Can the transfer of a Manual Action Penalty be avoided in a domain migration?
 by Kristi Hagen

Can the transfer of a manual action penalty be avoided in a domain migration?

  • My client wants to migrate his site to a new domain – will change to – however, is currently under a manual action penalty.

    Obviously we are working on getting the penalty lifted but the client has given us a deadline in the very near future for when he wants the launched. I am concerned that we will still be under penalty at that time. So, I'm making a case to wait in order to avoid any bad link equity transferring from the old domain to the new.

    So, my question is: Should we wait? ... or is there some way of redirecting to the new site without transferring the penalty?


The manual action penalty should definitely be dealt with and lifted prior to the move to assure the success of this change. Penalties can certainly transfer through redirects of all sorts, and in some cases Google has been known to transfer a penalty to a new domain WITHOUT any redirect links, just the act of launching the same site on a new domain name can be detected.

This is a case where you might need to protect the site owner from himself and explain the virtues of patience and following your expertise! ...while working to get the penalty lifted prior to the launch.SEN article end