an SEO Analyst Believes 301 redirection of an URL to the Same Slug Retains the Full Pagerank

Steven Kang πŸ‘‘
I just received an interesting question from a colleague and thought this should be good for a discussion. His analyst believes 301 retains the full Pagerank value when "new URL slug" is the same as "previous slug."
What's your answer?
27 🀭21 πŸ‘πŸ½4952 πŸ’¬πŸ—¨


Even though it's good in theory technically it's impossible as the domain name would have to change…thus the 301. Would keeping the slug the same help keep rankings? It would have to be tested…I'm not gonna guess, but from my experience you always lose a little page rank with redirects

Steven Kang ✍️ πŸ‘‘ Β» Chris
I agree with this.

Ammon Johns πŸŽ“
Years ago, after first getting my head fully around the math of PageRank, I had the theory that a 301 was kind of treated as an invisible middle-man page with only one link, so subject to the damping factor as any page is, but passing all the passable value through to the end destination.
I was told, directly by a Google engineer, that's not how it works.
Of course, he didn't helpfully then tell me how it DOES work, but the implication was certainly that there is no damping factor.
Instead it seems to be handled a bit more like how Google process URLs with extra parameters it has been told to ignore, as a sort of internal 'same as' notated URL, much as they say canonicalization should work.

Micha Β» Ammon Johns
I agree with your deduction, although Googlers have changed the story a few times on how the link signals are supposedly passed.
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Micha
I think they have genuinely changed the handling and math a few times in response to certain abuses (e.g. the 302 hijack).
Steven Kang ✍️ πŸ‘‘ Β» Ammon Johns
So, what's your final personal assessment?
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Steven Kang
Haha, on the evidence I have, I have to assume that a 301 passes full value, regardless of precise URL, *but* with the possible application of other factors for spam and abuse meaning it may pass none at all.

It's a trick that veteran SEO users pull on noobs. Why do you think they are always laughing at these conferences?

Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Joshua
Laughing? That's a waste of a mouth action that could be better spent on beer!
an seo analyst believes 301 redirection of an url to the same slug retains the full pagerank

I need to start going to these conferences
Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Joshua
You really do. Not just for the plentiful drinking opportunities where all the costs are a 'business hospitality' deductible. There's an extra level to the networking when you've shared food and drink with people.
Not to mention that you end up quietly sharing a lot of info in a one-to-one, face to face that wouldn't be shared any other way.

On the latest project, I had to similar sites from a client come over. For one I deindexed the old site in search console, then indexed the new site a day later. For the second one I 301 redirected the whole site just to experiment. The deindex and index site not only recovered faster it gained rank, while the other lost about 5 rankings per page, and took about 5 days longer to index.
Small sample size. but felt worth mentioning.

Ammon Johns πŸŽ“ Β» Alex
I can see that being a thing in that Google discovering a lot of content not a near duplicate of something in its index already, could trigger higher priority crawling and indexing.
Steven Kang ✍️ πŸ‘‘ Β» Alex
How competitive were the queries?
Alex Β» Steven Kang
Ahrefs has them at a 65 difficulty

Wouldn't crawl budget become a factor? Even if 301 retains full pagerank, it doesn't matter that much in the short term if Google de-prioritizes 301s. I'd like to see a larger experiment like Alex presented but spread over a larger time frame and looking at how quickly G finds and prioritizes 301s with all things being equal. If a larger experiment shows that 301 is "slow", that is useful to know.

Alex Β» Keith
I don't do them often enough but if someone has the time and resources it would be good to know. as it would change best practices completely.

Truslow πŸŽ“
Last official word that I heard had all pagerank passing through all 301's regardless of the slug.

Truslow πŸŽ“
Pretty sure this is the most recent "in-depth" coverage. Note the soft 404 bit, though… it's not the "slug" – but rather whether or not the page actually IS/WAS the page being redirected to…
Google Shares How 301 Redirects Pass PageRank
Steven Kang ✍️ πŸ‘‘ Β» Truslow
If you can find 301 related to slugs, that would be awesome.
Truslow πŸŽ“
I've never heard of a slug comparison one. Doesn't ring a bell.
TruslowSteven Kang How would you interpret this response?
an seo analyst believes 301 redirection of an url to the same slug retains the full pagerank

Truslow πŸŽ“ Β» Steven Kang
The whole thread is right here:
So… basically… if it's the same page (regardless of URL) then it'll pass through. If you're just redirecting to keep juice (e.g. gone pages to non related or the home page or whatever) it'll likely get treated as a soft 404.
I've never heard about originating nor landing "urls" having any bearing or impact, though.
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Steven Kang ✍️ πŸ‘‘ Β» Varun
I like the concluding thought at the end of the article. So, it boils down to content similarity as opposed to URL slug.


Steven Kang ✍️ πŸ‘‘ Β» Varun
Otherwise, not all 301 will pass 100% of the pagerank due to potential abuse.

an seo analyst believes 301 redirection of an url to the same slug retains the full pagerank

Domain root changes so I see 301 as a bridge to creating new structure. 301 was never designed to be a permanent base url solution m. It was designed for agility. We do 301's for 2-3 months and then we re-index very methodically. 410's are amazing for SERP re rank but you gotta do them after you have traction at the new base url. Slugs should always remain the same unless your trying to reset or change the traffic of the property. Root domain change is very sensitive imo. I'm talking 1000+ page sites

"re-index very methodically" means you remove the 301s gradually, set them to 410s and let the new domain rank on it's own?
What do you mean by "Root domain change is very sensitive imo" exactly? Sensitive how?
Cory Β» Joshua
So 301 s until index is rooted in new domain. Then as traffic becomes constant through the redirect, G indexes Search Engine Result Page (SERP), rank is set on new domain. Then 410 the old url path. Essential for crawl budget imo.
So changing a root domain name and maintaining rank is very doable but you can't be f'ing around. So resting the rest of the slugs of a root of* makes your margin of error way lower and easier to troubleshoot if you break link structure.
So migrating to I would never change / category / title/ etc *.
It's why 301's exist. They have become a lazy way to pass link juice but it's always an extra hop. If your crawling big ecom it does impact crawl budget.
ABC Home Page –

To be honest, i don't know. I did few tests last few months.
307 – people said will not send full page rank. I 307 domain aaa to domain bbb, Google transfer majority of the queries ranked from aaa to bbb within 72 hours. The bbb domain show in SERP instead of aaa
301 – i build a page ( not optimize using surfer SEO ), 1000 words+, no table of content, no optimize h2, no keyword research done, almost nothing. The page is about expired domain. It is a page, not blog post. I do not internal link this page from any pages or blog post from the site. The site also do not have any other page in this cluster. Then 301 almost 15 domains ( random niche, forex, travel, pet, solar power, finance, etc ) towards this page. This is what i got. 63 expired domain queries show up. None of those queries text my page have that ( exact matched, none ).


Given how much Google is focusing on user experience, I have to think that a direct link still carries more weight than a 301 redirect. I know that when I visit a website and there's a redirect, for a split second, I think something sketchy is going on when the domain or URL change.

A Client’s Website Consists Of Most Outdated Content Pages Should get Done 301-Redirect

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