Last updated : 16/12/2007
Your key to the auto scene in South Africa
Our News - for the year 2007
This page sets out, in descending
date order, the latest developments on this website or anything else which is
important for our regular visitors.
To view the current and latest updates - Index to last updated links (coming Soon)
We will always welcome feedback, and any suggestions and sites that you feel we have omitted.
Date 31 December 2007
Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2008.
We finished the year off with lots of hard work on the Heavy Commercial Directory which should be up and running in January 2008.
On the 13 January 2008n we will start a new page for news and will publish the statistics for November and December 2007
Date 16 December 2007
Finally we see some progress on the indexing of our Bike Directory. Yahoo have got 260 pages indexed and whereas Google had 374, they have once again dropped over 200 pages in their regular reshuffle that they do from time to time. I just hope this does not take as long as last time to settle down again. Despite this, traffic continues to climb and we have again found some very interesting sites.
This week we added a few links which we hope those in the Automotive Trade will find useful. This sections will continue to be developed and hope it will be become a valuable source of information for those in the Automotive Trade, that will assist in the management of their business.
We reorganized the Bike Directory last week and hope that the logic is now a bit better and started work on organizing our Boat Directory in some sort of order, while still working on the Truck Directory.
The link count of our Directory on Cars has gown to over 2638 links and the Directory on Bikes to over 531 links.
Date 02 December 2007
Everything running smoothly and to plan. Did lot's of research and came up with a few new and revised a marketing plans, which have been added to our services page. Found some good new sites.
Spent most of the week on the Truck Director which is coming along.
The link count of our Directory on Cars has gown to over 2544 links and the Directory on Bikes to over 500 links.
Date 25 November 2007
Another busy week, with some good and not so good things happening. The good news is that traffic is increasing well above my expectations, with a number of our pages getting very good traffic and steadily increasing their position for their respective search terms. Google's total number of pages now stabilized and Yahoo number of pages has increase by 150%. MWeb and 24.com search features remain constant and acceptable.
The not so good news or maybe its is also good news, is that we have been contacted by three companies offering their services or attempting to put us off track, with promises and threats. Well if there is one thing I love and that's a fight, so was very motivated, to start a few new things on the go this week.
Third big news event of the week is that we came across three web sites where the website owners were either very unhappy with the services they had been offered or their websites were so badly put together, it was no wonder that they were not doing very well. In the one case, there where no keywords, no page title and 52 coding errors on the page. We, therefore decided, we will be either doing web page hosting service on our own or in association with with some major firms in the industry that will be carefully vetted by us. This will, therefore, not only apply to automotive sites, although they will have a major advantage because as the sites are created, they will be listed in one of our directories, which will provide them with a major head start over any site that is not listed.
Just to demonstrate how bad the situation is, how can one explain how in a search for a major car brand one of our pages is listed above the Principle Dealer and all the authorized dealers for that vehicle.
I think I've found a possible reason why our Bike Directory has not been indexed, so lets hope this correction gets this directory going.
The link count of our Directory on Cars has gown to over 2490 links and the Directory on Bikes to over 496 links.
The festive season is upon us, so compliments of the season and remember drive defensively at all times.
Note to self: Need to add a list of new sites added each week as well as feed back on Statistics.
Date 18 November 2007
Although Google's page count for us has still not settled down and they have not got round to indexing our Directory on Bikes yet, the increase in traffic and the number of returning visitors, was significant and very pleasing.
Continued to work on organizing the Directory of Commercial Vehicles this week. Strange that in some areas, we are finding lots of websites that we need to index, and in other areas, there is a noticeable absence of websites. It may be that the growth in websites is driven by following the competition, and after some Industry leaders set up websites, so a number of competitors follow suit. I have also noticed that this trend varies from one Province to the next.
With the cost of advertising being so high, it is surprising that more have have not opted to create a website, as despite the problems in creating and marketing the website, which we attempt to address, the internet is regarded by many as the future of marketing medium. The one problem is finding the information on the internet, so we are keeping our eyes and ears open, looking for other directories that specialize in a particular industry and will maybe one day create an index of these websites.
In this regard, we are in the process of creating a section on websites do's and don'ts and How to's. in which we will also link to a number of the best service providers for the Automotive Industry.
The link count of our Directory on Cars has gown to over 2400 links and the Directory on Bikes to over 480 links.
Date 11 November 2007
Well after a nerve wracking week Google have completed their reshuffle and we are back to where we started two weeks ago, with regard to the total number of pages, but where as, previously we had good positioning on some pages, generally page position has dropped. It would seem that MWeb and 24.com search engines are running on a feed from Google or are at least identified as Google by our server.
