GAUK Gen4 Aggregation Software
“Highly specialised, highly accurate, advert-free search is the new way to find your perfect ride and to demonstrate just how refreshing and rewarding it can be, GAUK Motors is now live”…
Hi, I’m Paul, creator of GAUK
We’ve been on an amazing journey over the last twenty years and the time has come to for a momentous step in our evolution.
We’re at a critical stage in our development looking for a dedicated, consciousness partner who shares my excitement in this project and looking for an exciting long-term opportunity growing and leading the development team.
Someone that creates solutions, someone that can take our vision and translate it into high quality code but that also thinks big.
My business partner and I had been doing business online since 2000 – Dave was the developer and I took care of the marketing etc.
This current site is a rebuild and was supposed to take 18 months but Dave died and since then I’ve been struggling to progress this through outsourced staff. I don’t just need a developer, I need a long-term partnership that fills the gap. The strategy is in place, the concept is proven, the sites are at an advanced stage of development.
PHP, JASON, Mongo, Laravel, Bootstrap, GIT,Linux, AWS
The project consist of 3 different parts:
Front-end Laravel, HTML+CSS, PHP7
Server Management: Linux and AWS and Gearman service for running our Quantum project.
GIT background with knowledge in Bitbucket as repo holder. Needs to know and be able to handle Big Data and must be proficient with MySQL and MongoDB.
Proof of Concept
This site has already generated 4000 subscribers and 200,000 registrations in it’s previous incarnation so demand is there. Aggregation was initially done manually which became unmanageable, hence this automated system. Currently, sites are in an advanced stage of development but with a number of elements still to resolve. Traction is beginning to hold again and there are some 100-150 new registrations/day.
If you’re looking to maximise your hourly rate with freelance developers then this opportunity is not for you. If however, you’re looking to secure a future with security and to grow kick-ass team then this should be of interest.
The Issue We Set Out to Solve
Motors! … By far the biggest marketplace category on the Internet. Millions upon millions of cars are sold across the Americas and Europe each year, Terabytes of information is published daily.
Eighteen months ago we embarked upon an incredible journey with one aim in mind – to make life just that little bit easier when tracking down your perfect motor.
Now the definition of ‘perfect’ will mean different things to different people. One person might be looking for the most powerful vehicle in its class, another may be looking for that perfect colour, another may be looking for the perfect price and another may be looking for the rarest of the rare.
We set out to provide a platform that will help anyone find their Perfect Motor … Now GAUK Gen4 Software is set to power aggregation across a number of marketplaces.
“Searching through hundreds of links with traditional search can be frustrating”
“GAUK! … that’s a weird name isn’t it? ”
Government Auctions UK was an experiment. I had noticed a book selling extremely well through classifieds and in local free ads and also noticed that as the Internet was in its infancy, there was no digital version.
The book was simply a directory of auctions houses that dealt with Police and Government related auctions … there was something strangely attractive about buying the proceeds of crime, legally!
Back in 1999 I did some research and put together my own book and by 2000 began publishing it on the Internet. Government Auctions UK could be bought online, as a printed document, or downloaded as an ebook. Due to the limitations of the web in those days it was pretty basic yet gave people a starting point, a place from where they could enter the ‘secretive’ world of Government and Police Auctions.
The cool part was that there was advertising all over the press for Government Auctions by various publishers and when people began looking online, I was there to be found!
I then progressed and teamed up with a local web agency who built a website with a searchable directory. There were no sophisticated features, yet it contained everything someone needed to track down local ‘No Reserve’ auctions easily.
The biggest innovation is that I managed to secure the directory behind a password protected member’s area that could only be accessed via a subscription payment.
It sold well and over the following couple of years proved to be a great success. The Government Auctions UK website took on a life of its own, growing organically through search engine exposure and by word of mouth.
However, it became apparent that visitors wanted a grander product than a directory of auction houses so as the web grew more technical, GAUK programmers started to develop a system to better deliver the auction information.
What’s coming up at those auctions, dates and times … that’s what people wanted!
Searching for auction information on the net was (and still is) tedious and frustrating. Firstly, to find the auction houses, you need to do a Google search. Google will present you with a list of links ranked by an almighty algorithm, created to index every website in the world in every country, covering every niche.
From the pages of Google links you have to decide which one best suits your needs (because Google barely gets it right!) and follow them into each website. Then you have to navigate your way to the information you want within different websites all with different layouts.
To further compound the issue, there are over two thousand auctioneers in the UK alone. Unfortunately, due to the mysterious Google algorithm, only a fraction of those auctioneers can even be found.
