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One of the important features of our latest release of PowerSites 2.0 is 301 redirects. Now you ask “What in the world is a 301 redirect?”
A 301 Redirect causes a browser or search spider to go to another location permanently. For example if you go to http://TexasMotorCars.com it redirects you to http://www.TexasMotorCars.com. You may have also heard Google use the phrase canonical URLs. Canonicalization is the process of picking the best url when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages.
Why is this so important? The search engines see TexasMotorCars.com and www.TexasMotorCars.com as two (2) separate domains (or separate references). Therefore your backlinks and other link bait you have on the internet would be split between 2 domains, according to Google – which ultimately affects your ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). With a permanent redirect (301) on TexasMotorCars.com to www.TexasMotorCars.com, Google now recognizes your dealership’s domain as one (1) domain and all the credit goes to that domain for search ranking.
Next you say, “So, ok – if a customer goes to my website without the www in front, it redirects. That’s great, but that is only the customers browsing my website.” This is true, but think about search engines indexing all your links online and the hundreds maybe thousands of vehicles you have online backlinking to your website. Some may be using www and others not. Now you have thousands of backlinks online using two different domains according to the search engines! Ouch!
So in the end, pick the url you prefer and always use that format for your internal links. AutoRevo also now covers you with 301 redirects also for old pages and domains. And most importantly, we automatically establish a canonical (preferred) domain for each dealer website.