Last updated : 1/05/2008
Your key to the auto scene in South Africa
About the Auto Start web portal.
The most comprehensive directory to the automotive industry in South Africa.
Launched on the 01 September 2007 and now with over 6000 quality links to websites in the Auto Industry in South Africa.
The evolution of this site came about as a result of frustration. How often have we looked and searched the internet, for a particular service provider, yet can not find what we are looking for and have to wade through pages of irrelevant and dud links. Little do we as a internet users, realize how ineffectual and unreliable search engines are at providing the information that we may be looking for at any time. This is dealt with in detail, in an article on "How to search the internet".
At least in the case of the South African Automotive Industry, we now provide the most comprehensive single source of links, specifically devoted to the industry and arranged by the type of service being provided.
The advantages of the system are set out below under Information for users and Information for website owners
Information for users
Unlike any other directory we have structured our presentation of links in such a way that the user can drilldown to the relevant sites that have a bearing on the subject matter of interest, easily and within seconds. We believe this method of fine tuning a selection, leaves the user with a far better understanding of what information is available and what is of interest. Most importantly with the volume of data we have available, it is the fastest method of presenting the results to the user, that we believe is available.
The drilldown process starts by the selection of one of four directories that we have used to cover the Automotive Industry in South Africa, namely Cars, Bikes, Trucks and Boats. The contents of each directory is defined on our Home Page.
Thereafter, each of the above directories are divided into the main Aspects(1), the Sections(2) within each aspect and the Detail(3) within each section. This drilldown is presented in one page, which is always be left open so that you can return to it to navigate to another section if required. Often the Detail will be a summary page of links prepared by us which will be arranged by Suburb, Province or sub type as best suites the subject matter. These are the pages which search engines are mainly referring users to.
In the Cars Directory the Aspects we have used are:
Finance and Insurance
Hire - Cars, Limos, 4 x 4
Info, News, Clubs & Forums
New & Used Vehicles
Parts & Accessories
Performance Parts & Services
Repair & Special Services
Security & Tracking
Trade Info and services
Wholesalers & Trade Suppliers
Supporting the drilldown system we have a flat text sitemap for each directory and the ability to search our Directory for specific key word. Lets use "Audi". This search will show all topics where the word "Audi" appears, anywhere in our directory and the results are 100% accurate, as all pages that have been indexed are returned and no weighting is applied to the results. This applies equally to any other make of vehicle.
So in this example the pages we have on specialist scrap yards, other scrap yards, performance specialists, spares suppliers, service specialists, styling specialists, clubs, forums, new and used car sales dealers, that relate to Audi will be displayed in the search results.
Information for website owners
As a website owner or as a perspective website owner it is essential that your website gives you the exposure it was designed to do. Up till now the best one could do was to be lost on the internet and lost again in various web directories that were tantamount to a alphabetical listing of names of firms performing a wide range of services, which did little to help drive users to your website, and did not feature that well in search results.
And then we come along and in a relatively short space time, we start featuring strongly in search engine results. Despite the progress to date, there is still a lot of room for improvement and still better search engine results.
The services we offer website owners and business owners, bearing in mind that we can provide exposure even if you do not have a website at this point, are set out in detail on our services page.
The fact that we have experienced this growth in traffic is indicative of the need for a service such as that being provided by the Auto Start Portal.
The Technicalities of Website Ownership are numerous and are dealt with in detail under the aspect "Trade Info and services" as well as a lot of other useful information that relates to running a business in the Automotive Industry.