How to Remove Penalties with Double 301 Redirects

How to Remove Penalties with Double 301 Redirects

If you’ve ever had a penalty, you know the feeling.

After countless hours of creating content, setting up hosting, linking, social signals, and waiting for the site to get out of the sandbox, it’s starting to jump up the rankings.  Traffic is starting to increase and you’re finally cash flow positive.

Then all of a sudden, boom, your rankings plummet 5-6 pages in the SERPs.

You log into Webmaster Tools to work out what is going on and you find one of these lovely messages…

Thin Content, Onsite Penalty


Unnatural Links, Offsite Penalty


Two years ago, this had happened to a potential client who had come to me for penalty recovery. I did a simple trick and it popped back to #2.  No links required and no disavow was needed.  The site has survived two Penguins since then and still generates $4k+ revenue every month for my client (and of course, earning me a nice monthly retainer for keeping him there).  How did I do it?

Double 301 Redirect

This hack still works today.  A double 301 redirect allows you to pass the link juice to the final domain without passing any penalty.  It’s so simple, you might be skeptical, but the proof is in the pudding and I’ll be walking you through it with a live example.

The Testcase

I have an affiliate site that was penalized last month for thin content.  This happens often in competitive niches where some people prefer to report each other rather than compete fairly (don’t get me started). I won’t be giving out the site name or the niche, so let’s just say the penalized domain is

The Tech

Step 1) Clone the penalized site exactly and move it to a new domain.  Ex:

Step 2) Register a new domain with a similar but different name.  This will be the middle-man. Ex:

Step 3) 301 redirect the original, penalized site ( to the middle-man (

 This can be done one of two ways.

A) .htaccess file (recommended)

 301’ing through the .htaccess file is more effective than the alternative below.  However it requires you to clone and host the original site to the middle man site.

Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is add the following code to the .htaccess file on the original site (obviously customizing it for your own domain names).  This code makes sure that every page from your old site gets mapped to the corresponding page on the receiving site.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$

RewriteRule (.*)$$1 [R=301,L]



B) Through the Registrar

301’ing through the registrar is very simple.  This is how I did it on NameCheap.

Doing it this way is certainly faster, but isn’t as effective because it points all the pages of the sending site to only the homepage of the receiving site.  It’s not a page-to-page mapping.  However, it doesn’t require hosting and cloning at the middle level, so if you’re lazy or busy, this is the option for you.

Step 4) 301 redirect the middle-man to the final site ( ->

The Result

Wait a few weeks and you should see something like this (actual images from the site I used for this testcase)…


Do the rankings stick?  For this particular testcase, it’s been 1.5 months since the 301 redirect, and not only is it sticking, but the site is now back to page 1.  No additional links necessary.

Stay Updated!

Get these articles sent straight to your inbox


  • As always nice post Matt. I’ve seen this work before but completely forgot about the technique. Good to see it’s still working.

  • Thanks Mate, i’ve been thinking of this concept for a while now — Which brings me to ask if this same concept works with automatic algorithmic penalties (with out the message in web-masters)?

        • Well if its a onsite algorithm penalty and you clone the site, then eventually your new page would be crawled again and you’d be in the same situation as before. If you ended up rewriting the final site, then you might as well have just fixed the original and saved yourself the time and cost.

          If it’s off site, then you probably have bad links or unnatural anchors. Poor juice going in = Poor juice coming out.

          • Hey Matt thanks for the insight, I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with different penalties. In my situation I have really great links linking to me but my onsite content kinda sucks i.e thin content 1 2 paragraphs.

            However I look at my competitor and he is running with the same kind of content as i am (thin content) even thinner and poorly written and he is ranking like crazy.

            I’ve been trying to join the piece together on why that is — long story short I had some really bad links linking to me and I no-indexed and no followed a ton of articles I found to be really thin and so far I have seen a pretty fast change in serps.
            Thanks again for your post and replies

  • Hi,

    Great article. I am going to test this on one my penalized domains. Just got one question, hopefully you could answer.

