An odd link correction request from PalmOne

Got an unusual e-mail the other day from a Cooper Marcus at PalmOne — the hardware successor to Palm — notifying me (redundantly) of recent corporate changes (Palm to PalmOne, which has also acquired Handspring) and would I mind updating my links to the Palm, Palm Store and Handspring sites to the new URLs? He cited a link from this site, dated May 2002.

You know, this is something that could be done a lot more efficiently at their end by simply forwarding to the new URLs: a lot less labour intensive than e-mailing everyone who ever linked to them. There’s also this feeling I have that links in old blog entries should be allowed to expire, or at least be accurate for the time: after three years and something like 1,600 entries, I don’t think I like the precedent of having to maintain and update links for all time. So phooey.

Clearly an exercise in supporting the new corporate branding — he also asked that the new name (“PalmOne”) be used, to which I say “fine”. But by asking everyone to update their links instead of forwarding them themselves, they might also be trying a bit of search engine optimization, by boosting the new pages’ ranking past the old pages. Years of the old Palm and Handspring names, with thousands of instances of relevant keywords linking to the old URLs, may well represent a very significant obstacle to overcome.

If they’re trying to kill “Palm” as an identifier, they’ll have their work cut out for them. Most of the people I talk to don’t understand “PDA” or “handheld”; they understand “Palm” or even — quelle horreur — “Palm Pilot.” And didn’t I see a trailer for Little Black Book, which features a Tungsten C, in which the characters refer to the gadget as a “Palm”?