From Penguin Place to Penguin Gift Shop

The name change has been on the back burners for a while since we purchased the url name penguingiftshop from the retiring former owners in late 2012.  For years Penguin-Place.com and Penguin Gift Shop had been friendly rivals in the world of all-penguin e-tailing, and in October when we received a surprise message from Penguin Gift Shop that they were thinking of retiring and offering us their domain name and inventory we jumped on it like a hungry Rockhopper.

When we were first starting on the web back in pioneering on-line days of 1997 we knew we needed a better, more penguin specific url than the name of our retail store, which was Next Stop…South Pole.  So, we pondered long and hard, searching for the cutest name we could think of, which turned out to be Penguin Place.  The inconvenient – (dash) in the middle was our 1997 webmaster’s idea.  Man, was he wrong about that dash.   For 16 years I had to repeatedly answer the question, “how come you got a dash in your url?”  Also, as the years went by we realized that the name “place” in Penguin Place was pretty much useless to search engines, and so we were schooled big time by websites that came along a decade or so later than our initial launch who by then knew how search engine optimization and specific key words work.   Although Penguin Gift Shop didn’t have as nice a website as ours, and only about half as many penguins in their inventory as compared to our, they did have a great, web friendly url for what they were offering (which was a penguin gift shop), and usually ranked higher than us in search engine results.  So, when the name was offered to us this past October we jumped at it.  Through this past holiday season and into Valentine’s Day we remained Penguin-Place.com, but as we waddled into spring and approached our 28th anniversary day we decided it was time and have now officially changed our domain name to PenguinGiftShop on have the official changeover on March 15th, our 28th anniversary. But,  if you look at the masthead on our home page we’re the Penguin Gift Shop at Penguin Place, so Penguin Place will always be with us.  We may have changed our url hoping to bump up search engine traffic a bit, but looking at the website everything is exactly the same, and we’re even keeping the name of this blog the Penguin Place Post as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages.  My kids are upset about the name change and I’m a little emotional about it, but like they say, it was a penguin offer that we couldn’t refuse.

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