I have discovered a technique that can get your site banned by Google, and my testing has confirmed this. If you are using this technique, I urge you to cease as you are at risk.
Issue: If you are redirecting domains that have Yahoo! Directory listings to your main site, you may be banned in the near future by Google.
The Search Engine Tip posted in a forum in late October stated: “With the new change over with Google and Yahoo!, if you want increased PageRank simply get multiple domains listed in Yahoo! and following their inclusion in the directory, do a server redirect to your main site and your main site will collect the collective PageRank from all the Yahoo! submissions. This is the fastest and most cost-effective methods of obtaining an increased PageRank.”
The thinking was, by getting five or more separate sites listed in Yahoo! and then doing a redirect of all of those sites to the main site would give a huge PageRank boost. The thinking was right. I tested this, and it did work. My test site jumped to a PR of 7 in just two DataCenter updates. Often, it takes years to get to a PR7. But, as I always test out new approaches for at least three months before I release the information to you, I had an interesting discovery this morning. The main test site had a PR0, which previously had a PR7. The domain has been banned by Google.
As Google has always stated, there is no sure way to manipulate the PageRank results. And that is true.
How do I know if I am using this methodology?
If you have multiple domains that you work with, you may have done this by accident. To check, go to your site and do a “Backwards Link” check with the Google toolbar. If you don’t have the Google Toolbar installed, just do a direct search in Google: link:www.yourdomain.com.
The results are every link that Google recognizes. Look for multiple Yahoo! links and ones that don’t “seem right”. For example, if you have a public relations site and you have a link from the “Home and Gardens” section of Yahoo! that should be a red flag.
How This Can Happen
Many web hosts or web designers often have clients who go out of business. When this happens, instead of having the dead URL, they do a redirect to their home page. This seems simple and innocent enough. Not according to Google. They obviously look at this method as a Spam attempt and I believe that my test site was turned in by a competitor. I highly suggest that if you are doing this, to halt the redirect immediately.
This technique was passed around the search engine community back in October 2002 after the big change with Yahoo! and Google.
Rest assured that my team is constantly testing new methodologies and the “latest trends”.
Tip “To NOT Do”: In the PPC model of search engines, one to stay far away from is Search Boss. Even though their sales reps will tell you differently, their search results are buried in partner directory listings and after three months of testing, the same search terms that were expensing over $3,000.00 per month in Overture, have only produced 52 click-thrus. My initial deposit will be exhausted sometime in the summer. Aaargh!!!
Another note, remember, there is only about 6 days left to obtain new links to your site to make the next DataCenter update later this month. You need at least a week to ensure that the link pages will be spidered by Google.