Using a 301 Redirect with an Aged Domain to Increase Your Domain’s SEO Value

Category : SEO
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Responses : 30 Comments

To begin you need to understand what a 301 redirect is… this is basically a note to the search engines that you have moved your site to a new domain name.  There are two ways to use this, legitimately and illegitimately.  The proper way to use this is straightforward, you moved your site to a new domain and so anyone that comes to your old domain you will redirect them to the new domain.  There is also a way to use this that might be of SEO benefit to you and which some of the top SEO guys I know use 301 redirects.

First off, I will say that I do not know with certainty if a 301 redirect provides a SEO benefit to your site.  I will say that I know a handful of guys that swear by it though and they probably won’t be happy that I’m sharing this information (which may be common knowledge to some and new knowledge to others).  Let’s suppose you want to start a new site.  The domain age will be brand new.  Google might sandbox your site if you immediately build a ton of backlinks to your site.  And your site is starting with no pagetrust.  Well, according to some a 301 redirect from an aged site will change that.  Here’s how it works.

You go to a place like Auctions and you use their filter options to find an aged domain.  Something that is at least 10 years old.  You can find them for $5 on up.  Buy it.

Now, set up a simple one or two page site on that domain.  It can be a WordPress based site or a simple css template or whatever.  Write an article that is 1,500 to 2,000 words on the homepage that focuses on keywords of your new site that you want to benefit.  Once you get that set up and post the article you should have a few thousand backlinks created to that website URL.

Check Google after a day or two.  You want to see that the article was indexed.  Once the article was indexed in Google we are going to set up the 301 redirect.  Here’s the code that you need to add to your index file at the very top (remove the space between the opening “<” and “?”) (replace “new_site” with your URL):

< ? Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" ); Header( "Location:" ); ?>

This will tell the search engines that you site has moved to this new domain. So now the search engines will see your new site as a site that is 10+ years old and just transferred to a new domain. It is believed that this will provide you with more pagetrust since it is viewed as an aged site. You also should be able to build a ton of backlinks now to your old site without getting sandboxed since the search engines should view your new site as really being older.

Now you will of course need to do more then a 301 redirect in order to rank a site well, but this could be a key step in helping you achieve those high SERPs that you are aiming for.

Incoming search terms:

  • 301 redirect penguin

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  1. This is a trick that I’m surprised more people don’t do. I always launch sites with an aged and trusted 301 pointing at it.

    What’s surprised me is that old and new site don’t have to be on the same topic.

    For example, I recently launched a site in the MMO niche that had a 301 pointing at it from an out of business Greek restaurant –and it worked like a charm!


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  2. Does it still work in post Panda and Penguin age? Are they not so called doorway pages which Google eliminated some time ago?

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    • Doorway pages are not 301 redirects. Doorway pages normally use a meta refresh so once you land on the site you are directed to another site. A 301 redirect is valid, it tells the search engines that you have moved your site to a new domain. As such, you get the benefits of your old domain directed to your new domain. If you are lucky enough to find a domain that has a high Pagerank and great backlinks and 301 redirect it to your new site you should get a huge benefit from the linkjuice from the old domain name. It has to still work post Panda and Penguin because if a site changes domains and the 301 did not work they would need to start from scratch in terms of backlinks and authority, and Google doesn’t do that to the site owner.

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  3. Great tip! I never thought of this. I will try it on one of my new sites.

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  4. I’ve some question?
    You told that “set up a simple one page site and build a ton of backlinks on aged domain”, all seo value will passed to “”(homepage) but if I want to do SEO and create backlink to “”

    How to do this?? point backlink to this page by don’t pass aged domain or ..? have a chance to get sandbox?


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    • If you 301 a site I would 301 it to the homepage of your new site, not Yes, you can build backlinks to your keyword URL but if the site is new and you build too aggressively you can get sandboxed. You should start out slow, use a variety of anchor text, use a variety of different link sources, and build at a slow pace until your site gets some age.

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  5. Google will not penalize us for this???????????

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    • Madhumita – why would they penalize you for this? This is what people do when they move their site from one domain to another. Imagine if wanted to change to They would use a 301.

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  6. Great article,

    I’m just wondering though, what would happen if you immediately implemented a 301 directly to the new site without building a site around the old url first?


