At the time of writing, the 301 redirect technique is pure gold and can be exploited to no end. This I can promise you.

Since 2009 I have been involved in a fairly small niche centered around a brand of homeopathic skin care products. It was at this time, I launched a typical affiliate blog around the brand and created twelve, six hundred word articles of decent enough quality. I designed the site myself and created some eye catching affiliate buttons at the bottom of each article with a call to action.

A few years back the site dropped like a stone, before the drop I was earning a few hundred dollars a month and no amount of linkbuilding I did after it dropped would bring the site back from the brink.

Online whispers revealed the most powerful ranking technique

I spend a lot of time in various Blackhat forums and if you’ve ever been to a Blackhat forum you’ll sometimes see users posting interesting details which they quickly retract or purposely refuse to expand on, often going silent. I listened to these whispers carefully and begun to see a running theme among them. It was then that I decided to take a leap of faith and try what I now believe is the most powerful method to rank a site.

Planning the strategy

After deciding to take a leap of faith, I spent the next few days gathering resources to execute my plan and knowing how difficult the niche had been in the past, I was eager to see what would happen. After gathering everything I needed and marking it down I realized I would need;

    • $200-$400 investment in spam linkbuilding
  • $200-$400 in domains from GoDaddy auctions
  • Less than a day investment of time
  • Patience enough to follow through on the plan

How the site performed after using the 301 redirect method

Following the bits and pieces of information I’d found online, I executed my strategy and invested in linkbuilding services to create many thousands of backlinks. The site was created around March 31st and I immediately begun linkbuilding to the 301 redirects. I used the RankRanger service to track rankings on a daily basis and within seven days the site already began climbing Google, from position three hundred to position one hundred. Within two weeks the site had reached the top thirty for the single main brand keyword. Then after three weeks it finally hit the top 10 for the main keyword. I thought that top 10 would be the final resting place for the site, however I was in for a surprise as the site continued to rise until it finally rested alternating between position two and three.

Screenshots from RankRanger

The 301 redirect technique is what the big affiliate marketing players are using to bank

This isn’t a fluke, before I begun planning to use this strategy I had been researching what the big players among us are doing to make money post Panda and Penguin. I documented many cases of sites dominating the top five results in Google for big keywords such as “cheap life insurance” and “diet pills”. Using, majestic SEO and RankRanger I could document when the site was created, exactly what they did and any content changes made to the site. It was incredible to see these strategies being deployed and how incredibly fast the target site would rank for hugely competitive keywords.

The 301 strategy is extremely effective, but it is a short term strategy

Eventually the Google algorithm will catch up with your site and it will begin dropping, so this is definitely a boom and bust deal. Get in and bank as soon as you can, make sure your website is fully conversion optimized and ready to convert users.

How the 301 redirect method works – Six steps to success

Quick Note: The links below are affiliate links, I would appreciate the support as I use the money to improve the content and power case studies. Thank you for your support.

These are the exact steps I took;

Step One

The first thing you need to do is buy a fresh domain which contains the keywords you are targeting. As long as it contains the main keywords you want to rank for it will be fine, then buy privacy because other sites will be watching you(I found people coming to my site from in my analytics, which means they are watching you). GoDaddy often have discounts on new domains and it is quite simple to setup a domain using them. New Customers get 35% off at! Expires 6/25/13.

Step Two

After buying a fresh domain, I then added the new domain to my hosting’s Cpanel account and used the Cpanel WordPress clone tool to completely clone my old site to my new domain. Word for word, everything is the same, an exact copy of the site. If you need hosting then my preferred hosting is EvoHosting, they’ve never let me down and always respond to support tickets straight away. They’re UK based but have excellent servers with SSDs, good security and are low price. I also use Cloudflare(It is free) on all of my hosting for added security and anonymity.

Cloning the old site to the new domain is not essential, I did this mainly for ease. But what I have noticed is that the big players who use this technique several times will tend to clone the old site to the fresh domain. After you’ve ranked your first site and it eventually drops, you can begin cloning easily.

I designed and built my own website template for this particular site, but I recently began using Elegant Themes because their templates look very professional and are easy to setup which is important as we want to make sure we squeeze every sale out of the site while it is ranking. I use their themes on many of my sites right now and they are certainly worth the money. For content I use but I always rewrite the content again myself to ensure it is good enough to convert. Good content is extremely important because even if you get the traffic, you still need to convert it into sales and good convincing content is the difference between a trickle and a flood of sales.

If you can’t find what you need from Elegant Themes then it is worth trying theThemeForest WordPress Blog section which is where I bought the template for, the Madidus Theme.

Step Three

After setting up the site clone I then filtered through a list of all my current websites and created two lists. The first list contained five domains including the old domain which I could directly 301 redirect to the new domain. Some of these were domains I bought from GoDaddy auctions in the past but never used(they didn’t even have any hosting) and some were sites which had been penalized and I didn’t have a use for any more. The second list was six domains that I still have websites on that I wanted to keep, but could still use.

