Google following meta redirects

I have previously documented how I moved my old blog from http://niche-website.blogspot.com to this domain http://andybeard.eu

It is fairly well documented that if you move a website, you should use 301 redirects to retain your old link equity.
This isn’t possible with blogspot hosted blogs, and it was thought that meta refresh might transfer visitors, but not link equity.

Wrong?

My old site used to rank fairly well for terms such as “niche website” and “niche websites”

Before Christmas, it was still being ranked well in the SERPs, and then disappeared. I wasn’t losing a lot of search traffic, but I certainly was losing some.

It is true that all the previous articles are on this domain, but that doesn’t account for the backlink equity in those search terms from article marketing and various other linking strategies.

Today I noticed that andybeard.eu is ranking near the top on the first page of Google SERPs for the same terms, “niche website” and “niche websites“.

It seems Google are now handling Meta Refresh correctly for passing on link equity to domains that have moved. I have no idea how universal this is, or whether a manual review is required for this to happen.
It is something that is open to abuse, so I actually hope Google have some kind of manual process to check to see how content on the 2 sites relate.

It is definately worth taking the time to setup redirects from your old blogspot domain correctly.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks, it took me forever to get management to drop meta refresh and now this! jk It would be interesting to see how they’ll handle this though. Could be manual review, I just don’t see this automated.

  2. says

    Hi Andy

    I know this is a little old but I’m wondering if you know how you managed to get the real 301 from blogspot?

    Here are the headers from your old blogspot blog:
    #1 Server Response: http://niche-website.blogspot.com/
    HTTP Status Code: HTTP/1.0 301 Moved Permanently
    Location: http://andybeard.eu/
    Cache-control: private
    Content-Length: 202
    Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:57:32 GMT
    Content-Type: text/html
    Server: GFE/1.3
    Connection: Keep-Alive
    Redirect Target: http://andybeard.eu/

    From what I can see it’s a true 301 redirect not a META refresh.

    Any ideas how to achieve this?

    Rgds and thanks
    Richard

  3. says

    I switched this blog over to WP before the blogger beta and new blogger features.
    With new blogger, I believe there are now new import scripts, but I haven’t tried them yet.

    I would strongly suggest using a test blog and experiment in some of the following things.

    The main feature you are after is under settings >> publishing in Blogger, you enter a domain name, and the redirect starts working very fast.

    What I think might be the best methodology is

    If you have already been using Bloger publishing on your own domain, you don’t need to setup the redirect.

    If you have been using blogspot
    Export your blog contents first (or you could call this import to WordPress)
    Check long URLs, I still have problems with many of mine that were truncated by the WordPress permalink stub system, I am picking those up slowly.
    Once you have your blog setup on your own domain under WordPress. and everything is working fine, add the domain to settings >> publishing

    Sometime soon I am going to go through this process on some other blogs, but many of my old blogspot blogs were heavy on using old HTML elements like tables and even dhtml overlays, and as they still make money, I don’t want to rock the boat.

  4. says

    Corrected the second reference to settings >> punlishing

    I didn’t want to confuse you so commenting again

    I should also note it is still useful that they are following the meta redirect, or something to be very aware of as an affiliate using redirects.

  5. says

    Thanks Andy

    I actually tried testing this with the blogspot custom domain feature. It’s a very strange creature indeed.

    It worked for
    richard.hearne.blogspot.com -> redcardinal.ie
    Threw error for
    richard.hearne.blogspot.com -> http://www.redcardinal.ie
    richard.hearne.blogspot.com -> blog.redcardinal.ie
    giving the error that a blog already exists on that domain.

    I changed anything in DNS or set up CNAME prior to testing.

    I tested redirecting to some .coms I have – no joy.

    Seems that they perhaps can’t handle .ie domains and just let them through.

    This seems to be quite a serious issue.

    The other huge problem is that you cant redirect to subdirectories?? I really think Google should stick to search – they really manage to mess up content systems liek blogspot and groups *sigh*

  6. says

    My own experiences with meta redirect weren’t the best. I used it about 3 months ago for many of my articles. You know, I messed things with dynamic links in the beginning and various URLs were pointing to same content.

    So I set-up the meta redirect. After a couple of weeks I noticed worse positions of every aggrieved article. After set-up of 301 redirect the positions are back and are improving in addition.

    I just want to say that you never know how Google treats anything unless you’re Google engineer :) .

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Having already moved my blog from blogspot to my own domain, I would appreciate a rock solid redirect with a 301. Whilst I have previously mentioned Google seem to be following meta redirects, that might not be 100% reliable, and that doesn’t account for other search engines. [...]