    In step 4, the latest redirect. Do you do set up the second redirect right away or do you leave time in between step 3 and 4?

  • Thanks for tut Matt. One question though:
    What to do with penalized domain inside Google WM Search Console account and should be new acc/domain opened there or not?

  • Do the middle-man and new domains HAVE to be contextually relevant to the main domain? In other words, if my main domain is, can I make the middle-man domain and the new domain Does keyword relevance matter with the domains?

    • It likely doens’t matter much (if it does at all), but why would you want to place a random name in the middleman position anyways? You have free reign to use anything you want, since you’ll be registering new domains anyways.

  • Great post, I’m already in the process of trying this out. Quick question, when doing this do you recommend hosting each domain on a different hosting account?

      • It’s been about a month since I applied this to 2 sites and I haven’t seen any major movements in rankings. Any suggestions? Should I send some fresh links to the new domains or just trash and move on? Thanks!

        • Hey Vic, I’ve never seen this not work. Was the original penalized site ever ranking? Are you sure the 301’s were performed correctly? Which sites are indexed, which aren’t? Perform some due dilligence and make sure everything went through properly.

          • Site was ranking very well before, I’ve seen it rank on page 4 for a few terms. All 301s are working. Would you recommend maybe giving it a push with some fresh backlinks? Thanks

          • Absolutely. And transfer over some of your top links from the original site over to the new site.

  • Matt, I am not sure I understand the purpose of Step 1:
    Step 1) Clone the penalized site exactly and move it to a new domain. Ex:

    I don’t see any redirects that mention your example 1 site

    Where does the double redirect take place?

  • Hey Matt,

    What you could also add to this. Is if you do the redirects from your hosting. You can add robots.txt and extra bits to block bots on the HTACCESS (except for search engine bots ofcourse).

    This can help hide whats happening from sites like Ahrefs and Majestic meaning that any links you could also build to these “redirected” domains would be hidden too.

  • Thanks for this, I wont be using the double re-direct but I was interested in how it worked for future reference. What did turn out to be useful was an aside of yours that redirects from the host only 301 to homepage!! Ahhrg I had been scratching my head on that one for days trying to 301 2 articles fom 1 of my sites to another of mine as a move (deleting old articles) now Iknow why they only redirect to the hompage and not the exact page, thank you for for that. 🙂

  • Hey mate,

    Great post. I have two questions:

    (1) Do you add the new domain to Webmaster Tools?

    (2) Do you do “Change of Address” for the old domain in GWT?

    Thanks in advance!

    • If you do a registrar redirect, it doesn’t need content. If you redirect with htaccess, then you need to clone the site.

  • What would you recommend for a Panda hit site where the content has been fixed a year ago but still doesn’t recover? So to be clear, it’s not a manual penalty just algo.

      • I think it has been also hit by the penguin algo since i have often changed anchor/removed links and the rankings have gotten even worse lately. I guess time to do this double 301?

  • Great article Matt!

    I was wondering if you clone your site and move it to a new domain you re-use
    all of the old content etc? And what if my domain has received thin-content penalty?

    • Hi Niko. Cloning is fine because the 301 is implying that one domain is the same as another.

      Yes, this also works for thin content, but if I were you, I’d just fix the problem itself, because your new site has the potential to run into this same manual issue eventually as well.

  • Hi Matt

    Great post. Do you think this would work for a site of mine that recently received a manual inbound links spam action and has been dropped 40+ places in the SERPS? The site got hit and I added it to gwt to find out what was wrong.

    I’ve removed most of what I think would have been the offending links ( sape) which had too much anchor text concentration.


  • Hi Matt, thank you for sharing this knowledge.

    I have an affiliate site that received a manual action pure spam penalty and it has been deindexed from Google. Can I use a double 301 redirect to recover my rankings (using a new site but double 301-ing from a deindexed site?)

    If yes, can I use the same content on my original site? So I clone the original site to the middle-man site, and then clone the middle-man site to the new site or do I have to create new content?

