Q and A: Will Google penalize me for redirecting my old site to my new site with duplicate content?

QuestionHello Kalena

I have a current subdomain webpage that is ranking on page 12 on the Google SERP’s. I just bought a new domain name and created a new website with pretty much duplicate content so I could use that as my prime domain. What I did was re-direct my subdomain to the new prime URL.

My new site has been indexed, but not yet ranked by Google. I intend to delete the sub-domain page as soon as the new page starts appearing in the SERP’s. My question is, because of the duplicate content, is Google going to ban me for this?

Thanks,
Paul

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Hi Paul

Ah yes, the old hosted sub-domain ranking conundrum.

For the benefit of readers who might not understand your situation, here’s a brief explanation. Paul’s current website is free-hosted on a sub-domain provided by his hosting company. For example, instead of having his site at www.PaulsPlace.com, it’s currently at PaulsPlace.hostingplace.com. This means that any links pointing to his site contribute to the hosting site’s link popularity and not his own. It also means that he is helping his hosting company to rank better in search engines, rather than his own brand and content.

To avoid this, Paul has done the right thing and purchased his own domain name, transferring all his site content over to the new domain and then putting an automatic sign-post up on his current sub-domain site that redirects people to his new domain when they hit his old site or click on a link to his old site within search engine results.

Paul, provided you used a 301 redirect on your sub-domain, there shouldn’t be any problem at all with duplicate content. In fact, this is the recommended process to use, according to Google. Just don’t forget to remove the redirect (and dump your old site) once you see your pages start to appear in the search results. You can hurry this along by creating a XML sitemap for the new site and uploading it to Google via Webmaster Tools.

Hope this helps.

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Free Online Marketing Training for Charities and Not-For-Profits

SEC-smiley-150x178Search Engine College has now enrolled students in 65 countries.

We’re thrilled that so many people around the world have benefited from our courses, but we’re also aware that many small businesses and not-for-profit sites don’t even have a marketing budget, let alone a budget for training.

So to make it easier, we’ve decided to offer 25 charities per year the opportunity to learn search marketing skills at no cost, to help them make the most of their limited marketing budgets.

We’d like to extend an invitation to any registered charities interested in taking online marketing training (regardless of global location) to get in touch. We’ll take the first 25 charities to respond and send them a coupon giving one staff member a 3 month  subscription to all our courses – a retail value of USD 297.

To qualify for the offer, your charity / NFP organization needs to:

1) Have a web site.

2) Have been incorporated at least 12 months ago.

3) Be listed on CharityNavigator.org, the UK Charity Commission, the NZ Charities Commission or the equivalent in your country.

4) Not have any religious or political affiliations.

When contacting us, please use the phrase “charity training” in your subject line or comments field and include your charity registration number if you have one. Please also include a sentence or two about why you think having your staff take our courses would benefit your charity.

To prevent fraudulent claims, we will be carefully screening charities to ensure they are legitimate. We’ll be announcing the beneficiaries one by one as we distribute the coupons.

If you know of a worthy charity or not-for-profit that might benefit from our courses, please direct them to this post, or tweet it to spread the word.

Thanks!

 

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Fast Five in Search – Week 37, 2014

fast-five

 

The goss this week in social has been all about Facebook (or as Uncle Larry likes to call it – The Facebooks). So this week’s Fast Five is a wrap-up of all the latest Facebooky goodness.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Facebook Testing Keyword Search by SiteProNews. Apparently, Facebook is expanding Graph Search to introduce keyword search on its mobile app, which will allow members to search through old posts or pages they have followed according to keyword.

2) Facebook to users: let’s walk through your privacy settings, just in case by Venture Beat. Starting this month, Facebook will be offering a privacy check-up to its users, narrated by a blue dinosaur (I kid you not) that walks them through every aspect of their confounding privacy settings.

3) Facebook Goes After “Click-Bait” Headlines with News Feed Update by Marketing Land. This week, Facebook announced a news feed algorithm change that it says will reduce the number of misleading and vague (click-bait) headlines that its users will see.

4) 4 Recent Facebook Updates Businesses Should Know by Social Media Today. A handy round up some of Facebook’s most recent announcements and updates that affect businesses.

and finally…

5) How to Use the 15 Facebook Ad Targeting Options by Social Fresh. This is not a recent post, but I get asked about Facebook ad targeting options A LOT, so thought I would include this one in today’s Fast Five.

Happy Facebooking!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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September is Study Month!

Study-Month-2014Need to brush up on your marketing skills or get your staff trained in SEO/SEM? Now’s your chance!

Every year, we pick a month we call STUDY MONTH, during which we run special offers and discounts at Search Engine College. This year, we’ve decided that September is Study Month and to celebrate, we’ve got two discount offers for you, valid until September 30:

1) One Month Subscription for $1.

2) USD100 off all Certification Upgrades.

If you’re a current subscriber, this means that you can upgrade to Certification for any unit of study for just $195 instead of the regular $295. If you’re not yet a paid subscriber, you or your staff can take up the $1 subscription offer AND the $100 discount to upgrade to Certification for as many units as you like.

The $100 discount also applies to our Multi-Course Pathways, so if you’ve been thinking about getting certified in multiple courses, now is the PERFECT time.

To access your discounts, follow the instructions over here.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 36, 2014

fast-five

 

It’s that time of the week again – Fast Five time. I’m feeling quite smug that I’ve managed to consistently publish a Fast Five post every week this year to date. Blogging can be a time-consuming business, but when you follow a schedule and write about topics that educate and inform, it’s also very rewarding.

If you’re enjoying these Fast Five posts, I’d love to hear as much in the comments. Feel free to suggest some topics for future editions as well. This week, we’re going to take a look back at the five most popular Q and A posts on this blog since it was first launched.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) How much should I expect to pay for SEO services? by Peter Newsome. In this post from 2009, Pete helps a SEO start-up who are struggling to set realistic rates for their brand new SEO service offering.

2) How do I avoid duplicate content created by my CMS for product pages on my site? by Peter Newsome. Another post from guest blogger Pete sees him helping a webmaster who is concerned that his Content Management System may generate product pages that are so similar in content that they may be deemed duplicate content by search engines.

3) How do I leverage Social Media to improve my SEO? by Yours Truly. In this Q and A from 2012, I explain why social media has become an integral part of SEO and suggest several ways of integrating social media marketing into your existing SEO strategy.

4) How can I get rid of malicious spam content on Google? by Yours Truly. A Q and A from March this year saw someone contact me asking for help relating to malicious content being published about them. I gave advice on how to lodge a Request to Remove Objectionable Content.

and finally…

5) Why doesn’t Google index my sitemap? by Yours Truly. In one of my more recent Q and A’s, I help a webmaster who couldn’t understand why Google wasn’t indexing all his site pages, despite including them all in his sitemap.

If you’ve got a burning question about search or search engines and you want to see it featured here as a Q and A, submit it via this form.

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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