Is Google Indexing the Pages of Redirected Domains?
A few days ago while watching and listening to DomainSherpa’s interview of Rand Fishkin about understanding Domains through the filter of SEO and Marketing, I made an interesting discovery about one of my domains.
I was checking traffic sources for KickstartCommerce.com via Google Analytics (GA), and noticed an expired domain I purchased a few months ago was registering a large sum of redirect traffic to KickstartCommerce.com.
And if you didn’t know, I’ve purchased and redirected a number of expired domains to KickstartCommerce.com over the last 5-6 years and counting.
Most of these domains are related to search marketing, having been developed and used by a now defunct company or brand.Is Google Indexing the Pages of Redirected Domains? Click To Tweet
Nevertheless, this specific domain, AdvancedWebTactics.com, had become my fourth source of traffic in the last 60-90 days behind organic search traffic from Google, direct, and Twitter respectively.
Intrigued by the amount of traffic received per GA, I quickly cross referenced the finds with data from the Most Popular WordPress Pages and Posts to confirm the reporting accuracy of GA.
Still baffled by the origin of traffic for AdvancedWebTactics.com, I thought maybe someone had written about or inadvertently advertised or the linked the domain.
So, I did the next best thing, which was searching Google using the domain in quotes: “advancedwebtactics.com”. Everything appeared normal until I got to the end of the search results page.
There I discovered a search result for the page that AdvancedWebTactics.com forwards too.
How could this be possible? I’ve never known Google to index pages of redirected domains by the domain itself.
Surprised, I attempted searching without the quotes, but didn’t find the same page or any other page for KickstartCommerce.com.
I checked a handful of other domains I own and redirect, and discovered inconsistent search results.
Sometimes the respective domain would display it’s respective redirect page in search results when using and NOT using quotes. Other times, the redirect page was nowhere to be found in search results using or not using quotes.
I personally don’t know what to make of this discovery. Could Google perhaps be beta testing an algorithm update, or is this discovery simply a fluke?
My guess is likely the latter.