It was this demand that drove site development towards something much more comprehensive and targeted towards a very specialised niche.
We set out to develop a platform that would display all the lots from all the different auctioneers in one easy to use, searchable app.
Furthermore, we needed to do this automatically because frankly, auctioneers just don’t have the time or the resources to upload catalogues to our site.
They do however, religiously update their own!
We spent a couple of years and hundreds of thousands of dollars building the second generation of GAUK search and were pleased with the result.
Demand was strong, the site looked good, was profitable and we knew we were onto something special.
By 2016 we were on target to clear £500,000, and nearly all of it was profit!
But as the Government Auctions website grew, we began to realise just how big a task we were up against. Going back to the core issue, it was the disparity and diversity of the information we were collating that was causing major problems.
We had identified the fact that auctioneers regularly updated their own websites and despite all our efforts and the obvious benefits, just couldn’t get them to spend yet more time updating ours.
So we developed a team of data input staff to do the job for them. We developed a data management interface to control the tasks and there was even a data manager who monitored quality.
This worked well for a limited number of sites but as we rolled out the concept, inevitably human errors compounded and grew exponentially.
By the third generation of the website we’d managed to cover a large percentage of auctioneers in the UK … but, and it was a great big hulking BUT … if we were to expand to our planned coverage of ALL auctions in Europe and the Americas a better solution had to be developed.
Although we were on target that year to break the £1,000,000 (subscription revenue) that year, I made an extremely painful decision … to lock out new subscribers until we could deliver a more accurate database.
Eighteen months on, the fourth generation platform is built: GAUK Gen4.
GAUK Motors is the result and Stage One of a planned roll out of the new platform over the next three years.
When we analysed the traffic at Government Auctions it became clear that Motors and Real Estate were by far the most popular categories, so we chose to develop Motors because we love em!
Government Auctions UK was rebranded as plain old ‘GAUK’ which fits far more comfortably within the wider network.
GAUK: ‘to find it easier and cheaper’
GAUK Motors Launched … Search ALL Vehicles For Sale in One Place
Hundreds of websites, hundreds of thousands of cars, vans, commercials, plant & machinery and vehicles. Why spend hours scouring the net for your perfect vehicle when GAUK Motors can do it for you in seconds? Our proprietary software automatically monitors hundreds of websites aggregating hundreds of thousands of vehicles into a single, searchable database. Customise your car feeds to display only what you’re looking for in My Garage … Simple!
Motorpedia, The Most Complete Vehicle Resource on The Planet
GAUK Motors brings you the most beautiful and comprehensive source of vehicle information on the planet to enhance the auction and sales listings. Hundreds of vehicle manufacturers from around the world. Hundreds more motorcycle manufacturers from around the world, tens of thousands of vehicle models and variants …
GAUK Helps Find The Best Deals On Cars, Vans And Commercial Vehicles
Simply put, GAUK Motors has done the hard work so searchers don’t have to!
Each day our software gathers real-time listings from literally hundreds of websites and collates it into a single, easy to use platform.
We list vehicles from dealers, private sales and car auctions.
GAUK has been proven and tested over many years, it has grown from the ground up, in the trenches and is absolutely rock solid.
When starting a new venture you can only ‘guess’ at what you may face in the future based on what you’ve read and maybe some personal experiences.
They say ‘it’s the bus you don’t see that runs you over!’
With a project as complex as ours, there are literally hundreds of buses that can flatten you.
On top of that, just when you think you’ve got it right and the people come, that very success becomes your downfall. You find you’ve coded a paragraph in a zillion lines of code badly, or not anticipated server loads or not crunched those images or missed an important data callback or … it goes on and on.
The GAUK concept was easy, putting it together has taken something pretty special, which is up and running, tested and ready for roll out.
So How Did We Do it?
GAUK Motors HAD to be 100% automated. Humans just aren’t up to the job! They require unnecessary things like coffee breaks and lunch and sleep, they want to talk to each other and check their social media and then they lose concentration and make mistakes 🙂
No! GAUK Gen4 needed to iron out those inaccuracy bugs.
The first major decision was the programming framework. Without getting geeky we chose PHP and Laravel. Many developers prefer Laravel over other frameworks because of the performance, features and scalability it offers. It has been the perfect architecture for our needs.
The platform is not only built to look sexy and deliver a sophisticated user experience, it also has to do the heavy lifting. GAUK Gen4 has to manage and collate data from multiple sources and output it into a beautiful, elegant, intuitive platform. That output also has be mobile and web based.
Yet that’s only half the story.
