular our web-spam algorithms are pretty unhappy about them. My recommendation would be to really make sure that those old links are completely cleaned up across the board (as well as any other webspam issues you might find while doing that), and to keep in mind that some of these algorithms need quite a bit of time to have the updated results visible (with links, we need to be able to recrawl & reprocess them in order to recognize that they're removed, modified, or disavowed; this data then needs to be aggregated, reprocessed, and republished as new data for search).

So now the new domain has old links that need to be cleaned up. It seems like the old links were from the old domain and since the 301 was in place, even though it is now 410ed, the algorithmic penalty still exists.

Which algorithmic penalty is this one suffering from? John seems to be siting the web-spam algorithms, which also known as the Payday Loan algorithm.

That is a bad one.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to cyaf for following me

Previous story: Google: Severe Enough Penalty, Delete All Of These Old Sites


Aigars Silkalns

07/07/2014 12:49 pm

If you need, I can provide some examples where people are doing 301 redirects from penalized website to a new domain with great success. However, they have to switch domain name every few months but it is not a big deal as you can continue to dominate SERPS with spammy tactics.

Dave Fogel

07/07/2014 12:58 pm

Why would you even bother with a 301? I would just put a no-follow link to the new site. I might even just make a graphic for it so it would not be a text link.

Yo Mamma

07/07/2014 01:04 pm

Whack-a-mole lol G$$GLE has created more spam sites now as its pointless trying to fix any site - Yes pointless trying to fix any site Just get a new one on a new server on a new hosting co with a new IP at your home/business and a new Google profile - all good Listen stupid Google people, meaning employees and owners! When you give NO incentive to create a great site When you permanently sandbox sites When you allow/or cannot stop, negative SEO on good sites Do not expect anything to improve All you do is anger people and that makes you unpopular and uncool How to redeem yourself Google.... If a site is in your opinion bad, tell them why (communicate) Sandbox them until its fixed Restore the site's rankings in FULL Remove big brand businesses and replace them with specialty domains that are not connected to ADWORDS expenditures. Get rid of your lame PR and backlinking recognition system and focus on quailty of sites Get off focusing on social status. Many people have fantastic domains and great products but are not social butterflies. If you're socially active, what time do you have for developing your domain? Its another lame and failed concept. Bounce rate is very important, so is branding and contact info. Do the right stuff and you should rank. Get off of yourselves being good in communicating with the public - You suck, and you have NO customer service, which should improve if you want any glimmer of a chance in redemption


07/07/2014 01:27 pm

Delink the web so everyone is more dependent on Google. What a brilliant strategy for Google to use their market dominance to set standards that snuff out competing forms of traffic (referrals). It's just a shame that the United States does not have an agency that deals with anti-competitive issues.

Marie Haynes

07/07/2014 02:17 pm

I would guess that this is a Penguin problem - not necessarily Payday loans. Here's what probably happened....the old site got affected by Penguin. (Lots of sites with manual penalties will also have Penguin issues). Then, they redirected to the new site. This transfers all of the bad link signals to the new site. So now they're removed the 301 and even gotten rid of the old domain but the Penguin algorithm can't reassess that until it refreshes again. And as we all know, it has been 9 months now since the last refresh.

Steve H.

07/07/2014 03:47 pm

What happen to: "Google: Redirecting A Penalized Site To Penalty Free Site Likely Won’t Negatively Impact The Site"? LOL

William Harvey

07/07/2014 04:29 pm

There's lots of tricks you can play to game the penalties but cannot be a long term solution. This proposal would stump any brand recognition or value within the business. I investigated a clients competitor and they game the the penalties with a single domain through clever and timely link movements. It's quite amazing what people can get away with. But as Yo Mamma states (their comments crack me up), it's beginning to flood competitive money SERPs with short term junk.


07/07/2014 09:18 pm

Marie, you're going to love this: so there is a site that advertises (Adwords) for "penguin removal service" and if you look at its testimonials page - seattlesearchengineoptimization(dot)net/Google-Instant-Recovery(dot)php#testimonials (dumb idea for those folks to be providing testimonials), you'll see the websites and the exact keywords they are ranking for after they tanked from Penguin and are now recovered with a "proprietary" method of Penguin demotion removal. Do a simple backlink analysis with ahrefs and you will see that in most of the cases these sites did a 301 redirect (obvious when you look at the link profile, and see when all of the links started appearing, as well as showing a 301 redirect from the old to the new website, most of the time with just a different tld). I was looking at this the other day, and was contemplating how many SEO's simply believe that a 301 penalty simply follows straight through (what Google says and what they do - 2 different things?), when in fact it appears in these cases the evidence is contrary to what Google has stated is the case. Just use a "Proprietary 301 redirect, folks! LOL! Hmmm, could I be missing something?


07/07/2014 09:55 pm

If your site is penalized better look for another job because the penalty will follow you wherever you go.

Marie Haynes

07/07/2014 10:44 pm

I am pretty sure that in some cases you can rank a Penguin hit site well by using a new domain and a 301 redirect provided there are some good links there. However, this would only work until Penguin refreshes again at which time the new site would tank.


07/07/2014 11:36 pm

Wait a sec. All I have to do to take down a competitor is build bad sites, get penalized and 301 to the competition? hmmmmm...


07/08/2014 06:30 am

Its better to analyze and understand which type of penalty you got from google rather than thinking of 301 and new domain.I explain with example if you got penalty from bad backlinks and your page rank goes down so its practice to remove your websites bad backlinks and request google for reconsideration of your website.It gives good results.Thanks!

Craig Hamilton-Parker

07/08/2014 11:41 am

Amen to that! So many great sites are falling by the wayside. I am now writing traditional printed books again because you just cannot get your voice heard on the web any more. Google takes us backward in time.

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