A constant conversation I end up having in my day job at Parkers, is naming new cars, and how we treat their URLs online. It’s vitally important to get things right, especially as, when you name a car and establish its webpage, that name should be set in stone for years to come. Sometimes, the manufacturers can make annoying changes, leaving you to wonder why on earth they’ve done so – and, as a consequence, you end up setting up pages that overlap, repeat and don’t contain much in the way of new information.
Interestingly for me (and, yes, I know I am a geek), website users and those searching on Google don’t care about such things – they search on the car’s name – regardless of whether it’s a new car or not. In the world of AROnline, that caused me to rethink how we handle some of our most beloved cars over the years.
In the old days, the Morris Ital was little more than an amendment to the Morris Marina story. This facelift, which was originally going to be sold as the Morris Marina Ital, was a typical industry update to a car – freshened-up styling, trim and colour changes, but substantially the same character. However, because it was sold with a new name, people now consider it to be a new and separate car.
New names, new pages on AROnline
And that’s why we now have a separate page (flagged as a development story) for the Morris Ital. Is this the right thing to do? Well, people search for cars online, and I guess they’re going to search the way they’re going to search – and I have to ensure that I have the story in place for them. Would I ordinarily have a separate page and section for this car? Probably not…
In the case of the Austin Ambassador, which went on sale a couple of years after the Ital, I’ve also given it its own section. In the old days, it was part of the Princess story, but obviously, with a new name it should get its own page. Interestingly, although it’s a facelift, with the addition of a hatchback and an all-new interior, it feels much more like a new model than the Morris ever did. In this case, this decision to separate them feels like the right thing to do.
A while back, I also separated the Austin Maestro and Montego. Since the inception of AROnline, these two cars, which were developed together and were closely related were treated as the singular Maestro/Montego entity. However, after looking at search volume around these cars, it seemed logical to give users what they want, and split these into two cars. As they were two separate bodystyles, and they have very different characters, this one seems to have worked out fine.
What do you, my loyal readers, think of this? Should these cars be treated separately like this? And are there other examples I should look at? Would you give the Talbot Solara and the Chrysler Alpine their own pages? As ever, I’m listening…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.