The Issues of Redirecting to a Site with Irrelevant Content

Since the launch of Penguin in 2012, many businesses have been more inclined to buy and redirect domains rather than rely on traditional link building to achieve higher ranking. This is largely because the new algorithms have made content marketing unpredictable, and marketers find investing in domains and redirecting all the equity to their main website more rewarding.

A risky investment

Redirecting domains can be risky for businesses since the benefits are not assured, plus you risk passing on harsh penalties to your main website. It is hard to find high quality, genuine websites that are up for sale, unless at a very high cost. This means that you only have access to mediocre domains whose content is not necessarily relevant to your audience (most of it does not match the content on your main website), are filled with manipulative backlinks, and possibly carry some kind of penalty.

The issue of unrelated content

Redirecting a website with unrelated content to your main site will not offer much value to your audience. At first, the redirects may cause your main site’s traffic to increase as visitors from the redirected website click on its URL that appear in the SERP – before Google has the opportunity to crawl and purge them. But in the next couple of weeks, the organic traffic to your main site will gradually decrease to the original level or lower.

It is hard to predict the exact state of your site’s organic traffic after the migration. You need to consider the impact of the increased bounce rate, algorithm updates, competition, penalties, and other factors.

Redirect domains that work

The key to successful equity transfer is to do detailed redirects, where the relevant redirects are mapped to similar content on your website. After all, Google does not want webmasters to redirect domains for the sole purpose of link equity since it won’t be beneficial to the user.

If the content matches, then the redirects will be relevant to the user, translating to reduced bounce rate and increased link equity and rankings for you.

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When done appropriately, redirects are ideal in solving outdated content issues and improve visitors’ experience, while boosting your site’s ranking. When done wrong however, the outcome can be ruinous. You may also end up being penalized by Google because this is often seen as link spamming.

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