HomeBlogPayPal Trashes Helpful Information in SEO Unfriendly Move

PayPal Trashes Helpful Information in SEO-Unfriendly Move

Published March 5, 2010

When you have thousands of pages containing helpful information that are highly ranked in Google, there are two ways to move that information to a new domain: The right way, and the PayPal way. Actually, with the PayPal way, the answer is to simply scrap that information entirely and start a new domain name, leaving thousands of broken links in highly ranked Google queries. This is something that has really ticked me off when working with PayPal Services' APIs.

Around November 1, 2009, PayPal moved its developer community, www.pdncommunity.com to x.com. PDN Community had a web forum with thousands of topics involving solutions to common PayPal API problems, often involving the PayPal engineers themselves. And at some point after they moved to their new domain, the old domain started rejecting access with a 502 Bad Gateway error! Go ahead and try it for yourself here, you will get nothing: no redirect, no message, just an error page.  To make matters worse, there was another domain that may have been related to this: http://paypal.lithium.com/ which is also now defunct, and which still holds high-ranked pages at Google.

Whenever I'm working with PayPal APIs and I want to find out more about something that might not be covered in documentation, I'll do a quick Google search for some specific terms, such as this: paypal subscr_eot. What I get is a slew of links that are going to pdncommunity.com, which is of course nothing more than a dead end. Why PayPal did not keep this information available, at the very least for read-only with an optional redirect message at the top, is completely beyond me.

Whoever managed this switch was completely careless and didn't think about their content. Practically overnight, they trashed years of solutions to common problems. The only hope is that eventually, their new x.com domain and new forum will begin to surpass their old domain in helpfulness but at this point, it is way behind.

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Michael Butler

Michael joined the RustyBrick team in 2008 to focus on transitioning existing web sites to new & enhanced platforms. He graduated from Rutgers University in 2005 and holds a B.S. in Computer Science.

This article is under PHP Programming, Search Engine Optimization

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