Stuffing Keywords into Multiple Domain Names (Part Two): Tesco Can Do It So Why Cant I?
Following on from my post last week about how stuffing keywords into multiple domain names is a bad tactic (and shows bad advice from inexperienced SEO agencies), I’ve had some comments highlighting the fact that this is a tactic many big name brands are using. One of the names that has come up is Tesco.
I stand by my original remarks on this one. Let me explain why.
There are times when creating multiple domain names is a very good strategy, and Tesco is a good example of this. But there is a subtle difference in what Tesco are doing, compared to the photography example I highlighted last week. Any business that is considering a multiple domain names strategy needs to understand the difference or they could land themselves in trouble with their search engine rankings.
Fundamentally, Tesco has always been a grocer. However, now they are offering everything from finance to clothing and mobile phones to electrical products. This product and market diversification puts them in a position to legitimately have multiple domain names. The sheer size of the organisation, combined with the huge range of products and services they offer, makes it acceptable for them to have:
http://www.tescokitchens.com/ – I didn’t know they were selling kitchens!
Oh, and don’t forget their corporate sites too:
In April, Paddy Power was even taking bets on what Tesco would sell next. The bet is no longer open, but here were the odds that Paddy Power was offering at the time:
Gas and electricity 7/4
Wedding Services 5/1
Solicitor Services 6/1
GP services 10/1
Landscape Gardening Service 12/1
Cosmetic Surgery 16/1
Mini Cab Service 20/1
Dating Service 25/1
Self Service Laundry 25/1
Nannies/Au Pairs 33/1
So we’ve established that Tesco have multiple domains. But notice that they don’t have the following:
The majority of Tesco’s domains offer different products and services, and many also have a unique look/design/feel. This is because they are targeted at different markets and are offering completely different products and services. And they must be doing something right with their products, as people are choosing Tesco own brand products over big name brands.
So what can we learn?
- It’s an unfair playground, as some of Tesco’s domains do go against the guidelines, but Tesco is big enough and its services are different enough for the one or two domains that don’t comply not to cause an issue.
- You can use multiple domains if there is a good enough reason; for example, if you are offering different products/services that clearly warrant a separate website, and more so if you imagined your website as a bricks and mortar business could you warrant having a seperate bricks and mortar business for these products and services?
Do you know of any other domains Tesco that owns? I’m sure there must be more! What are your experiences? Do you know of SEO companies still advising multiple domains and satellite sites? Feel free to join in the debate!
From my experience, approximately 1 in 3 new clients I speak to are still being advised to use keyword stuffing and multiple domains as an SEO tactic. This is music to my ears! If you would like a thorough SEO MOT and some SEO advice that works, just give me a call on 011 33 20 21 21.