    My previously ranking page was an inner page so must I use a .htaccess file 301 to create a corresponding page to page map so the link juice flows to the same URL inner page on the final domain?

    Thank you for your suggestions 🙂

  • It’s been over a week, and my old domain is still in the SERPs. The new domain (the final domain) isn’t ranking for any of my keywords in the top hundreds. How much time does it take for the new domain to start ranking? And do you suggest I remove the indexed URLs of the old domain that is still ranking in the 5-6th SERPs?

  • ” I never use WMT for money sites.” Why not? Pretty sure the data they show in WMT is on their servers whether or not you enable WMT. Enabling WMT just gives you access to view that data. Same way you still get a manual penalty even if WMT is not enabled — you have to then enable WMT to see the penalty message.

    I’m assuming here, so please counter this argument if you have data that supports otherwiese. Thanks!

    • There’s just no need to for WMT unless to figure out if there’s a penalty. If it comes to that, then sure, I’ll install it. 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing this info. It would help you could add a bullet list of scenarios under which this double 301 will help or not help. A few of the comments ask for this kind of clarification — e.g. “Won’t work, unfortunately. Site #1 needs to be indexed.” , “Will this work for manual inbound link penalties? – Yes!”, etc

  • Hey Matt,
    recently had one of my affiliate sites hit with thin content penalty, so going to try this double redirect. However, I foolishly had another new site on the same GWT account and that was hit as well, even though I have done no PBN link building yet. Question:
    1) Would the double redirect for the second site be necessary beneficial, maybe to avoid sandboxing?
    2) Would I be just better off cloning the content for the second site on a completely new domain and start building links then?

  • Hi Matt, I have a question about this one.

    I’ve tried to do this double 301 redirect for my website, let’s say it’s site A. Now I have cloned site B and site C exactly like site A and I’ve changed the htaccess file as well. But the problem is : when I type in site A address, it will go to site C, which is great. But when I type in site B address, it just stay there without redirect to site C. Did I mess something up or it’s intended to be that way. I’ve double checked myself about both htaccess file and no problem was found.

    Thank you,

      • Hi Matt,

        I figured out where I messed up, apparently I install site B and site C without www and when I put the code in htaccess file , I forgot about that and just leave the www there even though my sites don’t have it.

        That leads me to another question: do you think it’s fine to redirect site A (with www) to site B and C (without www) or should I redo it and install site B and C with www for them to look like site A?

        Thank you,

  • Hey matt, recently got hit by an “unatural links” penalty on a money site. Because of a serviced I’ve used from BHW (I know this because it happened to another site that had just that service done to it and nothing else).

    I immediately removed all the links from my personal PBN now I’m thinking of 301’ing.

    My question is should I add PBN links to the final 301 domain? Should I not do it at all, not risk it and just order some PBN links from somewhere else? What would you recommend because honestly I’m scared AF not getting my PBN hit – I have some amazing and incredibly expensive domains in it.

    Cheers, and much <3 for all the guides you post.

  • Hi Matt!

    Should I add new domains (middle domain and new domain) to the GWT with old domains and make redirects in GWT account?
    P.S. Merry Christmas! 🙂

      • Ok, thanks. And the last question:
        did you move your new domains on the different hosting account? If yes, so only new domains or old domain too? thanks.

        • I put them on new hosts just to be 100% sure. Not sure if it really matters though. The whole concept behind a 301 is that you own both sites.

  • Hi Matt, another thing I wanted to ask your opinion on is would be would you use this for a site that has optimized it’s anchor text? I’ve been sending branded anchor text since the 20th of this month but it dose not seem to be budging. The messed up part is that this same site finally recovered this month on the 12, it’ been penalized since June 2015. I think google gave the trust back to the site because the keyword sopped dance and went back to it’s original positions for all keywords.

    Mind you, I did not even bother to dilute the anchors nor did I remove any PBN links I just left the site alone because I was working on other projects. I did not realize the site had a penalty.

