SEO Traffic

301 Redirect Experiment

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Written by Peter Visser

What is a 301 redirect?

It is simply a way to tell Google and other search engines that your domain name has changed. i.e. has a 301 redirect to All the stuff that ranked for in the past are passed on to Simple!

So what is my experiment about?

Google hates new websites. In fact, ranking a new website is incredibly difficult. You need a constant stream of new unique content, and you need links from extremely high authority sites. However, you can’t build links too quickly, because Google will deem it unnatural and penalize you. One of the easiest ways to get out of this ‘newbie’ role within the Google goggles is to buy an aged domain (2 years+) and 301 redirect it to your website. So that is exactly what I have done.

Firstly, I had to find a domain

Ideally you would like to have a domain which has a high page rank, which is Google’s way of determining how important your website is to the world. It should also be relevant to your industry – if you do web design (like I do) then try and find a domain about web design.

I have heard different things in different places, but about 200,000 domains expire every single day. A small portion of these domains have a high page rank and are aged. An even smaller portion are within your industry. As you all should know by know (I keep harping on about it) I know a little shortcut. It is called Register Compass.

All I did was do a search on expiring domains which are held at auction. I picked a domain price of less than $100 and boom… they gave me a list of six domains. And guess what? One of them that came up had a page rank of 4 (very respectable) and was over 4 years old. The cherry on the cake was that the previous owner was a web designer. The odds of that happening are very rare.

So I did the 301 redirect… what happens now?

So the domain I bought at auction for $12, now redirects to my site – So the experiment is underway and in a couple of weeks, Google should have clicked that my website has some new authority. I won’t be able to see if my PageRank has increased for a couple of months though. Generally Google only does the update every quarter. I have missed the window by a couple of weeks.

Anyways… I will update you if anything new happens in this space.

About the author

Peter Visser

Peter has been in the online space since 2008 when he created his first online company. Since then he’s made all of his money online. As well as designing and implementing custom strategies for businesses, he is also an avid fan of any kind of beer.