SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

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#1 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:14 AM

Hello!

Had a client with an SEO back-link related question and I wanted to get some more insight on this. Personally I think the technique wouldn't be favourable (Grey / Black-Hat) but I thought it would be an interesting discussion none-the-less.

As the client mentioned, this strategy is primarily to get a page URL out in the world that a client would like to rank eventually by using "ready-to-go" back links.

Here is an example:

So, let's say you have a unfinished section on your website that is under development and not ready yet (http://www.yoursite.com/contentcomingsoon/)

The client puts out a crap load of backlinks to http://www.yoursite....tentcomingsoon/ out on the web (forums, blogs, social media, etc..).

Let's say we now have 300 instances of back links out there that google's found thanks to the efforts of the previous statement above.

Unfortunately, right now those back links point to a page that would currently give a 404 error. Which, would hurt that page's page-rank since that section/page is not ready yet.

But, what if rather than a non-existent page (404) we make a "blank page" in that spot and 302 redirect to the homepage till it's ready. Google would see the back-links.. go "okay, this page exists" but ignore it without any of the above penalties of a 404.

Once that section goes live, a 301 redirect that goes to a valid page (200 code) with content that's not the homepage turns on.

Now there's 300 instances of the backlink out there that are ready to immediately contribute to the page's positive ranking.

Does this type of technique even work? Wouldn't this be a type of "link-farming/link-wheel"? I was unable to find a use-case that's specific to this topic, but sounded similar to a few others.

My recommendation to the client was to NOT do this, but I'm curious to hear more opinions on this and if there are similar or "white-hat" techniques that can achieve something similar to this?

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Replies To: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:20 AM

Your client will get penalized. I don't know what the current search algorithm uses, but a blank page when the crawler hits is not going to end well.

SEO is going to be driven by content or paying for placement.
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#3 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:24 AM

@astonecipher - That's what I figured. That Google wouldn't like this even though the page is 302 redirect to homepage...
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:24 AM

No the first recommendation is not to game the google ranking system with blackhat SEO crap.

Second - 301 redirects to water down any ranking.
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#5 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:28 AM

@modi123_1 - Fair enough.

What do you mean "301 redirects to water down any ranking"...?

This post has been edited by Vip3rousmango: 14 April 2015 - 09:42 AM

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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:46 AM

Yup.. content contribution over parasitic hasbeen sites that exit for the wrong reasons.

From what I understand trying to have a ton of redirects hurts the ranking because it reeks of scam.
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#7 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:50 AM

Keep in mind that Google engineers will look at their algorithm and their data set. If they see a lot of shady sites that use redirects 90% of the time, and legitimate sites that only use redirects 10% of the time, then they're going to consider redirects as one more data point which may indicate that a site is not authoritative. This is what happens any time people try to game the algorithm, the engineers will look at the data to figure out which points correlate strongly with either good or bad sites, and they'll update their algorithm.
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#8 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:52 AM

@modi123_1 - Okay I get that obviously Google doesn't approve of Black-hat techniques, but I thought when using 301 redirects properly, the SEO value of the page is transferred to the redirected canonical url; a 302 (being temporary) does not transfer any SEO "link juice".

Wouldn't the 302 on the "blank page" to the homepage still hold off on the SEO value of the back-link to the homepage, and then when content goes live a 301 redirect to the new URL (page with new content) would retain the SEO from the original site's backlink??
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#9 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:58 AM

@ArtificialSoldier - So, the spike caused by having all the back-links go "live" with a 301 would spike the chart and produce a "red flag" if you will?

That makes sense, as I thought something similar. As there has to be a way they use their data to come to these types of conclusions. But if the site is a legitimate site, with no spam and already a high domain ranking authority, when checked manually by them... wouldn't that work in your favour, rather than just be penalized for being "spammy"?
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#10 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 10:14 AM

View PostVip3rousmango, on 14 April 2015 - 12:28 PM, said:

What do you mean "301 redirects to water down any ranking"...?

A 301 is not a 200. Some spiders may refuse to follow a 301, may refuse to give it a positive value, or may even give it a negative value.

As indicated by the 1st reply, SEO is content. Anything else is only potential for un-desired results.
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#11 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 10:17 AM

Unfortunately, all of the questions are theoretical. It's probably fair to say that Google's ranking algorithms are one of the more protected trade secrets around right now. The only people who can answer your questions are the engineers working on the algorithms, and they wouldn't be engineers working on the algorithms if they were going to answer those kinds of questions. There's not a lot of detailed information on the algorithms beyond the papers published by Sergey and Larry for "Backrub" while at Stanford.
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#12 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 10:19 AM

I would argue that statement with the blog of Matt Cutts. The algorithms, yes. What works & what is flagged as poor behavior, not so much a secret.

What is being asked here is not the algorithms that Google uses. What is being asked here is 'can I cheat with a simple action'.

Taking it a step further back, without doing all that reading, one can also simple do a search for "Does Google follow 301/Does Google follow 302" & get relatively low-technical yes/no style details.
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#13 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 10:44 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 14 April 2015 - 12:19 PM, said:

I would argue that statement with the blog of Matt Cutts. The algorithms, yes. What works & what is flagged as poor behavior, not so much a secret.

What is being asked here is not the algorithms that Google uses. What is being asked here is 'can I cheat with a simple action'.

Taking it a step further back, without doing all that reading, one can also simple do a search for "Does Google follow 301/Does Google follow 302" & get relatively low-technical yes/no style details.


Essentially, yes you're correct. I assumed that my client was looking for a "quick-fix" (using backlinks as the method of choice) to achieve a quick rank for some specific type of page. As I stated, I clearly indicated to my client this is a bad idea; but it got me thinking and I was curious for some more insight.

So, I guess testing on a dummy site with niche content and doing some tracking would be the best way to test the theory... to make sure a real client site doesn't get punished. Has anyone encountered something similar?
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#14 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 10:50 AM

I wouldn't host that test site on the same ip. Besides, how long do you expect propagation to take? How long of a test are you going to run?
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#15 Vip3rousmango  Icon User is offline

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Re: SEO - "Pre-Emptive" Back-links 302 from "blank-page"?

Posted 14 April 2015 - 11:01 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 14 April 2015 - 12:50 PM, said:

I wouldn't host that test site on the same ip. Besides, how long do you expect propagation to take? How long of a test are you going to run?


Agreed, it would be a separate test server altogether. Wouldn't want it linked to client's server in any way. That would be bad news bears.

I'd run the test for a month to see regular traffic, than two weeks into the test, I would test the example I have mentioned and see if both traffic and SERPs rank improve, or bombs horribly for the new content page added and how harshly it affects overall SERPs for the homepage as well.
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