Just wanted to add a quick update to my last post about using a 301 to redirect domains and whether or not pagerank and keyword search positions actually get redirected with them.
Let’s get some definitions down:
Domain A is the forum that was being 301 redirected
Domain B is the blog that Domain A ends up pointing to
After redirecting Domain A, it didn’t take long for Domain B to rank for its primary keywords. Domain B ended up ranking at #2 for the search phrase in Domain A’s URL.
After dropping the 301 redirect, Domain A still had its pagerank despite not being indexed whatsoever. It also moved up a spot into #1 for the search phrase in its URL.
After a few days of being live again, Domain A has started to be re-indexed by Google. I didn’t actually do anything to achieve this – I had thought about trying to build some links up for that site to hurry along the process, but I never got around to it before the spiders showed up and starting indexing the new (well old) setup.
On the second day, there were 5 URLs indexed. On the 3rd day it was up to 21. Now its almost at 40. The whole forum probably only has about 50 posts, so it doesn’t look like it will take that long at all to complete a thorough indexing of the previously redirected site.
Other obvious problems:
Now, indexing and SEO aren’t the only things that matter! Yes, I actually said that and hit publish without thinking better of it!
In June, before the crash, the forum was actually just starting to pick up some momentum. It started with some self-promoters, but since they were actually in the niche it kept everything on topic and it was helping me build the search traffic necessary to attract more contributors. Any of that momentum is pretty much dead now and no SEO damage-control will bring back the trend toward more signups and posts unless I can get that boulder of momentum rolling again.
The good news is that at least you can hold a domain in “cold storage” for a while if there’s any reason you have to get it offline ASAP. You don’t just have to delete and start completely over, but it will always be easier to convince the bots to return than it will be to rebuild a just budding community!