I bought some of these domains from GoDaddy auctions but never used them until now. If you don’t have domains at your disposal or you believe you will need more power behind the redirects to channel into a new site then you should look for domains in GoDaddy auctions which have a decent backlink profile. It is easy to find a low price ($30) site which was once PR3 and has some good links pointing to it. I’d recommend buying a minimum of five domains to start your portfolio of sites you can use redirect to and power a fresh domain. You can keep adding to this portfolio over time and it will only get stronger. Click here for domain Auctions at

Step Four

For the first list I used Cpanel to 301 redirect the domains straight to the new website. No nonsense, just a straight 301 redirect in Cpanel. Cpanel makes a simple 301 redirect change in the .htaccess file. But if you don’t use Cpanel then you can use this piece of code in your .htaccess file. It doesn’t matter if you currently have a website on that domain, all you need to do is to access your website files, backup your old .htaccess file and then replace everything inside the .htaccess with this code below(changing the “” to your fresh domain. Once you make this change the whole site should redirect to the new domain, including all of the URLs too. If it doesn’t look like it worked try clearing your browsers cache.

# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L] 
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^thisdomaintoredirect\.org$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.thisdomaintoredirect\.org$
RewriteRule ^/?$ "http\:\/\/www\.targetdomainforredirect\.com" [R=301,L]

Warning: Please make a backup of your .htaccess file before making any changes.

Step Five

With the second list, I began creating subdomains from the main site. So imagine one of these domains was “”(it isn’t), I created As long as the subdomain contains the keyword we are targeting in the URL with the new site it will work great. Google says that a subdomain is treated as a separate site, so in theory a subdomain should not affect the main site but I’m sure there are exceptions. I then forwarded these subdomains directly to the new site.

Step Six

Now that the main site is setup and we have eleven redirects pointing to the new site we can begin the fun part. From what I’d observed, a crucial part of the strategy is to spam the redirects with as many links as possible, disregarding the quality of the link. From my analysis of sites using this technique, quantity, not quality of links seems to be the strategy. With this in mind I used several linkbuilding services spread between all eleven redirects.

Linkbuilding services mainly consisted of;

  • Ultimate Demon blasts with my personal lists, about 3,000-5,000 web 2.0, bookmarks, directory submissions, wikis, article directories and forums.
  • Scrapebox Blasts to my own scraped list (I don’t remember how many comments I made for this sorry).
  • SEOlutions – Simple Solutions 3000 web 2.0 package – $190
  • Backlink Massacre Monster package – 150,000 blog comments – $85
  • – Crork Service – 40,000 blog comments + 2,500 do follow + delivered in 3 days – $25
  • – 4th package – $40

A linkbuilding service i’ve used in the past but didn’t use in this experiment is Backlink Banzai. It would be perfect as an ongoing service to keep links regularly flowing into the redirects and it is relatively cheap. Backlink Banzai is best used for anchor text diversification as it spams many links from all over the web using huge anchor text lists but it is also perfect for the 301 redirect method. If you want to “set it and forget it” then this service is a good solution.

I continued to do this for a few weeks but then toned it down a lot. In hindsight, I wonder what would have happened if I had continued linkbuilding. With each linkbuilding package I ordered the plan was to get as many links as possible in a short amount of time. So extras such as drip feeding and tiered linkbuilding are not really needed. You don’t need to use the services listed and I believe I missed a couple out as I didn’t keep a list of them all, you simply need to get as many links as possible blasted to the redirects while maintaining anchor text relevancy.

For the anchor text creation, I used Ultimate Niche Finder to drill down and expand on all of the keywords in the niche which contained the brand name. I then simply exported the list and used this as the anchor text when submitting to linkbuilding services. Get 50% off Ultimate Niche Finder here.


I’ve certainly made a profit in this experiment and I believe I’ve cracked it first time. I’ve been tracking sites using this technique to rank for extremely competitive niches and make bank. Some people are also scamming by selling these sites on Flippa for tens of thousands. While my Blackhat is firmly on my head I don’t believe in scamming anyone in any shape or form so please don’t engage in selling the site afterwards.

Screenshots from RankRanger

Step Seven?

While my experiment was a success, the wider scope of how this technique can be used is quite astonishing. After the site dies and is penalized by Google, the next step is to buy another fresh domain and add the old domain to the portfolio, ready to be switched onto a new website at any time. This means you now have instant ranking power ready to be directed at any time.

There are some very smart marketers out there who are using this technique but there is a key detail which makes the whole technique even more genius. By creating subdomains on the main domains in the second list we created, we can endlessly linkbuild to these subdomains and from one main domain you can target several niches, this saves you a lot of money in domain names as you simply need to create a new subdomain everytime you want to target a new niche. To help you understand what I’m saying, imagine an Octopus, your site being the body of the Octopus and each leg being a subdomain targeting a separate niche. Instead of buying eight domains from GoDaddy auctions, you can simply buy one domain and use subdomains to target eight different niches.

Why does the 301 redirect method work?

This is not a new technique, but never before has this technique been so powerful and it seems to be a well kept secret. There are several reasons why this technique is so powerful but I think it all boils down to a few key points.

Firstly, it is my belief and other SEO specialists belief that Google is now marking many links around the web as “bad” which causes them to pump “negative PageRank”, this has been hinted at by Google on a few occasions now and it makes sense. This would mean that the internet as a whole is devalued in comparison to a fresh website. It is likely that a 301 redirect does not pass negative PageRank for some time after it pumps positive PageRank and other key signals. A fresh domain with so many 301 redirects instantly powering it causes an unbalance as Google tries to catch up. Google is not great at applying penalties, it takes time catch up and penalize a site and in the meantime, we can bank.

Secondly, a website doesn’t need as many links to rank anymore. Before Panda and Penguin, many keywords were simply deemed too competitive to rank as the SERPs were a linear competition of “who has the most links”. This has changed in recent times and every keyword is now up for grabs, nothing seems too competitive anymore, you simply have to get a site trusted by Google rather than make it the strongest site.