Matt Cutts: 301 Redirects Dilute PageRank Equally To Normal Links

Feb 26, 2013 • 9:10 am | comments (22) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google PageRank UpdateBack about three years ago, we covered an interview between Google's Matt Cutts and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting where we thought we learned that 301 Redirects Do Not Pass Full PageRank & Link Value.

The truth is, they do not pass full PageRank but nor does normal links, which we knew. The issue was, most people felt that 301 redirects pass LESS PageRank than normal links and that is not true.

Google's Matt Cutts posted a video yesterday saying:

The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link.

So currently, there is no difference between a 301 and a link in terms of PageRank dilution.

That being said, if you have many redirects, like chains of them from one url to another to another, that is a known bad thing. But one or so won't hurt you.

Here is Matt's video:

This is one of those topics that is pretty cut and dry but as you ask more questions, with more variables in the mix, it can become a "what if" type of scenario that is not so cut and dry. Which is why we had the confusion in the first place, because Matt did not want to lead people on the first time - I guess?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld & Google+.

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Nathan Grimm

02/26/2013 05:30 pm

So if the 301 page was actually a 200 with a single link, they would pass the same amount of juice?

Zackery Fretty

02/26/2013 06:03 pm

His answer was a non answer.

Warren Lee

02/26/2013 06:20 pm

Hi Barry, based on this POV it's arguable that when you change the URL of a page & then use a 301 redirect to the new URL (and let's say the content is identical on the new URL), then from a purely SEO pov (not taking into consideration the IT cost of the 301) then there is no value in updating internal links to the new URL on your website assuming that you are not introducing a redirect chain. However, i'd still contend that in general updating internal links is still a best practice when migrating URL's to both ensure that you don't introduce redirect chains in the future and also if the content changes then updating anchor text may prove beneficial. Alternatively, at scale, it's sometimes much easier to eliminate 301 redirect chains than it is to update links, and if this is the case then there need not be any concern about losing link equity in a 301. At any rate, from personal observation and an educated guess, i'd assume that a 301 probably triggers a re-evaluation of the relevancy of the content which may impact rankings. If this is true, then perhaps this has some implications for expediting any resolution to problems associated with any Panda penalties. Ie. Use a 301 redirect to your improved content, if you feel your ranking declines were a result of a content related ranking adjustment. Yes, lot's of fun "what if scenarios" :)


02/26/2013 09:37 pm

I not sure if we can trust matt cutts.

Dario Petkovic

02/27/2013 05:48 am

I'm not sure I totally understand the comparison. If you have the old page and 301 it to the new page - isn't Google going to pass 100% of the rank eventually? Sorry guys, I'm clearly missing something but 301 is a redirect (not a page nor content) and a link is one or more links pointing to another website

Daniel Carlyon

02/27/2013 09:46 am

His answer lost page rank?!


02/27/2013 10:20 am

looks like yes, everything him tell us have a much lower pagerank now. Because him cheat us lot of time. So his pagerank is faked.


02/27/2013 10:27 am

No, some page rank is lost through a 301. This is what Matt is saying in this video.


02/27/2013 10:31 am

haha, it's been proven that PR nowadays almost does nothing for a website...

Gabriel Sita

02/27/2013 11:59 am

PR doesn't mean much.

matt's a crook

02/27/2013 03:27 pm

I am sure we cannot trust him. He's a liar and a POS fraud. He and Amit Singhal try to change SERPS to increase clicks on ads


02/27/2013 04:34 pm

of course we can't trust him, he works for Google

Stay Safe Dont Trust Cutts

02/27/2013 05:31 pm

Google lies, turns out Google Glass might cause cancer. Imagine the radio waves and all those signals right near your brain, all the time. Do not trust Google.

Josh Zehtabchi

02/27/2013 07:59 pm



02/27/2013 09:07 pm

Spammers love this answer if it is true. Spam one site to the top until you drop. Then redirect to the next site and your back at the top as long as the other site was not penalized when it dropped.

Karl-Heinz Müller

03/01/2013 08:52 pm

For me it was always clear that a 301 redirect doesn't transfer the full PR level of the URL that contains the 301 redirect to the new location. It is like a page with one link, just more user friendly as it doesn't require a click. I think we can trust on this one :). Nevertheless, the real motivation of Google to promote 301 redirects may not be to help webmasters but more to make sure that the bots get the new content faster than by having to "find' it again.

Eric Enge

03/03/2013 06:56 pm

It's funny because I find this news for a completely different reason. We have long known that links from a page can't pass all that page's PageRank. No one knows how much PC is not passable, but I have always assumed that it was something like 15%. In the interview with Matt, my working assumption was the 301 redirect passed nearly all the PR, maybe all but 1% or 2%. I never thought the 301 eroded PR at a greater rate than that. This comment makes this sound like the 301 redirect consumes the same amount of PR as a normal link. So, my understanding of the dilution through a 301 just jumped from 1 to 2% to something more like 15%. So now, when you move a site from one domain to another, the degradation in PageRank is quite significant!


06/28/2013 11:26 am

That's right... It's used more or less like that. But it's only for short terms and often doesn't work at all (they get hammered right away...)

Michael Ehline, Esq.

07/17/2013 03:09 pm

This is great news since we are moving our statewide firm onto subdomains and redirecting a lot of pages.

Dan Shure

09/13/2013 08:52 pm

I know this is months later Eric, but yeah this made me think MORE pagerank was lost not less. Doesn't a 301 in effect add a "middle" link, so now instead of passing through one link we're passing through two?


10/18/2013 04:23 pm

Hi guys, I was wondering if someone can tell me what happens once you have two 301's in a row. I found out that I had three home pages (/index.php, home.php and an url without an addition. All three have some inbound links but as you can imagine I do not want three home pages on the web. Therefore I want to redirect index.php to home.php while the home.php redirects to the url wihout an addition. From the video I learned that multiple 301's in a row is a bad thing, but what about two 301's?

Spook SEO

02/18/2014 11:15 am

It was a nice presentation from Matt Cutts. Now, I know what percentage of PageRank is lost through a 301 redirect. Thanks for the knowledge Barry.

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