Anyway this dip in the pages listed resulted in us doing lots more reading and research. We found some interesting tools, which will shortly be published on this site. If you need help NOW, drop us a line and we will share what we have with you. The rest of the time was spend working on our Truck Directory, which is coming along nicely.
Looks like the holiday season is coming, as a number of searches relate to renting 4 x 4 trailers. We also placed out first add in the Cape, JHB and DBN ads this week which will run for four weeks. So far, no major response was noted that resulted in traffic. It is however, promising to note that lots of new users are taking a look at our page Services to South African Automotive websites and browsing to see what we have to offer.
So growth in traffic and hits are increasing despite the set back caused by the reshuffle. Bottom line is that a website owner does not have the time that it takes to manage their website and it is simply too expensive to pay somebody to do it for you. The more we get frustrated the more I believe in our original motivation for creating this site is the correct decision and it will take off.
Secondly the more I see the limited effectiveness search results, the number of Spam pages or web sites that are only composed of Google adds and content feeds, being either articles or search result feeds, the more I am convince that users must be getting frustrated with the tripe that is being dished up. If we are looking for a supplier why do we need to wade thru hundreds of forum articles, news paper reports, and court case results?
The positives of the week are the number of calls we are getting for people seeking advice on various automotive topics. This is something we did not expect and we will do our best to refer these callers to the best suited supplier who will be able to help them.
The link count of our Directory on Cars has gown to over 2400 links and the Directory on Bikes to over 480 links.
Date 4 November 2007
The week started very well with MWeb search facility having over 300 pages listed for us and a number of hits coming in for various topics. Google spoilt our week by deciding to do one of their reshuffles and we dropped from over 300 pages to just 85. This happens from time to time when they re-index sites, but this can be a really nerve wracking time for a site owner, when you see your traffic take a dive.
Other wise we are progressing well with our truck and Boat directories and have created temporary pages to define what we will be including.
Our first advert will be published in the local Cape, Johannesburg and Durban Ads this week so lets hope its money well spent.
Date 27 October 2007
Started work on organizing the directory of Commercial Vehicles this week. What a pleasure to have most websites clearly indicating what area of the industry they are participating in. Certainly going to be a massive exercise as the scope of this directory is so big.
On the cars directory and as a result of following up on hits to our website, we again picked up a number of new sites. This just serves to justify our existence and the need for a directory to index websites in the automotive industry. One can not rely on any search to identify all the websites one is looking for. There are so many variables starting with how the site was designed and how the content and keywords are viewed by the search engine, for which there is no logic, or not that I can establish anyway.
In visiting a number of prospective clients, we also get confirmation that advertising rates are simply out of hand and are generally viewed as very expensive. And we, as consumers, wonder why when we have to pay for a services or goods, we are shocked at the prices. Taking just two expenses, namely rent and advertising, its certainly not easy or cheap to provide the goods or service.
Date 21 October 2007
Well, after a major search on motorcycles and bikes, we think we have covered all websites that came in that search. We need to repeat a search for Quads and ATV's but at this stage it looks like there are a mass of businesses that do not have websites. This creates a massive opportunity for businesses in the industry. This weeks exercise brings our Directory on Bikes, Quads and ATV's to over 450 links. We are disappointed, as we expected that we would have found many more links by this time.
As a result of us reviewing all links that had not yet been allocated to a home and some new searches, links in the Car Directory have now climbed to over 2200.
Something else we realised, is that it would be counter productive to start our advertising campaign without having the remaining two directories up and running, namely Trucks and Boats. So we had better get cracking on sorting the links we have already placed in our database. Real chicken and egg situation.
Date 14 October 2007
Seven weeks down the road and actual search results continue to improve slowly but surely, but well above average. We are recording results and will forward these on request. Secondly Ananzi and Yahoo have also come to the party. So far so good!. Results are what we expected and are well above average.
Links provided from the car section are now over 2200 and so far everything is running to plan. Marketing plans are crystallizing and pending acceptable traffic levels and results to be achieved.
Date 29 September 2007
Well a month has already passed. Link count is now over 2000 in the car section and we continued our analysis of Google results on actual searches that resulted in hits to our site as well as the search terms used. Looks like we have 77 pages indexed out of the 300 odd pages that Google has cached. Yahoo are being very slow and we are keeping our eye on this situation. As this was achieved in only three weeks, we are not unhappy with these results.
Did not do too much work on the Bike section this week, but this was expected as part of the plan was to give the search engines something to work on.
As a result of our pages titles being too long, we had to change our system and introduced a new field in the data base to hold the page title, which we now manually determine instead of using the consolidation of our aspect, section and detail fields as the title field.
