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dot brand SEO 2017-06-05T21:13:43+00:00

Dot brand SEO – Optimizing Search Results with dot brand domains

Search is generally the largest traffic driver on websites. For example, traffic coming from search generated over 50% of e-commerce orders in Q1 2016, in the USA, compared to 20% for direct domain entry.

SEO is a combination of multiple factors. Domains and keywords in the domains are one of these multiple factors. Our detailed study looks at how the dot brands perform in search.

Design and optimisation for dot brand SEO

In the current landscape, the majority of dot brand sites do not have a great deal of new content, with many only having just one webpage. Light content makes it harder to create a good dot brand SEO. It is also rare for the content found on dot brand sites to be optimized for search. Most dot brand websites also have a small number of inbound links, as they are new.

To assess the value of a dot brand in search optimisation, we use one of the tools that measures the criteria that search engines use and combines them into an algorithm to understand how different domains performed relative to one another. Criteria include

  • The speed of the site
  • The presence of robot.txt, site map
  • The existence of titles and image description

We then applied a score from 0 to 100. Our results confirmed that most sites under dot brand domains have not been effectively optimised.

The majority of websites had a score ranging from 50 to 59 out of a maximum of 100. A score above 75 is considered as “good”, while below 50 shows that the number of failed checks is higher than the number of passed ones.

Top 10 SEO designed websites

As of June 2017

RankDomain NameTechnical SEO ScoreInbound links
1about.everbank921
2blog.google89854
3home.saxo8832
4commercial.everbank880
5piccadilly.abbott861
6pedisure.abbott863
7theinvestor.jll8662
8home.cern86989
9apac.bnpparibas8621
9ensure.abbott8616

Search Performance

Exact match search has been performed on both the second level domain name and on the combination of second and top level domain name. Second level domain names exact match could be a user searching for “life to the fullest” and finding http://lifetothefullest.abbott. We find from our dot brand SEO research that the brand TLD is taken into consideration by the search engines.

The combination of second and top level domain would be searching for “home barclays”, and finding http://home.barclays. The charts show the proportion of sites found in the first pages of results for bing and google. The left part shows how websites are ranking just for a second level match, while the right side shows the ranking for second and top level match.

Google

Share of sites in the 2 first results pages of Google when searching for SLD or SLD and TLD

Bing

Share of sites in the 2 first results pages of Bing when searching for SLD or SLD and TLD

Search and Domain Names

Moz  is one of the largest community of search engine experts. Moz carried out an extensive survey of over 150 marketing professionals, and analysed the results in order to represent the perceived importance of various factors in Google’s search algorithm. This is explained in https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors/survey. The factors were ranked from 1 (not influential) to 10 (highly influential), and the latest survey was run in 2015.

We looked at how launching a new website on a “keyword.com” domain or on a “keyword dot brand” domain would impact every one of those factors.

  • Keyword is the exact match root domain name, 5.83
  • Keyword is present in root domain name, 5.22
  • Keyword is closely related to domain name trough entity association, 4.08
  • Keyword in the subdomain name, 3.82
  • Keyword is in the domain extension, 2.55

SEO Technical score

The chart shows the number of sites per type of technical optimisation. The category on the right is highly optimised. The brands present in that category are typically Google or BNP Paribas. These are also the most popular TLDs, as detailed in our popularity section. The darker colours correspond to the more recent researches. It is very interesting to note that the number of highly optimised sites is growing, while there are less and less unoptimised websites. Some sites are used for internal purposes only, and some are very basic parking pages, for which a high level of optimisation is useless. Generally, dot brand SEO technical design is improving, but is not yet optimal.

Inbound links

The number of inbound links for sites supported by dot brand domains is low, and most of domains have no inbound links. As a matter of comparison, highly optimised brand websites would have in excess of 1,000 inbound links. The right part of the chart correspond to above 100 inbound links, and the darker colours correspond to the more recent researches. It is very interesting to note that the number of domains with inbound links is growing, while the proportion of domains with no links is decreasing.

However, it should be noted that:

  • Some of the brands are currently testing what they do with their domains, so will have not optimised on purpose
  • Optimisation takes time, particularly when it comes to creating the back-link profile that will drive results