Dot seat: Reinforcing the distribution network with dot brand new gTLD
SEAT has launched a pilot with 95 micro sites, in matter of few months. The key learnings of that launch are :
- Use case for “dot brand” to support the global business by reinforcing partnership with authorized dealers
- Feasibility of deploying and maintaining large number of template based added value sites
- Dot brand and traditional sites can coexist and have different objectives
- Value of pilots with a “walk before you run” approach. SEAT is now learning fast.
SEAT is a spanish car manufacturer, founded 66 years ago on May 9, 1950, with head offices located in Martorell, close to Barcelona. It is now part of the VW group, who applied for a dot brand TLD for 8 of its brands.
It exports three-quarters of its annual production to over seventy countries worldwide.
SEAT applied for .seat. Spec 13 was successfully applied for on 10 March 2015, and .seat was delegated to the root zone on 18 April 2015.
The back end registry operations are run by CORE, unlike most of the others VW group’s brands.
95 domains have been created on Feb 19, 2016, representing all of the distribution network of SEAT in Spain, and 25% of their global production.
These 95 sites are actually reorganizing existing content and pages, moving from a third level domain name to a second level domain name. The sites “retailers.seat.es” (retailer being here a placeholder for all the retailers’ names) have been renamed “retailers.seat”, including also the path. ( /content/es/brand_dealer/es.retailer.html ).
The user going to the ccTLD “.es” site is redirected via a 301 ( permanent) redirect, to the new .seat site.
Overview and .brand radar analysis
Our proprietary multidimensional radar analysis analyses all the .brand TLD with 5 criteria, and represents the performance in the following chart
Content : There are many pages with authentic content, but it reuses completely the content that was previously on seat.es. The content is replicated from one domain to another, including some changes. No pages have SSL certificates.
Popularity :.seat has created a series of very targeted sites, used for contacting an authorized dealer for a specific purpose. – based on Alexa’s ranking, 1 site is in the top 20 million, 11 sites are beyond 20 million and 83 are not ranked at all.
SEO : When performing an exact match, the pages are quite well ranked on bing, but surprisingly not on google – even though the launch already took place over one month ago.
Taxonomy : Seat has really focused one category, as 97% of domains are used for retail network.
Volume : Seat has created 98 domains, with one error and two redirects. This is one of the largest brand TLD in terms of number of second level domains.
Exact match consists in searching the domain name in the search engines. The process should actually be the other way round, where the brands would create the most popular or most targeted association of a keyword with the brand.
We are trying to rank sevillamotor.seat, when performing a search for sevilla motor seat. The search history has been neutralized by putting the appropriate parameter in the search.
In google, the results are :
Source : google
- The site of the dealer appears first
- Then the dealership page in seat, but with the .es ccTLD URL.
- A competitor’s website appears on line 4, the other main car dealer in Sevilla.
- The .seat website cannot be found
The same search in bing gives very different results, as the .seat new gTLD site appears first, and then only the car dealers’ site
Source : bing
As per the attached screen, the site « retailer.seat » mentions « retailer.seat.es » as a canonical tag – on the 4th line of the code.
This means that the site tells the search engine that the original content comes from the “.es” site, and that they should actually reference the .es site – but the .es site has a permanent redirect to the .seat site. This creates a sub-optimal situation from a search engine standpoint.
SEAT is a very good example of a great launch, with high volumes supporting a true business requirement. The strategy is “walk before your run”, and SEAT is most certainly learning very fast how to leverage their dot brand asset.