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Google’s John Mueller confirmed that the 301-redirect link-building technique doesn’t work

March 29, 2019 0 comments

You may or may not know about it, but the 301-redirect link-building technique is a popular black-hat SEO tactic to push a website’s ranking in the search engine results pages.

Many SEOs have been using this technique with varied results. But now John Mueller has recently confirmed in a Reddit thread that this technique does not work. Moreover, in the long-term, it is very likely to have a negative impact on your site’s health and rankings in the SERPs.

What is the 301-redirect link-building technique?

This is how it works.

  • You buy a new domain (ideally, a similar-looking domain as your main website)
  • You start building lots of backlinks to that new domain from various sources, e.g., web 2.0, comments, Reddit, forums, etc.
  • Then you redirect all those backlinks to your main website.

The idea behind using this method is that by redirecting and passing links through a different domain, you leave behind the negatives but pass the ranking signal to the main domain.

Moreover, redirecting links to another domain in this way has also been suggested as a way to bypass the Google Penguin penalty.

Another reason why SEOs have used this technique is the ability to quickly drop all the inbound links if the links are poisoned and started hurting the main domain. Since all the links would be redirected, you could cancel the redirects and instantly remove all the links in a single click.

What does John Mueller say about this tactic?

According to Google’s John Mueller, this technique does not really work and, in fact, does not offer any benefits either.


Because it just makes the main website canonical.

Here is what he said:

“The 301 basically makes the main site canonical, meaning the links go directly there — you might as well skip the detour, it’s just as obvious to the algorithms & spam team.”

Should you use this method?

In short, no.

It’s a black-hat SEO technique. And, as John mentioned, the algorithm and spam teams are fully aware of it.

It does not add anything of value. There’s no point in going through all the effort of purchasing a new domain, building links to it, and redirecting those links to the main website. Moreover, the poor-quality links may still have a negative impact on the website.

Therefore, avoid this method.

Read the original discussion on Reddit to learn more.