How Long Does It Take for a 301 Redirect to Take Effect?

Published Categorized as Aged Domains

Last month, I purchased a Moz DA 30 / Ahrefs DR 13 aged domain for $1,960 from Odys to 301-redirect to one of my websites.

My website has tutorials for web developers (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.).

The aged domain, before it expired, belonged to a once-widely-popular CSS testing tool that had gradually fallen out of use—and into dismaintenance—over the years.

The CSS testing tool used to have a blog, and its domain has a good number of links pointing both to the home page and a few blog posts. The home page and these blog posts were still indexed by Google, something I always look for when purchasing an aged domain.

My strategy for making the most of the acquisition was as follows:

I recreated the blog posts with new and unique content, then 301-redirected the old URLs from the tool’s blog to the new URLs on my website.

Then, I used a wildcard redirect in the .htaccess file to redirect the home page and all other pages to an acquisition page.

My web development tutorials website is built on a 2-year-old domain name that I purchased brand new and, partly due to laziness, partly to the fact that I never allocated much budget to it, I never really did link building for.

So I bought and redirected the aged domain mainly to boost the site’s authority/reputation (as far as its link profile is concerned).

The CSS testing tool’s blog has a number of exceptional links pointing to it, including a couple of U.S. colleges. The cost of acquiring all of those links anew—especially the two .edu links—would have been much higher than the $1,960 I paid for the aged domain.

As those of you who work with me know, I try to spend 90% of my productive hours publishing and 10% coaching.

And in my coaching practice, one of the most common questions I get from clients interested in buying and redirecting an aged domain to their sites is, “How long does it take for the 301 redirect to take effect?”

It’s a good question.

And, as with all good questions, there is no clear-cut answer.

SEO, at the end of the day, is a complex problem. The answer depends on your website, the aged domain, the way you handled the 301 redirects, and a number of other factors outside of your control and/or knowledge.

Still, a vague answer is no answer at all.

And, apart from Mushfiq’s Aged Domain Course and the Aged Domains Tuesday series on Niche Website Builders’ YouTube channel, not much has been said and written on this topic.

So I hope that some of you will find what I’m about to share useful.

How long does it take for a website to get a DR boost from a 301-redirected aged domain in Ahrefs?

I bought the domain name on April 9, 2021.

A domain transfer from one registrar to another takes 6-7 days, so I used the time to recreate the posts from the CSS testing tool’s blog and prepare the .htaccess for redirecting the aged domain.

On April 13, 2021, my domain name registrar Namecheap sent me a notification that the domain name transfer to my company’s account had been completed.

I was effectively the owner of the domain now, so I pointed the DNS servers to my hosting plan, set up an addon domain in cPanel, and uploaded the .htaccess file to its folder using my FTP client.

That day, I received the notification for the completed transfer at 11:11 AM. By 1:27 PM, my work on the redirect was done.

The acquisition post and the recreated blog posts were published on my website; the aged domain was redirecting properly to them.

So how long did it take for my website’s DR in Ahrefs to get a boost?

The Ahrefs rank remained relatively flat for about three weeks until it started climbing on May 4, 2022.

By May 7, 2022, it had peaked at DR 11.

My website’s Ahrefs DR

In my case, it took 24 days, or from April 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, for the website to get a DR boost from DR 1.5 to DR 11 in Ahrefs.

How long does it take for a website to get an organic traffic boost from a 301 redirect?

This website started getting more clicks from Google SERPs than previously as early as April 20, 2022, or 7 days after the 301 redirect.

The real peak, however, and as you can see from the screenshot above, came on May 11, 2022. Organic traffic from Google has been steady since.

(Note: Web development tutorials are something that web developers look for during the workweek. So the organic traffic to this site peaks Monday through Friday and reaches its lowest points on weekends).

All in all, I’m happy with the aged domain I purchased and the DR boost it gave my website. This is part of a broader growth-through-acquisition strategy that aims to make my website more competitive by strengthening its backlink profile.

Remember that, by itself, a Moz DA or Ahrefs DR boost is a vanity metric. For it to make sense, it should be part of a strategy that aims to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.