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As discussed in this topic, several sites were down due to a server issue for about a month. I have slowly watched some of the more popular sites gain some traffic. I did say slowly.

I have also monitored the crawler errors in Google's Webmaster Tools. Last week, I decided to burn one of the domain names, create a new one and 301 all traffic to that new domain. Within three days, the new domain was already getting organic traffic.

Server errors were down to about 30 (it takes a while for these to clear up in Google), and I thought that maybe I just had not waited long enough and the original domain was finally getting the traffic again. However, I was seeing organic results with the new domain name and a significant amount of traffic (for 3 days). For brand new domains, I have seen indexing occurring in 12 days.

On the old domain name, old URLs that I wanted to remove are 410'ed. While server errors are clearing up, I am seeing a significant increase in Not Found errors, and wondering if it is because of this, that the old domain name was not receiving traffic?

For those interested in knowing how long Google takes to clear up server errors, in October one site experienced 28,000 server errors. It took until January 1 for that number to reach zero.

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2 Answers 2

Sometimes nobody knows...

It's sometimes impossible to know what is right when things were so wrong, from what I can tell you had errors and you moved the site from one domain to another and well the errors are no longer being reported on the new domain from Google Webmaster Tools. The chances are you have fixed something that your not aware of since a 301 redirect doesn't simply resolve issues. However, it may take Google longer to discover the issues on the new domain, since Google has many different types of Crawls, ones from sitemap, and external maps then a deep crawl that it trys to crawl every single thing even in areas you don't want it too.

Google treats sites differently site to site

It sounds like the new site is being treated better by Google, the speed of issues to be resolved by Google vary from site to site. In your case for example it took almost 3 months to correct, this figure would be different on a site that receives more traffic on a daily basis as Google crawls differently depending on how often you update your page, how good quality it considers it and most important where you are in the rankings and how much traffic they are sending you.

Be Careful Penguin and Panda's are Watching

You need to be careful with 301's from old to new, while it used to be AMAZING you can also end up with little or no traffic at all since many webmasters have and are abusing the 301 daily to get themselves out of sites that have had the PENGUIN, and PANDA SEO slaps.

404's are perfectly normal if you've removed pages or someone is backlinking pages that don't exist

It's worth noting that 404's are completely normal and they are to be expected, for example if someone links to your site with a url that doesn't exist your going to expect to find a 404 within your control panel. The important thing here is that your site is reporting 404 as if it wasn't Google would slap you. If your experiencing 404's then check your backlinks, and internal links. If your finding 404's indexed by Google then you should use the Noindex, follow meta tag.

Plugins, Addons and Modules can help prevent 404's

Also to avoid a lot of 404's you can block certain addons/plugins/mods that Google doesn't need access too, for example blocking a search module is ideal since well Google doesn't need access to the search pages and you don't want those popping up within your index. Try to block as much as you can while enabling Google basic access to your site.

Going back to what I said about time to correct problems, and how long it takes to index your site.. Again this varys and you can force Googles hand by getting quality backlinks to pages.

For example the other day I launched a new site and rather than submitting the sitemap to Google I got my friend to blog about my site on his site (He runs a very popular site) my entier site was indexed an hour later. Google treats sites completely differently and if you want problems resolve faster, then yes your right it depends on the traffic.

Resolving your problems is best

Rather than 301ing to New domains you should try to resolve the problems with using better robots, and htaccess as these are the 2 files that prevent most duplicate and pages not found problems.

Trend carefully with the 301 as you may not get the same outcome as witnessed with this new site, I've had mixed results personally and its very unpredictable how Google will favor it.

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Please never do this. Try to sort out all type of errors in the existing domain itself.

Errors may be W3C validation errors, duplication issues, one on the server side i.e., may be HTTP redirection/ 404 errors or any other kind of error. Doing 301 to another domain (permanent redirection) is good in cases when:

  • You really are planning to move your domain to a whole new domain as you have got a new domain with keyword rich domain name which makes sense for you to rank well for competitive keywords and get quality traffic,
  • If you are moving your business or targeting particular country audience and you have a new cc TLD domain, here its better to move your existing .com or .net or any other gTLD domain to the local cc TLD domain to leap the ranking benefits.
  • If your domain is completely penalized by Panda or penguin or even manually(rare case) by the search engines for the spammy content it has, for doing manipulative stuff or for not following the webmaster guidelines etc., than its better to forget about that domain and use a new one. (TIP: Now with the advent of Google disavow tool, you can clean up the backlink profile of your site quite easily and start all over again with the same domain).

If you are facing difficulties from your webserver or your domain host, kindly try to change it. Please don't redirect the domain to a new one, this is not the only solution. All the link equity or link juice will not be passed from the old domain to the new domain if the whole domain is permanently redirected to a new domain.

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