Let me try to collect my thoughts to see how can this - getting more people to use MetaCPAN - be accomplished.
While I am not a SEO expert, I managed to get the Perl Maven site from 17K visits in last November to 67K visits this October. So I might have some, otherwise obvious, insight.
Make sure the overwhelming majority wants the change
While MetaCPAN is great, there are still several features in SCO that make it preferable to some people at least some of the times. I think if we (whoever that "we" is) want to make MetaCPAN the face of CPAN, first we need to address these issues.
TODO: Check if it already exists and if not, create a tag in the Github bug tracker and mark the tickets that describe issues with MetaCPAN, that indicate areas where it is still lacks a feature compared to SCO. Ask the public to go over the list and submit more tickets. Fix those ticket.
Load, performance and scalability
Even if this is skewed I think we can assume that SCO has at least 10 times more traffic than MetaCPAN.org. Probably a lot more. Could MetaCPAN in its current hardware and software configuration handled a 10-fold grows?
TODO: Check it and if not, make sure there is at least a plan in making sure it will be able to handle such traffic when the time comes.
The big problem
I think the biggest issue is that both SCO and MetaCPAN serve the same content. Because SCO was earlier Google treats it as the canonical source of this data and probably penalizes MetaCPAN for serving the same content.
The easy solution that will not happen
Once the above 2 are in place someone could convince the maintainers of SCO to redirect every request to MetaCPAN. This would immediately crash MetaCPAN. Err, I mean all the traffic will arrive to MetaCPAN and within a few months Google will show MetaCPAN as the top hit.
I doubt you can convince them, but if you can, the redirecting could be done slowly. First only for a few pages. Then more and more. That would allow some time for the MetaCPAN maintainers to make sure they are ready for the traffic.
(Even if this will be done it will be hurtful. In my experience, when I moved all the content from the perl5maven.com to perlmaven.com, the site suffered a serious blow, and it took about 2.5 months to get back to the same level of traffic it was before the name change. It took about 6 months to get more-or-less recover the lost growth. I believe, a gradual redirection will reduce this problem as well.)
But again, I don't think this will be done.
The long road
SCO has a huge head-start but with time Google will trust MetaCPAN more and more, and it will improve its position slowly. There are many things that the general public in the Perl community can do to accelerate this. Some involves contributing to the code-base of MetaCPAN, some involves sending e-mails and talking to people, some involves blogging.
In addition, as Olaf Alders pointed out, if I understood it correctly, there are modules that have hard-coded links to SCO. (So maybe my last suggestion wasn't that unacceptable after all.)
Published on 2013-11-20 by Gabor Szabo