A Little Question for SEO Experts Here


#1

What I’m trying to achieve
Hide a link from Google SERP for a long period of time and then bring it back without compromising its PageRank.

How I’m trying to achieve it
Use the noindex value of an HTML robots meta tag to stop the page from being indexed and in doing so remove it from Google SERP. Then remove the noindex when I want the page to reappear on Google SERP.

My Questions

  1. Will my proposed solution preserve the link’s PageRank when the link is reindexed or will the PageRank start all over again as a new link?

  2. Is there a better solution?

Calling on @Freshboi_Ekundayo, @spokentwice, @ososoba, @Jimi, @taslim, @Suleman and other experts here for assistance.


#2

This is a typical question @mark should ask the next time he wants to hire a genius :slight_smile:

Am not a genius, but I will advise as follows:

  1. Look at the bigger picture: do you really need the pagerank? Updates from Google and the interweb shows PageRank is getting the backseat in Google’s SERP.

  2. You might consider a 301 (permanent) redirect of the page to another page of your website. 301 redirects ensures the page transfers it page authority to the new page you are redirecting to.

My 2 cents.


#3

@spokentwice, thanks for the input.

Actually PageRank was a wrong choice of word. What I meant was the page’s ranking in Google SERP. And yes, I do need to preserve it.

I’ve also considered 301 redirects but then since a 301 redirect will make the page transfer its page authority to the new page I’m redirecting to, when it’s reindexed again, it will start all over as a new link (I think).

I’m looking for a way to take the page off Google SERP and bring it back without loosing its ranking.


#4

Howbout if you remove it in search console…
there’s a place to add links you want hidden from serp…and when you’re ready to include in serp…delete that entry.

Though not sure of the pagerank challenge issue


#5

@jxtapos is right on this. Remove the link temporarily through your webmaster console.

Here’s a link to explain further - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663419?hl=en

Hope that helps.

PS: Would only take the link down for about 90 days


#6

Good suggestions above.

I don’t think removing your website temporarily will affect the page ranking. When you are ready to come out open, it will look as though your website is a brand new one.


#7

I doubt if you will ever retain(keep intact as if you never left) your ranking for that page.

Google move pages up and down depending on various reasons/factors and even while you ‘will be away’ some competitors will go up and down the ranking. Some new Web pages can even come to the very top.

Why do you need to hide the page?


#8

@jxtapos, @ososoba, @taslim thanks for your suggestion. But according to Google:

The URL removal tool is intended as a first step for content that you urgently need blocked—for example, if it contains confidential data that was accidentally exposed. Using the tool for other purposes might cause problems for your site. - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663419?hl=en#make-permanent

And since that’s not really what I want to use it for, I’m very reluctant to touch it. I’ve played with Google before and they’ve severely messed me up for it. So once bitten, twice shy.

Besides, what I’m actually looking for is something that can be implemented programmatically, not manually.

@eaweb, the actual reason why I need to hide the page and bring it back without losing it’s page authority is a bit too technical to explain. I will have to provide a lot of irrelevant, technical and confidential information for you to understand it. But let me give a relatable scenario that illustrates it perfectly.

Assume for a moment that we sell phones and offer different promotions on them every month, from January to December, every year. So January we sell them 5% off. February 10% off, March 15% off and so on. And we have 12 links on Google for this, each taking you to a page for a particular month.For example:

Buy Phones at 5% discount this January
Buy Phones at 10% discount this February
Buy Phones at 15% discount this March

Now imagine that last December we had hundreds of thousands of hits on December’s link on Google SERP because we sold the phone for 60% off. This made the page ranking for the December’s link very high.

Now this January, February and March, we’ve been experiencing low referral from Google SERP because when people search for “Buy cheap phones”, our link “Buy phones at 60% discount this December” is number one on Google. But most people simply ignore the link since this is not December because they think the offer is only in December. And even the few people who click the link, immediately exit the page when they see that the offer is actually only in December.

Even our “Buy phones at 15% discount this March” link which has high ranking doesn’t come up on the first page of Google SERP because the December link which has a much better ranking than it.

What we’ve already tried.

