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New Japanese site for Australian Tourism Commission

Have they made a search engine disaster?

     
7:38 am on Feb 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For me this could be great news, but a disaster and major waste of tax payers money.

In the previous site they had simple URLs for the key destinations such as Cairns or Gold Coast. Now check out the URL for Cairns:
[australia.com...]

What is worse is they have even changed the address for the home page. Type in www.australia.jp and you are taken to
[australia.com...]

This is the same sort of thing that Tourism Victoria and NSW have done with their Japanese language sites. Their sites do not even come into the picture in their respective key words in Google.

8:08 am on Feb 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This is what happens when you put together a team of "motivated" people with good "skill sets" and give them a "budget". Real go-getters with nice hair and belts.

If you give the same goal to one or two lazy sods with money just enough for the day's six pack, they'll crank out some wicked SEO so they can get back to bitching about how the second Lord of the Rings movie was so much more untrue to the book than the first.

I bet the site looks real pretty when color printed and bound in one of those spiffy plastic folders, you know those fancy clear ones.

Do not be surprised, good skip; we, the survivors of the "bubble", have traveled this particular road many times.

Excuse me while I "scratch" myself.

12:27 pm on Feb 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The next couple of Google updates will be interesting.

Type gorufu St in the search field at the top left hand corner. Clicking on the first result returns an internal 500 error.

The site has been done in Unicode. This could also create problems.

They have no charset in the Content-Type meta tag
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT = "text/html">

It's gets even more interesting. I would have assumed that both sites would have been hosted on the same server in Australia but this is not the case.

australia.com is hosted on a Windows2000/IIS5.0 box in the US
australia.jp is hosted on a IRIX/Apache 1.3.27 in a different datacentre in the US.