301 Redirects Cause PageRank Dilution, Valid or Not?

301 pagerank dilution

PageRank is the determining factor of the importance of a web page. It’s an essential factor for determining which pages should appear in search engine results page (organic rankings). It is named after Larry Page who have identified that the most important pages in the World Wide Web are those having most links leading to its website. It makes sense because people tend to link relevant contents with each other. Pages with more links to them tend to be better resource than webpage having none. However, PageRank doesn’t stop in getting links; it also looked into the website that contains the link. Pages with high PageRanks have higher weight in “voting” than those having lower PR. However, pages with more links have less weight.

PageRanks is scaled from 1 to 10. The higher the PageRank is, the higher the importance and authority associated with it. How the PageRank increased or diluted? Links can significantly increase or dilute page ranks. One or more links leading to your site when removed or deleted or moved to a new unranked page can give an impact to your page rank. However, Matt Cutts was strangled by a question of what percentage of PageRank is lost through a 301 redirect? And his answer on this video:

If you notice he emphasized that,

pagerank and 301

As you can see his answers is considerably ambiguous but he pointed out two things:

301 redirects and normal links have the same weight pass for Page Rank.

It doesn’t mean you need to use a 301 redirect or use a normal link because when the link is worth diluting the Page Rank, it certainly will be affected.

What exactly he means by that?

When two things are the same or not to pass for PageRanks, you can use either the 301 redirect or normal link so long as it will fit the purpose. Besides, it will not conserve nor hurt if you use the 301 redirect. He even recommended using of 301 redirects compared to rel=canonical. It is not also specifically will add or less 15% because links can vary by type and uses. As of the moment that’s what Google stands for, it may change in the future, but there is actually no reason to change it.

In my personal view, I can say that using 301 redirect as a cause of page rank dilution is invalid. Matt Cutts may have given a confusing answer but he clearly stated that 301 redirect give the same benefit/impact to Page Rank as to that of a normal link. However, that link, whether used with 301 redirect of normal link, can be harmful if it will be unnatural in nature. When you have experienced loss in page rank, there might be other reasons behind that. Remember that there are other things that can cause dilution of Page Ranks, something you should work on at. What you need to do is to check every link leading to your sites may it be 301 redirect or normal link and see what links are considered unnatural, unfit, or has been removed or deleted. In that way you can track the root cause of losing Page Ranks. Also, there is another suggestion of how you can test the effect of 301 redirects to your webpage. You can try it out: from webmasterworld discussions.

After doing the activity and you found out that 301 redirects affected your website performance. Get back to me and we will ask Matt Cutts about that.

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Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”