Recovering SE traffic from Google and others after 301 redirection

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April 10, 2009

This domain is not so old but the blog is a bit older. I moved this blog from the old domain to in February (23rd or 24th but not sure). I had also written about my moving this blog from old domain to new domain. I redirected it seamlessly but began experiencing problems shortly after redirecting it to new domain. I began suffering the slump in the Search Engine Traffic from Google, Yahoo etc. In the beginning, I didn’t know how Google treated 301 redirection but eventually seemed to understand that and recovered the traffic from Google in certain time after redirection.

Let me tell you, I actually 301 redirected to the new domain because my old domain was a country domain of Nepal(, which is automatically geo-targeted for Nepali surfers. It was not that I wasn’t getting any traffic from countries other than Nepal. I used to get but with a .com domain, I believed I would be benefitted a lot.

The first few days after redirection seemed to be pretty fine. I was getting fair amount of SE traffic as the traffic was redirected from the old domain. But as days passed by I began experiencing a steep decline in traffic. After the first week I was really alarmed as I literally got no SE traffic totally zero. For the next two weeks, I had to bear the misery of having no traffic from search engine or sometimes one or two a day on the end. I began researching the internet and asking webmasters the questions regarding my 301 redirection and the waning SE traffic. They suggested me to be patient as Google would take some time to consider the redirection and give some authority to the redirected domain. Some also said that there was problem in the canonical form used in the redirection code(as I had written the code to 301 redirect the old domain from the non www version to www version). I corrected the issue. I then removed my old domain from Google Webmasters site list because I thought if the domain has been already redirected to another, there’s no point in keeping it there. I also checked on Google with It returned my new domain and I was relieved to see that.

I notified the webmasters backlinking me, about my new domain. I asked them to change the URL to that of the new domain but a very few of them responded. The link juice would pass to the redirected domain but it would be better with a direct link. So I gathered a few more backlinks from others for the new 301 redirected domain.

I learned that I was getting so few visitors from Google after redirection because those visitors were redirected from the old domain’s pages in the Search results. i wasn’t getting any visitors via the new site’s index on search engines. Because of redirection, the pages from the old domain had gradually begun disappearing from Google. So, the 301 redirected traffic from the old domain was very minimal.

Finally one day, I saw an upsurge in the SE traffic from Google. I was on April 1st. I, for a while, was led to believe that Google was playing an April fool game on me. But the next day was also hunky-dory. I noticed that my PR had also been updated to 3. Previously, my old domain held PR 2. The PR update previously was done on January 1st 2009. Exactly three months after that, the next PR update took place that uplifted my PR as well as recovered the SE traffic to my redirected blog.

All this time, I have just been talking about SE traffic. It is because, the social traffic can be chased whenever you like and its all about the effort you spend. Search Engine Traffic is the one that will actually turn to loyal readers of your site. So, I was convinced to conclude that Google does take some time to consider the 301 redirection. It may take a few months to recover the SE traffic after redirection. Google Search will take time to give authority to the redirected domain and if you’ve done it correctly, you’ll recover your SE traffic and PR during the PR update. There might be other constraints as well but I have told about everything in my case.

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