Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Take on the Name Change

Most people seem to be in support of the name change from Bonanzle to Bonanza, but a number of people are quite upset. A few of those people have justifiable reasons for being angry, since they have merchandise and/or business cards that they recently purchased that are branded with the Bonanzle name. I can understand their feelings.

Some people feel that the name change will destroy Bonanza's traffic and cause sellers to have few sales in the coming months. I read up on domain changes, and the domain Bonanza.com has existed for years. For domain changes to existing domains, the loss in traffic is minimal. Google will not see Bonanza.com as a new site since the domain has been in existence, though unused, for years.

Bill Harding wanted to name the site Bonanza when he created it, but the name Bonanza.com was not available. When the domain name Bonanza.com became available this month, he decided to make the change. The creator of the television series Bonanza, David Dortort, died on September 5, 2010. I suspect that the release of the domain name Bonanza.com right after Dortort's death is not just a coincidence.

As recently as this weekend, people were complaining vehemently in the forums that no one can remember how to say or spell the name Bonanzle. If so, then this change is good, right? Today, several people shrewdly observed that one should be careful what one wishes for. I believe that most people who are upset by the change are upset because they fear that the change will destroy their traffic and the prospect for sales. This is understandable.

The site redirect from Bonanzle.com to Bonanza.com is to begin within a few days. Some people think that Bonanza will drop the site redirect quickly so that people who try to go to Bonanzle.com will not make it to Bonanza.com. Others think that the site redirect will be up for a time and then will be removed. Do you really think that the owners would be so foolish to end the site redirect any time soon? Others think that the name Bonanzle.com will become available soon for purchase. I'm sure Bonanza will retain ownership of the original domain permanently.

While Bonanza is encouraging people to change their links to the new URL, this change does not have to be done immediately. The only reason that the URLs need to be changed is because Google values direct links more so than links that redirect. This has everything to do with page rank and nothing to do with whether the links will work. All old links will work so long as the redirect remains in place, which I expect will be indefinitely.

Let's discuss redirects and how they work. My site, http://www.series-books.com, was originally hosted by Yahoo! Geocities (Just typing the name makes me want to go off on Yahoo! again, but I will control myself today. ;) ) The original domain for my site was http://www.geocities.com/brmthebgs. Try clicking the link and watch the address bar at the top of your browser to see what happens. You will see http://www.geocities.com/brmthebgs briefly flash in the address bar and then immediately change to http://www.series-books.com within one second. That is how a site redirect works. The site redirect has been in place for four years.

Consider that Geocities was still in existence at the time that I purchased my domain. Yahoo! closed Geocities around a year ago, so the domain no longer exists. However, my site redirect is still in place. This is why sellers should have no cause for concern regarding the old URL Bonanzle.com.

Many site redirects are in place for older and alternative URLs for commonly visited websites. How many of you are aware that you can get to http://www.abebooks.com by entering http://www.abe.com? How about trying http://www.bn.com instead of http://www.barnesandnoble.com? I always use the short versions rather than bookmarking those sites.

A few people have stated that two years into the growth of a site is too late to change the name. I disagree. While awkward right now, we will get used to the new name very soon. Did you know that we called eBay "Auction Web" for the first two years? Nobody thinks of eBay as "Auction Web" now. Two years is not too late.

Some Bonanza users feel that the name Bonanza is only the name of a television series, and it will never have any other connotation for people. I beg to differ. I use the word regularly for its true meaning and seldom think of the television series, and yes, I did watch the television series years ago. When I found all of those books in that book store for $1 each, I described the find to others as a "bonanza." And it was.

Others state that Bonanza.com will be lost in the Google results for the television series. Right now it can't be found, but wait until Google indexes it. Google almost always gives the top result for a search to the site that holds that name, so a search for "Bonanza" will result in Bonanza.com as the very first result. Soon, what I expect to happen is that people looking for sites about the television series will have to bypass all of the Bonanza.com results for their searches.

When I first registered on Bonanzle and began promoting the site here, I knew in the back of my mind that the site would experience growing pains and that we would go through difficult times. This is one of those times, and I am certain that Bonanza will be better off for those changes in the long run.


rachel said...

David Dortort must be turning in his grave at this news ;)

Brandi said...

I think it will all work out too... as long as they keep our fees low, I'm behind them 100%!

Jennifer White said...

I hope the fees stay low for a bit longer. Those of us who have the subscriber accounts probably go a long way towards keeping the fees low across the board. Hopefully, it will stay this way.

I did not mention this, but I was taken aback when I first learned of the name change. I was not upset; I was simply very surprised and not expecting it. I was just slightly dismayed, simply because I would have to learn to call the site Bonanza.

Once the initial shock wore off, I was very excited. Bonanza got some great press yesterday, and the new domain should help drive traffic better than the old one. Not only that, but bonanza is a great word, and we all want to find a bonanza!

And, the site was supposed to be called Bonanza from the very beginning! Well done!

Changing the subject, I'm going to mention something here rather than place it in a post. It is always a good idea to view the feedback of people who sell series books on eBay. By doing so, you can spot buyers who have unreasonably high expectations or just like to complain when they leave feedback. Not only that, these buyers leave low DSRs which ruin sellers' averages. :( By being aware of these buyers, you can protect yourself by blocking them. You guys need a heads-up, so take heed. If you need a better hint, then contact me privately.

Lenora said...

I'm guessing you've seen the listing this week of four early Nancy Drew books on eBay. I'm torn between being excited that eBay finally has some great books up and wondering why/regretting that the first two (particularly the first, obviously) Nancy books aren't up for sale. You'd think any girl who would've bought those other books as soon as they came out would have also gotten the first two. The seller has already turned down Buy It Now offers, which is always great.

Brandi said...

I've been wondering where the two other books are too. If I were to guess, I bet they will be listed next week or so. That seller has been listing a number of girls series books lately and I've noticed they list different ones weekly, and they don't list all titles by the same author at one time (as I noticed with Lilian Garis' books). I think possibly they should have stuck to that idea. I'm sure people are interesed in all of those books. It would be hard to come up with $1000s upon $1000s of dollars in a week. Just my thoughts. Perhaps I'm just rambling out loud. Good luck to those of you who will be bidding! I'm still happy with my cheaper versions for now. :)

Lenora said...

Well, I guess this answers that question!

I think your comment is wise--most serious collectors will be interested in all of these books, but most won't be able to come up with so much money in one week. I'm wondering if this won't result in some good deals for some lucky buyer. I would have at least listed them with a little more time than 3 minutes between auctions, with The Old Clock ending first. That way you'd get the max price for that first book, then people who didn't win could regroup and decide what to bid on the next book, etc. Some buyers will be hesitant to bid their full amount on The Hidden Suitcase when they may need that $$$ in attempting to bid on The Old Clock.

I would say that this book is not in as good as a condition as the most recent copy to sell on eBay, and I would also say the economy is worse (or at least has been bad for longer). It'll be interesting to see how much it goes for.

Of the last group, if I'm not mistaken, Jennifer got The Bungalow Mystery. Congratulations! I'm always glad when a book like that goes to a collector.

Lenora said...

And of course I mean The Hidden STAIRCASE. I guess I'm mixing in a little Judy Bolton in the Nancy discussion.

Jennifer White said...

You bring up some good points. I'm going to have a lot to say about all of this once everything shakes out.