How do I remove unwanted backlinks from one of my own domains?

Jonathan Clensy
Jonathan Clensy used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

I am trying to improve the SEO for the website www.money4yourmotors.com. As well as the .com domain we also own www.money4yourmotors.co.uk. The .co.uk site is bound to the same folders as the .com site in IIS and I have set up a URL Re-write rule in IIS to redirect all visitors to the .co.uk site to the .com site.

My issue is that when re-viewing what backlinks the .com site has (using SEO Profiler) every page from the .co.uk site is being listed as a backlink and as they all have a Link Influence Score of 0% I think it may be affecting the overall quality of the links.

Does anybody know why the .co.uk pages would be listed as backlinks and would you know what I would need to do to remove them?

Kind regards,

Jon
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Lucas BishopMarketing Technologist

Commented:
Your "SEO Profiler" tool simply doesn't realize that the two domains are related. They really are two completely different domains... only you know their relation.

Can you filter out the money4yourmotors.co.uk results from the analysis? Or exclude it from being analyzed in the first place?
Jonathan ClensyWeb Developer

Author

Commented:
Hi Lucas,

Thank you for your response. My main worry was that the Google ranking for the .com site was being negatively affected by all these backlinks from the .co.uk site.

From what you have said am I right in thinking that this wouldn't be the case as Google won't really see these as backlinks (if I google link:money4yourmotors.com nothing from the .co.uk site is being listed) and that in fact it is just an issue with how SEO Profiler is interpreting the information (I am able to filter out the .co.uk results in the report)?

Thank you

Jon
Dan McFaddenSystems Engineer
Commented:
How did you set up the redirect?  Are you using the URL Rewrite feature?

Here what I see, you are redirecting requests to www.money4yourmotors.co.uk but it appears that only the root hit is redirected.  I navigated into the site and replaced .com with .co.uk and the site returned the following:

1.  an SSL Cert error (domain mismatch - the .com cert does not support multiple domain names)
2.  an HTTP 404 error (content not found)

So you are not catching a deep link to the .co.uk domain.  This coupled with an SSL Cert error due to domain name mismatch may be negatively affecting your SEO.

Dan
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Jonathan ClensyWeb Developer

Author

Commented:
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the response.

I've just tried a few re-directs based on what you are saying and what I found was:

If I navigate direct to say: www.money4yourmotors.co.uk/sell-my-car/about-us it correctly re-directs to the https .com version of the site.

However if I navigate to https://www.money4yourmotors.co.uk/sell-my-car/about-us where the https is specified then I can see the Cert error and 404 that you are reporting.

I am using the URL Rewrite tool in IIS, the rules I am using are:

<rule name="redirect .co.uk to .com" stopProcessing="true">
                  <match url="(.*)" />
                  <conditions>
                    <add input="{HTTP_HOST}" pattern="^www\.money4yourmotors\.co\.uk$" />
                  </conditions>
                  <action type="Redirect" url="https://www.money4yourmotors.com/{R:1}" redirectType="Permanent" />
                </rule>
              
                <rule name="Redirect to https" enabled="true" patternSyntax="Wildcard" stopProcessing="true">
                  <match url="*" negate="false" />
                  <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAny">
                    <add input="{HTTPS}" pattern="off" />
                  </conditions>
                  <action type="Redirect" url="https://{HTTP_HOST}{REQUEST_URI}" redirectType="Permanent" />
                </rule>

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I guess the issue must be in these 2 rules somewhere - can you spot anything that looks wrong?

Thanks,

Jon
Systems Engineer
Commented:
I like to use negative logic in redirecting domain(s) to a preferred domain (.com). For example:

<rule name="Redirect HTTP_HOST to .com" stopProcessing="true">
    <match url="(.*)" />
    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAny">
        <add input="{HTTP_HOST}" negate="true" pattern="(money4yourmotors\.com)(.*)" />
        <add input="{HTTP_HOST}" negate="true" pattern="(www\.money4yourmotors\.com)(.*)" />
    </conditions>
    <action type="Redirect" url="https://www.money4yourmotors.com/{C:2}" redirectType="Permanent" />
</rule>

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What the above rule does is to check the inbound request for the conditions:

1. does the HTTP_HOST not match money4yourmotors.com?
1a.  if the pattern is anything other than "money4yourmotors.com", it matches
1b.  it returns 3 capture groups, C:0, C:1 & C:2.  C:2 contains the URI Stem.