    Then I stupidly added 10 exact match keyword (I did not know the original reason I got penalized was do to over optimization of anchors). After I read your article called “The REAL Reason Why Your Backlinks Don’t Work” thats when i made the connection but it was to late as I’ve already sent the extract match anchors which re-triggered the penalty (I have since removed those 10 links).

    Also, I’ve never received anything in WHT, even when I got the first penalty.

    The keywords for the site are all on the middle / bottom of page 2/3.

    In a case like this would you continue to dilute the anchors (using something like FCS) or would your do the 301 technique and simply use 100% branded anchors?

    Also, I deeply apologize for this huge soap box.

  • Hey Matt

    Firstly thanks for the great advice!

    Several weeks ago one of my affiliate sites that was ranked high in google for different keywords and pages got hit by manual penalty due to thin content. After getting this penalty I added lots of unique content which doesn’t contain any affiliate material and send a reconsideration request to google which was declined (I doubt if they even check the site again).

    So I decided to try your method and followed everything you mentioned. I even changed my theme in the new site and now the site looks more professional than before. I tested all the redirects and everything works fine. Now my question is that:

    7 days were passed since I did everything and I still don’t get any traffic from Google which is what I was expected. However, what do you recommend doing in order to try and speed the process? Here are some options that I thought about and it will be great to know what do you think on each one of them:

    1. sending the urls of the pages of the old site to indexing service such as instantlinkindexer in order for them to be crawled again

    2. sending the urls of the pages of the new site to indexing service such as instantlinkindexer in order for them to be crawled.

    3. Building more backlinks to the pages on the old site.

    4. Building more backlinks to the pages on the new site.

    5. Adding new post or two on the new site

    It will be great to know what do you think on each of these options and if you have other things that you will recommend doing…

    Thank you very much


    • Honestly, I’ve never done anything to speed things up. I move onto another project and revisit once the new site pops.

  • Hi Matt,
    Would this .htaccess redirect method work with getting a similar result?

    Put this code in the .htaccess of the site you want to redirect from CODE: Redirect 301 /

    You dont have to have wordpress cloned site set up and any URLs coming from the original site are redirected to the new page url (assuming you dont change the permalink structure and keep them the same as the original)

    Do you think this method would render a similar result?

  • Hey Matt!

    Love reading your content all the time, keep it coming man.

    This is an interesting technique. My site got slapped (along with a few others hosted on the same IP). GWMT board says “thin content” but does not say anything about unnatural linking.

    Overall, every single page on my site is on page 6-10 in google (used to be pages 1).

    My question is, would this technique apply for me?

    Thanks in advanced!

  • Hey Matt, just wonder if it makes sense:

    I used your technique on one of my sites that was ranked high and got the “thin content” penalty. almost 4 weeks were passed since I did the double 301 redirect to the new site. These are the results:

    Almost all of my new pages are ranking in google pages 5-10 for around two weeks for keywords that before the penalty were ranking in page 1 for the old site. What do you think about that? Does it make sense that the new pages are ranking that low after almost 4 weeks? Did you notice the same with your site or did it automatically ranked back at page 1 when Google indexed the pages of the new site? Just wonder if it makes sense or if I did something wrong (although I followed your instructions to the letter).

          • Thanks Matt, but it has been almost a month since I did it so it looks pretty strange. In addition, in Bing and Yahoo for example, the pages of the new site are already ranked for around two weeks instead of the pages of the old site, so it is just a problem with Google.

            Is there something I can do to speed up the process with Google? When I can expect to see results, only when Google will deindex the pages of the old site?

            By the way, another question that is relevant to other site I have:

            one of my pages that was ranked high was removed from Google due to a DMCA request of one of my competitors (although only 4% of our pages were similar in content). Is some kind of double 301 redirect on my own site can help in this case as well? Or is a regular 301 redirect will be enough? Will be happy to know if you have any experience in a similar situation and if there is something that you have found to be useful (I already contacted Google but they said they decided at this time to not take any action).

            Thanks for your help, really appreciate it!

          • Go to the Webmaster Tools of the original site and perform a fetch. Should get it recrawled and picked up.

