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dot brand SEO 2017-10-19T07:35:52+00:00

Dot brand SEO – Optimizing Search Results with dot brand domains

Search is generally the largest traffic driver on websites. For example, 50% of USA e-commerce orders in Q1 2016, compared to 20% for direct domain entry. Search Engine optimisation is therefore extremely important for brands. In this section, we look at how well dotbrand sites have been optimized for search, as well as how they actually perform, searching for a certain number of keywords.

SEO is a combination of multiple factors, out of which :

  • Content – The richer the content of the site, the better it ranks.
  • Technical structure and design – Sites must be technically optimised to be readable to search engines.
  • Inbound links – The more other sites point to you site, the more relevant you are considered by Search Engines

However, it should be noted that some of the brands are currently making pilots and tests. Corresponding sites may not be even declared to the Search Engines. Upon launch, optimisation may take time, particularly when it comes to creating the back-link profile.

An opportunity offered by dotBrand is the creation of keyword rich domains. We will therefore also be looking at how dotbrand sites actually rank when searching for the keywords composing the second level domain.

Our detailed study provides more details on how dotbrand websites perform in search.

Top 10 dot brand websites with most inbound links

As of October 2017

RankDomain NameTechnical Search Optimisation ScoreInbound links  (SEMRush)
1play.afl68778 034
2blog.google85313 215
3global.weir77252 279
4atelier.bnpparibas75230 995
5amarcocar.seat6996 702
6group.bnpparibas8775 598
7home.cern8662 403
8ru.jcb60 423
9chime.aws6956 156
10quicksight.aws7655 831

Design and optimisation for dot brand SEO

Technical Search Optimisation Score

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 show that sites under dot brand domains are being increasingly optimised for search.

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.

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.


Matt Cutts explains in this video that even though “he wouldn’t assume that just because you have a large number of indexed pages that you automatically get a high-ranking”,  the more pages you have, the more chances you have to rank for different keywords. Plus, the more pages you have, the more likely you have more overall links and PageRank, which do directly impact your rankings.

The number of large sites in the dotBrand world is increasing consistently since 2016.

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 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 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.


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


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 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 “” 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