What is Better Than Removing 1.7 Million Backlinks!

By 14-02-2014   BloggingSEOSite News

You probably remember we removed 1.7 million backlinks by deleting our WordPress theme pages to fight off Google Panda/Penguin penalties and unnatural link warnings, The traffic sustained despite removing 1.7 million backlinks to the pages over the last few months.  The idea was that deleting urls with bad links would make 404 pages which will make the backlinks useless. Yet the  92% traffic drop still persisted.

Is Losing Backlinks A Good Idea

thinking new redirects
So I curbed my theme designing activities for the last year as it  no longer seemed possible to get credit for my theme designs with footer links. But then I observed that most popular theme design companies like Studiopress (Genesis Theme), DIYThemes (Thesis theme) and many other theme design services did maintain a dofollow footer credit link and performed well in search.

Moreover, how would Google analyze a site where 1.7 million entries to the site return 404 errrors? Also it seemed silly to loose all the link juice by 404 pages.

Deleted urls

After all we did  not force people to use our WordPress themes, it was listed in the official WordPress theme directory like millions of other themes and were free to use under GPL licence.  There had to be a better way…

Fixing Google Penalty

Here is some official Google advice which everyone must seriously consider, and it suggests a way to deal with such content issues. They say that low-quality content in any part of the site can impact ranking of the whole site –  so possibly you should remove these low quality pages, or improve content quality. The other way is to mov these low  quality pages to a new domain name and this might help improve search engine rankings of your good content.

New WordPress Theme Site

So I created a new site to host all out WordPress themes at the new domain name QuickOnlineThemes.com. I removed the 404 errors to the 3 theme pages and redirected all the links to the new theme pages using htaccess rules. This not only removed millions of 404 errors received by search engine crawlers, but also facilitated them to find the new site.

I added the site to Google webmaster tools and it started showing in search results (in a day!) and now shows that at over 700,000 backlinks have already migrated to the new site in 2 weeks.

new backlinks

I also updated the WordPress themes and had a chance to start redesigning again and do expect to create many more new themes as this site is targeted to WordPress themes and design. Maybe I will develop a themes FAQ and other cool tips around the new site.  Keep watching the site.

Better than removing 1.7 million backlinks – What do you think?


52 comments on “What is Better Than Removing 1.7 Million Backlinks!

  1. Harsh Agrawal says:

    That’s indeed a smart move by redirecting those links to actual theme site… How’s your new site performing in search engine? You should try gaining authority for quickonlinethemes by getting it listed on some popular WordPress resource sites like WPMu, Wpbeginners, Managewp …..and for download implement social download (Tweet to download or G+ to download).. This will ensure that your new site will not be penalise…as by the end you redirected all those links to new site…

    For QOT, it’s indeed a smart move and looking forward for your case study result on new-domain after redirection…

    • P. Chandra says:

      Thanks Harsh for your valuable advice as always. Will keep posted.

    • Sameer Bille says:

      It is one of the best move for safe a site/blog from Google penalty as maximum bloggers and webmasters are facing same problem. So this article will help 1000s of newbies to face such problems.

    • Josh says:

      That’s amazing! I know that changing some of your low quality pages can help with your rankings but I have not seen a full study of it. I guess it really works better than removing a lot of links from your site.

    • Nora says:

      Great tips Harsh :)

    • Sandy Sunny says:

      Yes, I agree with you completely Harsh. It’s really a smart move

  2. Varun says:

    That’s really a nice move. :)
    keep us updated about QOT traffic after this.

  3. Sunday says:

    Well, everything still boils downs to the fact that obeying Google’s guideline is helpful.

    Removing “unwanted” back links should be done under the premise and expectations of the search engine. In the long run, it could be helpful in regenerating search traffic.

    However, its helpful having to learn of the actions that were taken to improve traffic via the new WordPress theme site!

  4. Hendra says:

    Yes You’ve done do what you have to do..I think it’s the best choice..I hope your site will recover from google penalty..

    Good luck..


  5. Sandra Kurt says:

    Thanks for sharing us a very nice tips on making a smart move in SEO, every of your posts is a lesson for me.

  6. Kalpesh Panchal says:

    Google is simply trying to make it all human and natural. No one would want to see thousands of links with 0 or no relevancy in them. I feel such updates from google will help geniune site owners and affect the rest.
    Really nice article by Mr. chandra. Thanks for sharing.!

  7. junaid says:

    Hi well do we really lose backlinks ??? so strange we work hard building backlinks and i did not know that we lose it all too :( sad man well Yes to SEO :D <a

  8. Imtiaz Ali says:

    1.7 million is a lot of backlinks! Removing them is difficult :)

  9. Sohail Qaisar says:

    Too many links :)

  10. Gary Starkman says:

    How long did it take to fix up all your google penalties?

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