ROI·DNA Reads: Google Penalties On Your Tail?

April 2, 2014
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Matt Quirie
Typewriter and Coffee

We read it:

In a recent Webmaster hangout, Google’s John Mueller shed some light on how
Google understands content. Mueller disclosed that if you move content
from a penalized domain to a new domain – without implementing redirects –
Google might still transfer the penalty to the new domain.

Here’s what we think:

Previously, we assumed search engines identified content either by URL, brand
identifiers or social connections. Now, it looks like:

  • Content beats metadata – Google can recognize content based on content itself, not adjacent metadata or other identifiers
  • Redirecting may not matter – Whether you redirect URLs or not, Google can likely identify the content
  • Moving won’t work – Google will mark the site move and transfer the penalty

So it’s likely that if you put, say, For Whom the Bell Tolls, up on the web under a
different title, Google would recognize the content immediately and slap
“Hemingway” all over it.

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