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301 Redirects Aren’t Always The Answer

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One of the more popular questions asked on SEO-related forums as do with the use of 301 redirects and duplicate content. When people pose questions about duplicate content because of domain naming reasons, one of the first things suggested is using a 301 redirect to avoid being penalized.

[For those who aren't sure, this article gives more information about duplicate content and 301 redirects.]

However, what are your options if you’ve already been penalized for having duplicate content and you would like to correct your error? Can you still employ a 301 redirect to rid yourself of this penalty? If the SearchEngineWatch forum discussion concerning this very subject is any indication, then perhaps not.

According to poster Mikkel deMib Svendsen (who happens to be speaking the Ad Reps: Friend Or Foe? session during San Jose’s SES), people who’ve been penalized may not receive any respite by using 301 redirect:

If you are hit with this sort of dupe penalty I have only found one way to get out of it – and it can take up to a year: You need to DNS you primary domain to the webserver with your real content and all other domains to separate webservers with one page saying something like: “We no longer use this domain please to to [primary-domain]” with a link to the real website. No redirects, no META-refresh – just a plain HTML page with a single passive link…

Definitely something to consider if you’ve been hit with a dup content penalty.

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Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

301 Redirects Aren’t Always The Answer
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