  1. We have links on the page of each month that links to other months. So if you have clicked on the wrong moth page, you can find your way to the right month.
  2. We even have an “Are you looking for offers in X month?” at the top of the page if we think you visited another month by accident.
  3. We tried redirecting users to the right page 2 years ago (i.e. if you click the link for any other month in May, our website will simply redirect you to May’s page). Google struck us for sneaky redirects and we lost all our link juice that year.

What I’m currently thinking about.
Simply remove all the pages that does not represent the current month from Google SERP. But if we do this, we need to preserve the page’s value so when we bring it back up in its month, it won’t start over as a new link. It may not be at its original position, but it should still maintain its original value.


#9

Now I get you. Was the redirect you did a 301?


#10

No, I think it was a 302. We didn’t do 301 because 301 will pass the link juice to the new page. We wanted to preserve the link juice so when it’s the page’s month (for example), we’ll simply stop the redirect and the page will still have its link juice.

Turned out to be a really bad idea!

Now we’re looking for a new solution.


#11

Since you won’t need December page till another December and it looks like the important keywords do not include the month why not allow the juice to be passed via 301?

And maybe pass the juice back when it’s December again.

This looks very tricky though and not exactly tested.


#12

As regards the scenario you presented above…

Why not just create a single “promotions page” and do a permanent (301) redirect of all those standalone promotions pages to it.

Such a page could have:…

Meta-title as: Get Amazing Phone Discounts
Meta-description as: Get amazing phone discounts bla bla bla…
Meta-Keywords as: phone discounts, etc

On the actual page update monthly or seasonal promotions as required. Let people understand that promotions are time-based and they could easily miss out on the deal if they don’t act now.

You easily also promote such a page with display ads informed by the deal of the month or season.

Search engines are happy with your single page that simply offers promotions and reward you with high ranking and traffic as people click to learn about your “amazing phone discounts”.

You are happy and your customers don’t get confused.

Hope this helps.


#13

I like the simplicity of @Suleman’s recommendation. It makes things less “complicated”.


#14

@eaweb I’ve also considered passing link juice back and forth like you just suggested but Google may just hit us with another sneaky redirect penalty. So I’m still very cautious when it comes to redirects. I’m currently building link juice for a demo page just to test this theory. I’ve been doing it for a year now. But I’ll have to run it for at least another year before I can be sure Google’s search algorithm doesn’t penalize such redirects.

@Suleman your suggestion is actually something I’ve not considered before. It works fine in the hypothetical scenario I provided above but it won’t work in the real scenario. This is because in the real scenario, we need to have all those individual pages. Note that the pages are not actually promotional pages (like in the scenario I provided) but real pages generated automatically as users interact with the platform. Think of it as pages generated for items listed for sale on an eCommerce store. We still need the individual pages for archiving and indexing on our site. We’re just trying to fix the problem that comes from SERP. So a solution will have to be one that deals with multiple pages.


#15

I just had an idea which is a bit off @Suleman’s idea. How about instead of redirecting users we simply change the page content? So, for example, if a user clicks on the December link this March, we take him/her to the December page but instead of displaying the content for December, we display the content for March.

That fixes the problem for the 5% of people who click the link despite the title stating “December”. But how about the other 95% who will just ignore the link?

We can change the page title from that of December to that of March (note that since we didn’t change the URL, the page authority will be fine). But changing the page title will also affect the page authority because of the change in keywords.

At the end of the day, I still think the best solution will be removing the December page from Google SERP without compromising its page authority.


#16

Is it possible to use general keywords and just change the month only? So instead of changing the keywords entirely every minth, you just change few.


#17

@Light
Neil Patel and Eric Su shared a 10 minute podcast on 301 redirect you might find useful (check episode 208) http://marketingschool.io/how-effective-are-301-redirects-ep-208/


#18

@simplemtray thanks for the input but unfortunately, that can’t be done. The page title is generated automatically and changing it will affect user experience on our platform. And to us user experience trumps SEO.

@spokentwice great podcast!


#19

Neil Patel is very convinced that he is the greatest.

Most times he replies to his inbox on FB sha.