            Not sure if this will help with your DMCA issue. I’ve never encountered this issue myself.

          • Thanks Matt, but when I login to my webmaster tools of the old site it says that I don’t have access to it anymore and it actually shows me the url of the old site with the picture of the new site… Not sure that it means… Any other option to make Google recrawl all the pages on my old site without using the webmaster tools? Thanks a lot!

    • Thanks Matt but don’t sure how it can help. All the urls of my new site are already indexed and when I try to login to my old site it automatically redirects to the new site so I can’t edit the posts of my old site… Did I miss something with this method? Thanks for your help!

        • OK, so the bottom line is that I just need to wait for Google to notice the redirect (although around 5 weeks were already passed) or is there anything else I can do? Thanks!

  • Do all the middleman pages have to be indexed in google before the juice can flow to the final site’s pages? I only see the homepage indexed.

  • Hey Matt, I am sorry that I post here again, however I really need your help. More than 6 weeks were passed since I did your method and for some reason almost all the pages in my original site and middleman site are still indexed in Google. On the other hand, in both bing and yahoo the middleman site is not indexed at all and when searching for at both bing and yahoo it only shows very few pages from my original site and some pages which are comment feed pages (not sure why it show them because there are no content on these pages).

    Do you have any idea why Google is not deindexing the pages on the original and middle mansite even that 6 weeks were already passed? Is there any solution for this problem?

    I believe that I did everything right and the proof is that on both big and yahoo many of the pages of the new site are ranking on page 1 for the relevant keywords in the last few weeks. I get some traffic from google as well, but most of my keywords that were ranked on page 1 before are now found on pages 3-5…

    Thank you again for the help!

    • I’ve never encountered this before so I can only guess at what might be a solution. Try going into WMT on the original site and “Fetch as Google” to get it recrawled.

  • Hi Matt,

    After 301ed orginal site to middle man site, will you wait for google to index middle man site finely, then 301 this middle man site to the final site?

    Or you just make the 2st 301 as soon as the middle man site be built?

    Thanks very much.

      • Thanks, Matt. One more question if you don’t mind.
        I have 10+ PBNs which built for the orginal site last year. Now I want to cancel the links on PBNs to the orginal site, then add some new contents included new links to the newest final site. Do you think this will be a footprint in google’s eyes?

        • People do this all the time. You can make it look more realistic if you create an article regarding the new “branding” that the target site has undergone. However, if it were me, I’d just make the links on new PBNs.

  • Hey Matt ,
    How to do this 301 for post to post, I am trying this and it is not working the way it should. Can you link me to code plz. I want post to post, page to page 301. I am not that techie.

  • Hi Matt,

    When did you move the website to a new domain? September 2015?

    Is it still ranking good at the new domain without penalty?

  • Hi Matt,
    My site is still ranking on top 100, but dances a lot when i make links to it and comes back to same position. Do you think it is penalized?

    Should i try this Double 301 Redirect? If i do this Double Redirect, how long max would it take to get back in rankings?

    • Check WMT. If you have a manual penalty, it will tell you there and then you can decide if you need a Double 301. If you don’t then it might be an algorithmic penalty, in which you should just fix the problem on the site.

      • I have checked my site on WMT and I couldn’t find any messages regarding any penalty. My site is still ranking for few other keywords that i targetted in top 30. The problem seems to be on the main keyword. Main keyword density is 8% according to Ahrefs. My site has been Neg SEO’ed before and i have added those domains to WMT using disavow tool. What would you suggest me to do now?

        • SEO is complicated. It’s impossible for me to diagnose your issue without taking a hard look at your site. If you want to get to the bottom of it, I suggest you sign up for my consulting.

  • Hello,
    It was really good post!
    But ive got few questions if you do not mind answering…
    Recently i got hit for unnatural linking… but it still gets traffic from parasite sites which are ranked in top 3, so i want to keep that traffic… and i can not change the url from the actual parasite page as i lost account details, so i have to 301 penalized domain somehow… everything was ok, but the penalty started hurting the new site, rankings dropped by 30 positions(were in the 2nd page), so i stopped redirection… and now thinking, maybe i should nofollow noindex penalized domain then to 301 it to the middleman, then noindex nofollow it too and send it to the new money site? Do you think it could hurt new sites performances?
    Thanks a lot!

