Is Redirection Affecting Andrew Sullivan's Google Juice?
About a week ago I noticed the number of hits on this site dropping off. They were never particularly big but they'd been steadily rising since 2008, and last year they took a great leap (for me) forward.
Now they were dropping again. By as much as a third. I was perplexed. I assumed that maybe the links to my site from more prominent sites had a kind of statute of limitations, and after time they had less value in Google's algorithms, and thus my own PageRank. As a result, all of those keyword searches would go elsewhere and the number of one-time visitors would drop. But by a third? That seemed extreme.
A few days ago, I hit upon a possible answer.
Last summer this site was linked to by Andrew Sullivan's blog, The Daily Dish, twice. Earlier this year, Sullivan, a longtime blogger previously associated with the Atlantic site, and now part of Tina Brown's The Daily Beast, struck out on his own with an ad-free, subscriber model. He was asking $19.99 from readers annually. I signed up quickly. I left a tip.
I think he finally ported over to the new site in late January or early February. All of his content went with him, of course, so any link to his blog when it was with the Daily Beast (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/) would simply redirect to the new site (dish.andrewsullivan.com).
But do such redirects affect PageRank? Apparently they do. And as Sullivan's PageRank went down, so the value of his links to my site went down. And so the numbers for my site went down.
Or maybe they don't affect PageRank. Opinions on this differ. So maybe the answer to my slump is elsewhere.
Thoughts from SEO folks welcome.