We 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.
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