Oh this made me giggle, while researching after posting the earlier article on a ChannelAdvisor customer called ‘Buy4less’ and ‘Wasting Your Most Important eBay Marketing Asset‘ I stumbled across this chestnut.
The Search Results
Click this link and let me explain the results you’re seeing.
You are seeing two things, the first is the use of the site: command, this is very useful for seeing how many pages have been indexed for a site, while not 100% accurate by Google’s own admission (see Matt Cutts from Google explain it in this YouTube video) its a great indicator and the second is a baw-drop by ChannelAdvisor for one of their featured retaliers. Let me explain.
Errr What Happended?
Now for the first link I gave, it shows lots of URL’s that have been indexed, great, but look again, the URL’s start ‘stores.channeladvisor.com/buy-for-less-online’ whats happened to the thier domain name ‘http://www.buyforlessonline.co.uk/‘?
I’ll tell you what’s going with it
NOUT, NADA, Sweet FA!
There is a single page for this domain indexed in Google, what they’ve done is use masking on the domain name instead of setting up a CNAME alias or similar to make the server treat the real domain name properly. So then everything starts from buyforlessonline.co.uk rather than some horrid domain path like ‘stores.channeladvisor.com/buy-for-less-online/’.
If you’re using a third party tool such as Channel Advisor, don’t settle for a crap website setup, make sure everything is in your ‘domain’ name, don’t be afraid to ask for the assistance outside for unbiased views & guidance, automaton tools are only one part of your businesses success.
Getting Out of Such a Mess
If you’ve managed to do this this, don’t panic. Ask your provider to create 301 redirects for every page they’ve got to the new domain paths. The new pages on the correct domain name are forwarded from the old domain, so you are not penalised for what would-to-Google the entire site disappearing an popping up elsewhere.
I wonder how much was taken on their website last year, I wonder if anyone noticed. I suspect ‘not a lot’ of revenue was taken this year on ‘that’ site. Pity, I quite liked the visual design.