Discover Hong Kong, HK Tourism Board Advice

Brand Republic reports that Hong Kong Tourism Board has relaunched its website in an effort to boost consumer interaction.

Discover HK, HKTB Website

It now involves social networking sites such as Google Maps, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube in promoting Hong Kong as a travel destination. This is definitely an upgrade from the previous version in terms of interactivity.

However, I also have some unsolicited advice for the site’s webmasters when it comes to search.

Display site in one domain name
Currently, the site is displayed in at least two domains: discoverhongkong.com and hktb.com. That means when you enter either domain, one type of content shows up. What is the problem with it, you ask? From usability and search engine perspective, it divides the attention of human visitors and search engines. People who would visit one site could get confused to discover the another that displays the same content.

For search engines, it appears that Discover Hong Kong and HKTB are competitor sites vying for the same target audience. A quick check on Google’s indexed pages for the two domains, discoverhongkong.com appears to be the preferred site for search engines with almost 10,000 pages indexed. On the other hand, hktb.com only has about 500 pages in Google index. Which means Google sees many of HKTB contents as duplicates of Discover Hong Kong, rather than the other way around.

Currently, there are links pointing to Discovery Hong Kong and another set of links pointing to HKTB. Wouldn’t it be better if we consolidate these links to one of these domains? After all, both sites have similar content.

So my advice is to do a 301 redirect of pages from HKTB to Discover Hong Kong. Discover Hong Kong is probably one of the top results when we search for “hong kong” but consolidating link popularity from HKTB would even reinforce its strength within top search results.

Improve Top Level Navigation Menu

HKTB Menu

HKTB Language Bar

Flash is a great element that should be incorporated in this site but I also hope that menu elements will be spared. Using text links instead of embedding them in Flash, search engines can follow these links once they visit and crawl the site.