The Times Online Screwed Up?
also thetimes.co.uk pr8
Rupert Murdoch’s serious about his war with Google. Why else would he change his canonical domain from
http://timesonline.co.uk http://thetimes.co.uk (PR8) to the new (less friendly) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/ (PR5)? He’s just flexing his muscles to show how little he cares about PageRank, right?
Either that or his developers have screwed up and no-one ever at News International is sufficiently on the ball to realise that their domains are shot to hell
In a sense, this is all a bit of fun, but it is perhaps indicative that traditional media still haven’t got to grips with the demands of the internets. It’s only a small thing, but I’ve had The Times bookmarked at the old URL for years and fixing this problem is the work of seconds. By my count, the old domain has been lost for a couple of weeks at least. That’s a tonne of link equity currently rotting away, and God alone knows how many bookmarks and links that are getting deleted.
While PR doesn’t correlate with rankings, it does show that the old domain is holding a lot more authority than the new site. Murdoch and Google have locked horns a lot recently, Murdoch thinking that his brands are so strong that he can afford to decouple himself from Google’s traffic and charge directly to access his content (I think he’s mad as a box of frogs, personally) so perhaps he genuinely isn’t interested in external metrics like PageRank.
Even so, maintaining that brand means keeping those critical canonical URLs alive as long as possible. Inevitably content will get shunted off this mortal coil, but breaking everyone’s bookmarks and links is no way to maintain a brand – particularly if your content is much of a muchness with other sites as is increasingly the case.
Ah well. His funeral.