Date 22 September 2007
Ok so this week we launched our section on Bikes, Quads, and ATV's. I found this a little more difficult to do, as I am not as up to date as I am with Cars and LDV's etc. However, a very interesting exercise on which I still have a lot of work to do.
A substantial amount of time was spent analysing, search results and the progress of the search engines in indexing our site. Google beats the pack with 160 odd pages being listed for our site. That does not mean all pages they have been indexed but is very good news considering we have only been live for three weeks!. Some of the search results that are being returned confirm our expectations, where we are coming up within the top twenty results. We are noting these results and will publish them in due course.
As what happened when I was working on our reptile portal (www.Reptilepets.co.za), a major re-indexing exercise was completed on the automotive industry by Google this week. Searches now reveal a lot more results. Whether this in response to the number of searches we have been doing over the last few months or in response to the links we have published, is unknown. However, although some new sites have popped up, so has a lot of rubbish, but that is the nature of a search engine.
Had another other big idea, which was to create a section for DIY tips. We started by adding all the topics on which we had something to say, but will need complete the content of each. This will be an excellent opportunity to for business to get exposure, and a link to their web site, by submitting content for this section. Preferably these topics should be those aspects which the DIY'er will encounter or attempt to do, but also those aspects which not be attempted at home, either due to the specialised equipment or complexity that could be encountered.
Date 15 September 2007
While working on our directory of South African websites dealing with Bikes, Quads, and ATV's, we realised that 4x4 tracks, trails and routes was something we left out of the directory on Cars. So this was addressed, and we have collect a number of new links on this subject. These trails are mostly nature and eco trails. The few tracks that we have found which are more off road event facilities have been dealt with under the Motor Sport section.
The number of links have now climbed to 1985 and we still have a number of links to find in respect of new car dealers, but this is becoming more difficult, as we have to separate those we have already found versus those that we have not yet listed.
The Bikes, Quads, and ATV's directory is coming along but and we hope to publish the first draft within the week.
Date 9 September 2007
Well within the first week we had some very good feed back and succeeded in adding over 300 new links, Taking us to over 1850 links in total.
Google crawled our site within two days of us launching, which is excellent news. So now we wait for the indexing process, which looks like two or three pages a day.
In searching for links I was again reminded of one of the major benefits of this web portal and that is that all sites that we provided links to have been personally reviewed and vetted, ensuring that our users have a pleasurable browsing experience rather than ending up on "Spam sites" that were assembled by some software program and that do not even relate to the automotive scene in South Africa and half completed sites with no content. Why search engines are not able to weed out these Spam and junk sites, I do not know.
Future changes will eventually include showing the contact telephone number, next to the link title. This will benefit users who wish to contact the relevant service provider directly without having to view the website. This means that I have to revisit most of the sites that we have provided links to retrieve the telephone number. So this will only apply to links listed under the aspects of "Trade Info and services" and "Wholesalers & Trade Suppliers" so that those in the trade can use our site as an index of suppliers to the automotive trade.
Started work on arranging the links we have collected to date on the bikes, motor cycles into a directory on Bikes. This will still take a few weeks to completed, but in the interim, if you have a website that is bike related, please feel free to advise us if you would like it included.
Date 22 August 2007
Well we took the major step and launched the site. An initial 1500 links was not bad going, we think. The big test now comes with establishing what sort of reception we are going to get in the market place and how fast we can get the major search engines to index Auto Start.
The format I use to create and manage the links is unique and starts off with adding, managing and arranging the links in a logical format in a database. Once the desired arrangement has been achieved, the required web pages are created programmatically. In addition feeds to Google and Yahoo are similarly created. This allows us to continuously adjust the arrangement of links as more links are gathered and dependent on the nature of the subject matter. Thus, in some instances we have grouped links on one page by Province and in others we have dealt with each province separately, and arranged the links by suburb or town, within the Province.
So, although I am happy with basic structure, which hopefully will not change, there will be continual improvements at the lower levels, as more links are acquired.
The marketing exercise we now need to launch, will help decide what process we need to follow to recruit new links, and I sincerely hope they are submitted by web owners, in preference to us having to recruit sales staff and having to sell the service we are offering. Either way we will not sit back and wait for links to be submitted. The process to getting links added will continue so that the site
We still need to finalise our application that will allow prospective clients to create there own small website, which we will host. We are also in the process of creating working relationships with website developers, to whom we will refer the more complex sites. The first such developer is
While we have been busy creating the first directory we have also been collecting links for the next directories which will be:
Bikes which will include bikes, ATV's, Quads etc
Boats which will include jet skis and leisure power boats.
Commercial, which will include trucks, tractors, civil engineering equipment, buses, transport service providers and contractors etc.
So I hope my mail box is flooded with requests to be listed.