    • If you 301 anything that is nofollow/noindexed, then the’re will be zero result. So, yes, it definitely won’t hurt. 🙂

  • Hello Matt,
    Can it be possible that i redirect 5 penalise websites to a new middle man site and then this middle man site to a new domain?
    can i get all juice of 5 penalise websites to the new website?

    • I’ve never done any more than 2 redirects going to a single target site. Each time you add a new redirect, you’re upping the chances for penalty passing.

  • Matt,

    One questions – should I care about placing a robots.txt on the interim domain to not index? Or will it never index because it only returns 301s? Do you ever no index the origin domains?

    • Let Google no index the original domains when it notices the 301s. Don’t touch the robots.txt.

  • I have 6 websites that got nailed yesterday for “pure spam”, I’m assuming this is a result of penguin 4.0 rolling out… these sites all consist of numerous subdomains in various niches….is there any way to recover? How would I redirect * to $ via htaccess? Is it even possible?

    • “I have 6 websites that got nailed yesterday for “pure spam”, I’m assuming this is a result of penguin 4.0 rolling out”

      Sorry to hear about your penalty but your diagnosis is unlikely. You’ve received manual penalties while Penguin is an automatic algorithm. Also, I see no signs of any Penguin roll out.

      is there any way to recover? How would I redirect * to $ via htaccess? Is it even possible?

      I’m sure it is possible, but I’ve never tried it out. Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose.

  • Hey Matt,

    Let me start by saying that the article is great, but even better that you take the time to respond to readers. Awesome.

    Is this trick still working? I am guessing it is since the last comment was in March 2016.

    I have a question about the double redirect and middleman if you could send me your thoughts.

    I read through the article and comments and it seems the htaccess approach is best. Let me know if I’ve caught this right:

    1. Continue hosting old domain
    2. Register new domain and host middleman (preferably different hosting)
    3. Clone original to new middleman
    4. Load htaccess file to old domain which redirects to middleman
    5. Register new domain for “new” site
    6. Clone middleman to “new” site
    7. Load htaccess file to middleman which redirects to “new” site
    8. Force re-crawl of old domain in WMT to get the ball rolling
    9. Wait it out.

    Is that correct? Also, would the htaccess files for the redirects look like this:

    Old Site to Middleman Site
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301,NC]

    Middleman to New Site
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301,NC]

    Thanks ahead of time for responding. Any feedback is appreciated.

    • Hey Jeff…. yes, it still works (my site is still ranking just fine) and you’ve gotten everything right.

        • I have not been able to get the middleman site cloned to the last site. For whatever reason, the clone file seems to be jacked-up. At any rate, I will work that out.

          But for now, I thought it would be interesting to let folks know what I see as this progresses. Since I am working through issues with the last clone, that means the middleman has been live for a little over 1 day.

          I decided to take a look to see if anything has indexed and about 20 or so pages have indexed. I checked a handful of keywords from the top entry and there is one that ranks 22 on the middleman site. Its interesting to note the exact keyword is raking at 54 on the penalized domain that was redirected.

          Too early to tell what will really shake out, but its interesting that this KW is indeed ranking in the 20s. Mind you it ranked #6 before the penalty.

          In my experience when the unnatural link penalties hit, I don’t see anything ranking below 40. So the position 22 is interesting…

          Let’s see how it goes.

          thanks for the tips. Normally I wouldnt bother and just roll with it and keep working on my other projects, but I thought “why not” this time…

  • Matt,

    You mention to fetch as google in the original webmaster tools. I’ve done that do I “submit to index” after the fetch? I’m assuming this is only for the penalized domain. Not the middleman or new (I don’t have wmt on those. Don’t plan on adding it either

  • Hi Matt,

    Can I use a xyz domain for my middle cloned site? My original penalized site is a .com

    New > cloned site .xyz > original banned

  • Hi Matt, I appreciate the article and blog. I like the idea and was wondering if the double 301 passes link juice and not the penalty then theoretically couldn’t we still build/blast a high quantity of links to the original domain for some benefit without the fear of penalty? What are your thoughts?


