One thing which in particular I like about Google Webmaster videos is, they clear our SEO doubts, but at the same time Matt Cutts like to keep the confusions on. You could totally understand that from the video below, and I will later on explain this with my example below:
One of the most common technique which has been used from long time is passing the link juice by using a 301 redirect. In fact, when you delete a post with a good page authority from your domain, a good practice is to add a 301 redirect to the page to another relevant page from your domain, or let it be 404 error page.
When you make it a 404 error page, it doesn’t give you any SEO advantage & you might end up losing the page value.
Where as when you redirect the page to another relevant page or your blog homepage, it transfer the link juice to the page or your homepage. Well, it’s been a fair practice so far, and it’s not only good for user experience but also for Google bots.
However this technique could easily be use to misuse the whole practice of passing link juice to a page, and later on, 301 redirects that page to another domain. You can also use this practice by buying a high PR domain, and 301 redirect it to your main blog and hope to see an increase in your main blog page rank.
I have seen this one happening with few guest posts on my blog, when a guest author take a link back to a legitimate webpage, and later on, that page is re-directed to the another big site page, and needless to say it carries the whole link juice along with it.
Honestly, it’s no brainer to realize such practice should be considered as SEO black hate techniques, but Google seems to be very reluctant about the same till now.
Matt Cutts view on 301 redirects and passing link juice
I have always been a big believer of using white hat SEO techniques, as it may be slow, but it works when you are playing long-term game. If you know about Page rank or link juice, it actually get divided into number of outgoing link, and less number of links you have on your page, more link juice you would passing to linked pages.
One way you can control flow of link juice is by using Nofollow tag, though Google made it clear that they don’t take nofollow tag in account. And, I don’t believe whatever Google says.
In a recent video Matt Cutts talked about passing link juice via 301 redirects, and according to him, it does work, which makes complete sense. Though, back in 2010, when Eric Enge interviewed Matt, he confirmed that 301 perm-redirection doesn’t pass the 100% link juice, but below video says something else.
Matt made a point that this technique works till now, but there is no guarantee that it will keep working in coming future. The way I see it, this technique is not only exploited by a spammer, but it’s in fact a black hate SEO technique to pass the link benefits.
You can easily buy a domain with high PR in the same niche and add a 301 redirection to take advantage of link juice. How easy it is to take a high Page rank. Well, I have not used this technique, but I have tried getting PR 3 with blog commenting, and it worked.
Page rank or should I say Page prank is becoming a joke over the time, and apart from commercial advantages of it, there is no real advantage of having a high PR.
You can get more traffic with a PR 0 blog compare to a blog with PR3+. So far, Google page rank is directly proportional to the number of quality links pointing to your site +_ other factors, but by the end of the that it’s the backlink which matters the most.
With 301 redirects, you can easily increase the number of backlinks pointing to your site, and it helps in increasing the Page Rank. This method will work only if you are making a 301 perm-redirection from related website. And if you manage to get such links from irrelevant sites, do keep Google Penguin update in your mind.
I’m not sure if the answer in above video is something which we should believe in, but as long as I know, this technique is being exploited for long, and you might not like to overdo this technique for improving page rank of your website.
Do let me know, in what cases you are using 301 redirections? Have you seen this 301 perma-redirection working for you?