The Revitalization of Used Cars On-Line, Part 2 of X
OK, I have something embarassing to admit. I have been making a huge PageRank mistake over the past 5 years or so, all because of a superstition.
When I first moved Used Cars On-Line to a dynamic/database driven site, I put everything but the root index under the 2see.com domain. We used this domain for individual premium ads, so that one could have a classified address with it's own web address (http://2see.com/DBMD001), which was pretty high tech back in 1997. So 2see.com was the address I gave my dedicated server, and I left the AUsedCar.com domain hosted at a third party hosting provider. So everything that needed to be driven by the database had to point to 2see.com.
Why didn't I use subdomains (ex: blah.ausedcar.com)? No clue. I don't think I appreciated the negative effect using two domains would have on my PageRank (which is pretty decent, and a 5 currently). Why didn't I move all of AUsedCar.com over to my dedicated solution? Well, Yahoo was my host (originally Simplenet for the really old school folks out there), and at the time, we were ranked #1 on Yahoo under the search of "used cars". Perhaps believing in a conspiracy, I thought that maybe my high ranking in Yahoo was in part due to the fact that I was local. Perhaps ping times, or just a Yahoo IP or something was helping my rank. After all, MSN is the only major search engine that doesn't show my site in the top 10-20 under the common search terms... could that be because the OS AUsedCar.com was on was Solaris/Apache?
Fast forward to 2006 and Yahoo makes up only about 10% of the traffic driven to my site. But I still never got around to switching the domain. A real eye opener happened during this redesign when I did a "site:ausedcar.com" query in Google. Only 6 or 7 pages came up, and 3 or 4 of them were not even current. Argh! Google doesn't know that 2see.com is my site! It must think I'm a link farm! Well I set about changing that right away. Tonight half of the DNS servers out there are showing AUsedCar.com as one unified site. Hopefully this will increase PageRank. More on the continuing changes that are underway in future posts.