Will a 301 Redirect Passes Page rank? Matt Cutts Video

301 Redirects
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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 hat 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.

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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.

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?

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

17 thoughts on “Will a 301 Redirect Passes Page rank? Matt Cutts Video”

  1. Sivaram

    About.com re-brands with the name of lifewire.com, verywell.com, and so on. All the sites using 301 redirect and ranked good in Google.

    Likewise, pcadvisor.co.uk changed it’s name to techadvisor.co.uk and ranks good in google. They are also using 301 redirects.

    So, by these analysis, 301 redirects helped to rank well in google without losing page rank. But it won’t help Bing and Yahoo. (Yes I checked with many keywords)

    Hope this helps many persons.

  2. Ravi Kumar

    Sir, I was, totally, confused about this 301 & page rank Issue, Finally, You gave me Clear update about this. heart full thanks to #Harsh Sir, & #SML..

  3. Vineeth Mungath

    I think 301 redirect works. I moved one of my domain from .com to .in and within few days all the backlinks were indexed by google and ahref. It was same website with tld change only, website content remains the same. But i don’t know how does it affect using other websites.

  4. Gaurav Singh

    Inside tip, google just sees 301 redirects as soft 404s. So there won’t be passing of any link juice. Stop trying these things.

  5. Alex

    Just a quick question. Does a 301 redirect of an old url to a new one benefit the backlinkers of the old url?

    1. Mayank Tewari

      It may only if the contents of the old URL were same as the new one otherwise google might penalize your website.

      1. Alex - CDG Brand

        in response to Alex:

        Just a quick question. Does a 301 redirect of an old url to a new one benefit the backlinkers of the old url?

        It may only if the contents of the old URL were same as the new one otherwise google might penalize your website.


        Okay. Thanks for the response Mayank.

  6. Don

    This is a Age of DA and PA.. What do you think about passing DA and PA with 301 ?
    Let’s say I have 5 domain with higher DA and I redirect them all to a one domain??

    1. Gaurav Singh

      Be ready to get devalued, not penalized.

  7. Jack Wong

    When multiple old domains use 301 redirect to a single new domain, will all multiple domains link juices all pass to this single domains?

  8. Mothi Venkatesh

    You are right Harsh. I read similar article in BlackhatWorld, in that they explained that, 301 redirect won’t cause much harm and it will completely give the link juice as you told. This is 100% effective only if the link passing is of similar niche. 😉

  9. S.Pradeep Kumar

    Even for HostLater.com we got PR 3 without that much backlinks, I’m still curious. I agree with “And, I don’t believe what ever Google says.” 🙂

  10. King

    But there is an article seomoz which says that PR have some essential weight-age in search results, should we ignore that factor completely? Coz I think that PR do have some value when it comes to setting up an authority I may have to disagree with you in this regard but have to agree that passing on the link juice through 301 perma redirection is just allowing spammers to take advantage of that route..

  11. raman bathina

    I never use this type of blackhat seo techniques because it gives bad results in long time.I’m also follow your backlink building technique by commenting on top websites and PR 4 to one of tech niche blog.

  12. Abhay

    as far as 301 redirect are legitimate and employed honestly there is no harm to get traffic using them. But using them as a routine practice that dives you into Black Hat SEO category you should be cautious as it may work for now but may be countered by search engines and even you may get penalized.

  13. Pawan

    Totally agree with you Harsh on “no real advantage of having a high PR other than commercial value.”

    1. Azzam

      And how would you explain the 20 high PR domains I bought that have ranked a website to the 2nd position in serps for a competitive keyword. In fact 7 – 10 keywords rank between 5# – #1 due to just a handful of backlink bringing in over £100,000 a month?

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