How to input that data? Remember, we’d been here before and data input was our Nemesis.
To say that every website is different is an understatement … in reality, automation is extraordinarily difficult to achieve.
We now have a small, yet scaleable team who write proprietary scripts for each and every website we feature. That script has to have a feather-light touch on the host, it then has to be programmed to run at a certain time but in such a way as to not slow down our servers. The results then have to be fed into our main database and in turn have to be output seamlessly to the end user.
Each website we feature becomes what we call a ‘feed’. Each feed can be customised by the user and monitored in My Garage. Users can customise feeds with any number or variants to find that perfect Motor and they can set up as many feeds as they like (depending on subscription options).
Users can set up alerts linked to their customised feeds so that they never miss that perfect motor.
The Business Model
Without a strong and viable revenue model, ALL projects fail.
Our model is not only a rock solid concept, it’s proven itself over many years. The model is a simple subscription but the key is that we chose to charge the searcher rather then the auctioneer/dealer for a number of reasons:
- There are only a finite number of publishers
- There are millions of searchers wanting a better solution
- Charging publishers becomes a barrier to posting valuable information
- Charging publishers traditionally creates a bias towards those with the deepest pockets
- Charging the searcher means we can create a clean, feature-rich ADVERT FREE environment
So, a clever subscription model partnered with a digital product.
- Subscriptions compound month after month creating a valuable foundation
- No physical product fulfillment and overheads
- No warehousing and associated overheads
- No price comparison (you can’t compare like with like)
- Instant gratification
GAUK Motors brings you the most beautiful and comprehensive source of vehicle information on the planet to enhance the sales listings. Hundreds of vehicle manufacturers from around the world. Hundreds more motorcycle manufacturers from around the world, tens of thousands of vehicle models and variants …
When building GAUK Motors we wanted to ensure it was the most complete vehicle resource available on the planet. We began searching for a comprehensive source of vehicle specifications to enhance the listings.
Unfortunately, the sources we found were either incomplete or lacking in data.
Then serendipity played her hand and we were given the contact of a rather reclusive character from Europe who held a lifelong obsession with building database spreadsheets.
A deal was done and GAUK Motors BIG Data was launched … it is the most detailed vehicle database to exist on internet.
The largest rival database currently claims 490,000 data points, GAUK Motors BIG Data dwarfs that.
The database currently boasts detailed and statistical coverage of:
- Almost 350 Vehicle Manufacturers from around the world
- Nearly 450 Motorcycle Manufacturers from around the world
- Almost 3300 Vehicle Models
- Almost 18000 Model Variants
But that was only the beginning!
Wikipedia was the most comprehensive resource for accurate information and there’s literally thousands of pages dedicated to vehicles, it’s also a pain in the butt to find them and is pretty damn ugly!
Even when you do start a search you have to know exactly what you’re looking for otherwise you end up scrolling through pages of search results and disambiguation and often when you do find the page, you’ll find all the models jumbled together.
Wikipedia however does encourage developers to use their information through what’s called creative commons licensing and so we set about creating a better motoring encyclopaedia.
First, we took our vast BigData as a baseline and began manually adding a Wikipedia page to each manufacturer.
Then we embarked upon the monumental task of creating a page for every model ever built. Not only did we have to create almost eighteen thousand pages, but in the cases of models with multiple generations we had to create further individual pages for each generation and to top it off, find a stunning, royalty free image to feature.
Further development of Motorpedia:
- All vehicle manufacturers … worldwide
- All models of vehicle and motorcycle
- Owner’s manual download for every vehicle
- Owner’s gallery and showcase
- Available parts for each vehicle
We think the result is stunning and a legacy we’re proud of … but there’s still such a long way to go with a host of improvements planned.
MISSION STATEMENT: WE STRIVE TO DO THE VERY BEST IN ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WE DO.
Currently, there are just three petrolheads at GAUK Motors and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved so far.
- We have myself Paul Tranter MFWIC (you can read more about me under my bio)
- My son Jake, Commander in Chief of Motorpedia and Social Media
- Dave Agar – Mysterious and magical code bender.
I’ve worked with Dave for almost fifteen years now and created some pretty exciting projects over the years.
We’ve enjoyed the highs and lows of the furious pace of Internet life. We’ve exulted in projects that have reached top ten thousand rankings in the world according to Alexa … and we’ve cried as we’ve seen those servers burn!
We’ve endured the monotony and frustration of month after month of programming dullness and being motivated by seeing those project come to life.
What we look forward to most is simple success … just to see this project, so many years in the making, take its next big step.
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