    • You can certainly give it a shot. Personally, I’m not into pushing the dirty edges of SEO and risking penalty when unnecessary.

      • Hi Matt. Can i redirect the penalized one to middle man and the final site in the same day? Or there is any period to wait after first redirect? Also this works for deindexed domains too or just for those who lost few pages in rank? Cheers!

          • Hi Matt,

            A few months ago, you had this exchange:

            Con • November 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm
            Thanks Matt, I set it up today, btw the middleman site doesn’t need to host a clone of the money site if using htaccess, htaccess is invoked before php.

            Matt Diggity Author • November 5, 2015 at 12:29 am
            Awesome! Thanks for the share.

            So has the above been verified as reliable? Can we skip doing the clone to the middleman site?

          • I’ve never tried it myself but please try it out and report back if it works for you.

  • Hey Matt. Thanks for the article. What about a site that was penalized in 2012 till now. Would this work for a long time penalty? Thanks!

  • HI Matt,

    stumble your post and is pretty interested.

    My network of PBNs are deindexed by G probably by manual review, can i do the same double 301 so that the link juice still pass to the new domain so that i can use as PBN again?

  • Hi Matt,
    I’ve done this twice, one time with success but the second attempt failed. Unfortunately I will have to try this again for a third site that was rock solid #1 until the manual slap, but since this one brings me 100 daily Bing visitors as well I’m a little hesitant. Would you check for the agent and if it’s Bing then serve it the old site, or would you just redirect altogether. I guess basically the question is if Bing will rank the new site to its old position as well?

      • So here is my opinion on this. Yes it works, but not for the double redirect. Hint: Google is not capable of going beyond tier 4. You can get penalized domains with DA over 40 and do the magic…. Everything else go figure…

  • Hey Matt,

    I know this is an old article but I tried something similar and was wondering if it was a right move or not.

    This website of mine was built on an expired domain and you have seen it too but you probably won’t remember. The thing is that it always came close to second place but never could rank. I messed around with onpage, offpage everything but never came to first page.

    So I decided to do just one redirect from site x->site y. It’s been around 2.5 weeks the new site has been indexed but it is nowhere close to it’s earlier rankings. They are all 80+ with major keywords missing.

    So now I am thinking that it has failed and I should undo the 301 and try something else or try double 301? What do you suggest?

    • I think you just learned that you should always test 301’s before adding them to your money site. 🙂

      • Oh no sorry for the confusion, what I meant was this..

        Expired domain that I built my money site on 1 year ago –> 301ed the entire website to a new domain

        I have done the change of address via GMT too. It’s been 3 weeks since and it hasn’t comeback or improved.

  • Hi Matt. Awesome post. So I have an issue that I’ve been spending every day researching on how to fix it and this post was talked about so here I am 🙂
    So I created a site using a plugin called workhorse. It just basically makes duplicate pages that replace things like the city, state and zipcode. I started great and the site started indexing. Now its starting to deindex and my pages aren’t showing up. I didnt receive a message in WMT’s so it is an algo penalty. I didn’t spin the content or use spintax so I know its duplicate content penalty. Should I just delete all the pages and spin the content to make it look better, or is this a site I have to toss now? I spent a lot of time on it so I really dont want to get another site because the URL has good metrics and its relevant to my niche. Hard to find

    • Hi Aaron. Sorry, but I don’t have experience with Workhorse (nor Serpshaker) so I’m unable to provide a response. Best to check with Yashar.

  • What are your thoughts on 301 through URL shortener?

    Penalized domain -> -> new domain

    In theory, do you think that it’ll work?

    • Never tried it so I can’t comment on whether it works or not. But I will tell you, that I haven’t tried it because I don’t think it will work. 🙂