Two years ago this week John Chow stopped ranking on Google for his own name and according to Shoemoney he’s now gone “legit” by creating a cloaked redirect diverting Googlebot from johnchow.com to johnchow.ca.
Apparently the site will be “100% Google compliant” so it will be interesting to see if Google agrees with this. I seem to remember it wasn’t just the paid posts and link selling that Google objected to.
The problem with John’s strategy is that wherever a 301 redirect goes a penalty normally follows – you can’t just move to a new domain and expect Google to ignore the fact the previous domain had a penalty. There are a few tricks you can do to get penalties removed with 301’s but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
Looking at the rankings for keywords such as “john chow” it looks like the penalty has already moved across because the new site has dropped to the same position as the old one.
Keep an eye on this one.