When Should You Undo a 301 Redirect?

Aug 26, 2009 - 9:10 am 11 by

A thread at WebmasterWorld has a webmaster who is getting a bit nervous that the 301 redirects he set up for a site won't be the best bet in the long run for his end goals. In summary, his original URL was doing "great" in both Google and Bing, with number 3 and 1 rankings, respectively. But about a month ago, he did a 301 redirect and the rankings have not recovered. He wants to know if he should reverse the 301 and go back to the previous state.

Excellent question and something that SEOs and webmasters struggle with all the time. If you have a well-ranking web site, but you need to move URLs, should you do a 301 or look for a way to keep the URL. The answer is not always in the control of the webmaster, but when it is, it is always a painstaking decision to make.

The question here is, after a month in place, should you reverse a 301 redirect? I like the response from senior WebmasterWorld member, willybfriendly, who said:

From my experience it will take a minimum of 3-4 months. Redirecting an entire successful site as you did is not for the faint of heart.

Going back to the old site will in all likelihood only increase the time it takes to get your rankings back. If you are confident that your original reason for moving was sound, then I would advise you stay true to your conviction.

It will probably get worse before it gets better if it has only been a month now. But, assuming you have done it right, it will get better...

I would likely agree with this statement. Stick to your guns, at this point in time, if possible. If after three months, things don't look good, then maybe there is another issue with the new domain.

What would you do?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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