Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect

Showing 1-6 of 6 messages
Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect Jim Wilson BG 7/11/13 7:09 AM
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 
My URL is: www.borngifted.co.uk/

Hi

I am currently going through the process of removing toxic links to my website by contacting webmasters etc..  As is the norm, many don't reply or have no means of contact.  My techincal web person has suggested using mod-rewrite to 301 the link back to them.  So, in our web server the refferer URL is checked and the following applied:

  RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} badsite\.com 
   RewriteRule .* http://www.badsitedotcom [R=301,L]

So he tried this and sure enough it worked - when you click the toxic link pointing to my website it just 301 redirects back to that bad site.  My question is, would this help in terms of not passing Google page rank/penalties (like forcing a nofollow)? or would this be considered cloaking which i believe is not a good idea atall.

Any advice on this gratefully received.

Thanks
Re: Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect StevieD_Web 7/11/13 3:12 PM

> My question is, would this help in terms of not passing Google page rank/penalties (like forcing a nofollow)

Nope.  Googlebot is going to blow right through the redirect because Googlebot doesn't crawl using a referrer when coming from the badsite.


sounds like an workable idea to block live body traffic coming from the other site, but will not solve your underlying problem. 
Re: Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect Robbo 7/11/13 3:12 PM



Hi

I cannot recommend the method that you outlined.

1.   The method will only affect browser users (NOT search engines) that click on the link on the "bad-site" that points to your site.

2.   Google will still see the links from the other site to your site and will SEPARATELY request that URL (i.e. your page) from your site.   When it does so, your server will have NO indication of where the link itself was discovered, i.e. where it originated from.

3.   Personally, I would be loathe to redirect any of my URLs to a "bad-site" - that would be like linking to a bad neighbourhood.  As I said, I think normal Google crawling would not see such "behaviour" but it still seems a  bit  risky to me.   It might be detected by a special "compliance" scan/crawl and might be misinterpreted.   

In other words, I think it far better to everything you can to get the bad links removed at source and for the remainder, I would use the disavowal process which is really quite simple to do if you are able to disavow at the domain level rather than individual page level.


I hope it helps.


Robbo
Re: Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect Jim Wilson BG 7/11/13 3:28 PM
Many thanks for your reply.  This is what i suspected, so thanks for confirming for me - much appreciated.
Re: Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect Jim Wilson BG 7/11/13 3:30 PM
Robbo, thanks for such a thorough explanation.  That makes sense, thought it was too good to be true!

Really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

Jim
Re: Killing toxic links using a 301 redirect Robbo 7/11/13 4:20 PM


You're welcome!


Darn!  I even started typing before Stevie, but he was more concise so got his in before me. :-)

Anyway good that you have it from multiple sources.


The essential point to remember is that when google crawls a site, it does not leave any "referer" information about where the link was found even if it is has come from the other site a split second ago.

In practice, google may at various times see numerous different links (some natural, some not) from various sites to an individual page on your site.   It will still only crawl as often as it thinks necessary; it does NOT follow each link and re-cache the page each time it comes across it.