301 redirect instead of disavow as alternative?

Posted on 2013-11-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hi experts,

We made years ago a tool for your users to count pregnancy dates. They user to copy a small code and paste into their own sites to show their pregnancy due dates. This is since many years the case, how ever we did not take care for the links in this counters and they all point back to us with rel=nofollow. We did implement this later but there are thousands of these old links in mostly abandoned blogs and forums.

To get rid of these inbound links from this pages we tried to contact many many users but did not get response form more than 5-10.

We could not disavow with the google webmaster tools the entire domains but the problem is that not all links are bad in these domains. For exmaple from we get like 500 links to differant urls (articles) which are good links but we get on the other hand thousends bad links for the counter.

questions and ideas
1. Could we even use the disavow tool to disavow approx. 90.000 links (single links)
2. What if we block via robots.txt the url which this inbound links jump to and their for tell google that these links are not to be used. If google indexer can't reach and index the jumped url should be also nout counted as bad inbound link since now SEO value is behind as well.
3. What if we just outsource the entire counter system to another domain (or subdomain) and redirect all inbound links to this counter via 301 (permanent to the new domain) in normal conditions this should count all for the new url and not for the old and their for not be negative for the old domain. We could even use a 302 which dont forward any SEO value as well.

I appreciate your comments and input,

Question by:Oliver2000
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LVL 53

Accepted Solution

COBOLdinosaur earned 500 total points
ID: 39654642
The disavow does not look viable.  Blocking in robots.txt will not solve the problem.  That is used to restrict the crawl, but does not do anything at the link source to eliminate unwanted links.

So that leaves 301/302 as the only practical option.  I would prefer 302.  The problem is that it will re-direct any new links as well.  If you want the new links coming to the main site, then change the name of the page and use that for new references.


Author Comment

ID: 39654686
Hi COBOLdinosaur,

Thanks for your tip and you have a very good point about the wanted links. I can change the code so new users get to a new folder and the old ones I redirect until they run out. since they are all only valid for a period of time I clean like this slowly all old links out.

Thank you for your thoughts, helped a lot.

Just to confirm again because I am not some SEO pro. If I redirect 302 the old links to new domain google should count all inbound links for this new domain and not for the old url anymore. so this would take all negative load based on these links of my main domain, In the meanwhile I clean up the mess anyway,

LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 39654700
No SEO ranking juice gets transferred with a 302 re-direct.  That is because it is "temporary", and at some point you could change your mind and go back to the original location, so Google keeps the page rank applied to the original location.   In a modern context the semantic meaning of 302 is found and the newer 307 is "moved temporarily", However the use of 307 is really for short term maintenance outages, and the "302 found" is more the information you want to send to Google so it leave the page ranking assigned where it already is.


Author Comment

ID: 39654740
a little bit confusing still. In this case I want that google DONT count the inbound links at all anymore for the current URL but instead for the new permanent moved URL. To get rid of the thousands low quality inbound links on my main domain. So in this case I want google to assign any incoming good or bad seo juice to the new url.

On the other hand I change our tool to a complete new url on the main domain and from now forward I have there only clean links (nofollow) to the new url.

In theory I can in the future just switch off the URL which I run only for get the cheap inbound links away from me without abusing the disavow tool or being able to take out these links one by one.

thanks again
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39654780
> get rid of the thousands low quality inbound links on my main domain
That would be using the webmaster tools disavow tool.
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Author Comment

ID: 39654783
@padas: I suggest you read my post complete and you understand that this is not an option. We are talking thousands of single and always different links. Disavow would not be the suggested option from google in this cases because for these kind of massive links you can only block entire domains which again would not help me. this is the sense of these topic here in first place to develop some alternative.
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39654848
I have never done it to the extent you have, but you can upload a file of all  your disavowed links  If you can't easily create a list, then you are correct.

Author Comment

ID: 39654936
I use the disavow already for entire bad domain inbound links but I doubt it will work well with 90.000 single links. How ever I did not try either. I doubt that google is a fan of such a big file. I guess i use the disavow tool only for domains but search for a better solution for the single inbound links to the same url. the 301/302 is a good option to do this I guess.

Author Comment

ID: 39655112
I wonder now what would be the correct redirect.
I tried: RewriteRule ^olddirectory/* [R=301,L]

But it seems not doing anything. I can still open the old URL without any visible change. How can I test if this actually redirects correct?

what I need is like this

forwards to


Author Comment

ID: 39655171
Okay, I use now RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

works fine. all old links get 301 permanent moved to new domain. all inbound links to this domain should now counter for the new domain and release the old domain.

the original tool I copied into new directory and the new code for the users contain always nofollow now. Now I just need to wait if google picks it up!...

thanks everybody for the support

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39655174
Great help, confirmed my main idea and added additional value. I appreciate the help.

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