Switch from ServiceMagic.com to HomeAdvisor.com leads to organic search traffic drop.
IAC underestimated the challenge from switching its ServiceMagic business to a new domain name, the company disclosed with its first quarter results.
The company renamed the business HomeAdvisor, and switched from ServiceMagic.com to HomeAdvisor.com.
It was forewarned that the move would be difficult, but the results seemed to surprise the company’s top management.
On the company’s quarterly conference call, Jeffrey W. Kip, IAC Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, stated:
Our performances were offset in the first quarter and will continue to be offset in the second quarter by underperformance at HomeAdvisor, driven by some technical glitches in the rebranding of the service, which should be resolved by the end of the quarter.
Later in the call the company confirmed that the “glitches” were related to search engine optimization. The company’s 10Q filing with the SEC states:
“HomeAdvisor domestic revenue was negatively impacted by a 20% decrease in accepted service requests due primarily to the domain name change.”
Switching domain names is hard, even if you’re upgrading to a better domain.
There’s a lesson in this for companies that applied for .brand domain names. Even if they view the .brand as superior to brand.com, moving to a .brand will be challenging. That challenge will be even more complex if the companies use multiple second level domains because it will create multiple web sites (e.g. americas.ibm, services.ibm, bigdata.ibm).