Call it PageRank attrition or PageRank decay, but the story seems to be that 301 redirects cause it.
OK, I guess this doesn’t surprise me, but what’s the real story here? Is it that you shouldn’t do 301 redirects? No, sometimes that may in fact be the best thing to do. I think the real lesson is to plan your website and Internet marketing strategy so that you don’t have to resort to 301 redirects. Otherwise, there may be times when you do want to redirect a page to another page or an entire site even.
I won’t go into all the scenarios when such a redirect might be necessary. I will say that PageRank is not the holy grail of metrics. It’s somewhat important in earning trust, but if you find yourself having learned that previous ways of conducting business online are less effective than buying a new domain name and starting over, a 301 redirect might actually help you. Besides, your new domain is going to gain PageRank of its own so in time that attrition won’t really matter.