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    • Zaggle – my personal opinion is that it would not matter (as long as the domain you set the 301 up on is aged). There was most likely something on that old domain (unless someone had just a blank page up) and your new site will have the content. Again, just my two cents.

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  7. yaayyy I also have some plan to this method. I will do this method to minimize the penguin effect. I will buy some aged domain and make it live. and then I will add some link to this domain like blog commenting, profile link, web 20 and much more. and then I will redirect this page to my “main site”. I think all seo master & seo contest doing this technique 😀

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  8. Hello,
    Thanks for the useful article, I didn’t know about this actually. I have got one question, though. When I look up the website details on, it shows also site redirects, which reads: This flag is set if the source backlink redirected (using HTTP response codes 301, 302 or META Refresh based redirect) to the target.
    I just don’t understand whether this means that the website really has so many redirects. For example, I search for the details of, and 5084 redirects are shown! If ithey are really normal redirects, how do they do it?

    Thanks for the reply in advance.

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  9. Couple qns:

    1)What if my new site is already indexed by google and i bought an aged site to 301 redirect to it(about 2 weeks since newsite was indexed)? will there still be an effect?

    2) after i 301 to the new site, i should linkbuild to the old site or to the new site since google treat the new site as the old.?

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    • @Danny

      1. My personal opinion is yes, you will still get an impact doing it this way. But at some point it would be too long (not sure what that threshold is… but I think 2 weeks is still new enough).

      2. I would do both, but with more focus on the new site. Building links to the old site will still keep the old site fresh in Google’s mind when it finds those links.

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  10. “Once you get that set up and post the article you should have a few thousand backlinks created to that website URL.”

    So we’re gonna backlinks the link of the article or the aged domain?


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    • @Jack

      What I’m saying is that the old aged domain should have backlinks pointing to it (assuming you buy one that has backlinks to it… you can do this using a site like When you 301 redirect it to your new site all those already existing backlinks will be passing their juice on to your new site and new article.

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  11. This might be a silly question but how do I know it works? Is there anywhere to see that the PR is being redirected to new url? Or is it just a matter of new url ranking quicker.

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    • It’s a matter of your new site ranking quicker and having more authority in the eyes of the search engines. You can’t “see” this but you will “feel” it by gaining traction quicker in getting traffic from search engines.

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  12. Hi, chris,

    I have lots of questions about this post, and i would deeply apriciate if you can answer my questions.

    first of all, is it okay if i buy mutiple of aged sites and redirect them to a single site which has 0 pr?

    and is it okay if i use a same web host account for those aged sites and new site im trying to build? or should i get an another host account separately?

    Also should i use a proxy when i buy those aged sites?

    I already have site that has been 6 month old with 0 PR and 360819 alexa rank. is it okay to redirect aged sites to my site? eventhough it is not a brand new?

    By redirecting an aged domains, is that going to increase page rank on my site?

    I know there are some dum questions, but i would really really appriciate if you can answer them ,

    Thanks you in advance~!!

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    • John,

      – Redirecting multiple sites as 301 to one site does not make sense and would probably be a big red flag for Google.
      – I think it is OK to use the same hosting account for your 301 and for your new site. It would make sense to use the same server since you are telling Google with the 301 that only the domain changed.
      – Not sure why you would need to use a proxy to buy domains.
      – The 301 redirect makes the most sense when you do it in the beginning. Doing it six months in might help, might not, I’m really not sure. I only do this for a brand spanking new domain to get it the juice early on.

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  13. How may 301 sites can i create?

    Is it possible to 301 redirect to a specific post & is it have the same value of domain has!

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    • It only makes sense to have one 301 redirect pointing to your site since the purpose of a 301 is to tell Google that your site moved. Not sure it will do much to point it to a specific post.

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  14. Hi,

    I want to do same, but i am not familiar with code, can you please tell me what code i need to put where? i am using WP.


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    • The code is in the article. When you 301 it you cannot be using WordPress, you should use a single static page with the code mentioned above.

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      • Is it correct to put that code in this page

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  15. hello,
    How long the google keep old site in index ?
    will that be indexed for ever or after some time it will be de-indexed as google know that the old site has been moved and if google deindex that then what will happen to the link juice ?


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    • After a while Google will know that the site has moved, but as a rule of thumb I leave that 301 redirect still up and running forever.

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  16. Thanks for sharing it !

    Do the host of two sites need to be different?

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    • No, they do not need to be different. I do not think it matters if they are same or different.

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