- OR -

2. does the HTTP_HOST not match www.money4yourmotors.com?
2a.  if the pattern is anything other than "www.money4yourmotors.com", it matches
2b.  it returns 3 capture groups, C:0, C:1 & C:2.  C:2 contains the URI Stem.

3. the action permanently redirects to the URL "https://www.money4yourmotors.com/{C:2}"

Then you still need the HTTP to HTTPS redirect, in the case where someone types either "money4yourmotors.com" or "www.money4yourmotors.com"

I prefer regex pattern matching, so my HTTP to HTTPS redirect looks like this:

<rule name="Redirect to HTTPS" stopProcessing="true">
    <match url="(.*)" />
    <conditions>
        <add input="{HTTPS}" pattern="^OFF$" />
    </conditions>
    <action type="Redirect" url="https://{HTTP_HOST}/{R:1}" redirectType="Permanent" />
</rule>

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Reference links:
1. https://www.iis.net/learn/extensions/url-rewrite-module/url-rewrite-module-20-configuration-reference
2. http://ruslany.net/2009/04/10-url-rewriting-tips-and-tricks/#redirect-https
3. https://forums.iis.net/t/1187281.aspx

Dan
Jonathan ClensyWeb Developer

Author

Commented:
Hi Dan,

Thanks for sending this through - I've applied the 2 rules the way you suggest and all seems good.

The only problem I'm having now is if someone tries to navigate to https://www.money4yourmotors.co.uk - this brings up a 'not secure' 404. Is there a way I can amend the rules so that this would also re-direct to https://www.money4yourmotors.com?

Thanks,

Jon
Kuldeep BishtDigital Marketing Consultant India | SEO Expert

Commented:
You can apply the above listed solution and here is the best an easy one.

If You want Google not to consider links pointing to .co.uk domain and you still want to redirect the domain to .com.

Then use a 302 redirect from .co.uk to .com. Thus it won't impact on your link profile and won't give you any link juice anymore.

Or if you have some good links for the old domain then mail them to change it to the new domain. Or you can hire someone who can work on your backlink profile.

Thanks
K
Dan McFaddenSystems Engineer
Commented:
@Kuldeep:  Sorry, but throwing a 302 is not the proper action.

You should cause an HTTP Error Code 301 which is defined as "Moved Permanently" and is what would be recommended for managing an SEO strategy.  Google will see this and (in due time) adjust the weight/rank the old domain gives to the new one.

@Jonathan:  This is a problem with your SSL Certificate that I mentioned earlier.  The Hostname on the SSL Cert is only valid for your .com domain.  Therefore going to the .co.uk domain over https will always throw an error.  If you are supporting multiple domains of the same name but varying extensions, it would be best to get an SSL Cert that can support "Subject Alternative Names (SNA)."

Reference link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject_Alternative_Name

Then you can include more than 1 domain name in the cert.

Check out StartSSL ( https://www.startssl.com/ ), they offer certs that support multiple domain names (UCC) as they call it, otherwise known as SNA.  StartSSL offers free 1 year SSL Certs... called "StartSSL™ Free"

An additional rewrite rule could be setup to catch a secure connection to the .co.uk domain but then it will cause the request to loop thru the rules twice or possibly 3 times.  Its not something I would recommend.

Dan
Kuldeep BishtDigital Marketing Consultant India | SEO Expert

Commented:
@Dan Yes, you're right 301 is for the SEO purpose. I had suggest to use 302 which is temporary redirect and don't pass any value to the new domain.

So, if they use 302 their bad links to previous domain won't impact the authority of new domain. This is what I want to tell.

But there are other option if they want to add Old domain value to the new domain.

Thank You
Jonathan ClensyWeb Developer

Author

Commented:
Thanks Dan for such a detailed/complete answer.

Jon

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