12 Large Companies Who Don’t Own Their Main Domain

12 Companies Who Forgot to Buy Their Dotcom Domains

I’ve helped a few companies buy ‘their’ domain names from other owners over the last few years. Usually it’s either ‘very easy and expensive’, ‘hard but cheaper’, or just ‘totally impossible’.

Here’s a very quick post showing some dotcoms who likely fit into the ‘impossible’ category, plus a few where companies likely just haven’t tried hard enough. Big, big companies who – very surprisingly – don’t own their own dotcom domains. (Number 10 is probably most surprising).

If you know of any other interesting ones, do drop them in the comments.

1. Nissan.com

Here’s a very surprising one – one of the world’s largest car manufacturers – yet they don’t own their dotcom domain. It’s an interesting case, and if you look at the site the ‘lawsuit’ link is worth a read. Here’s Nissan.com:

2. Paul Smith

Google claims there are over 300,000 exact match searches for ‘paul smith’ each month, and the brand has a very mature ecommerce site. Yet here’s paulsmith.com:

3. Compass Group

Ever heard of Compass Group? They’re a FTSE 100 food company, brought in revenue of £15.8 billion in 2011, and employ almost half a million staff. Yet they don’t own ‘compass.com’ or ‘compassgroup.com’ – here’s what sits there instead:


A bit of a cheat this one, as I’m not sure ABBA even have a website, but here’s the current homepage at abba.com:

5. Tate

Tate Online has over 65,000 works of art, they have 4 immensely famous art galleries (the oldest stretching back to 1897). Here’s Tate.com:

6. Fairy

Proctor and Gamble brought in $82 billion of revenue in 2011. One of their most famous UK brands – fairy – has to settle for ‘fairynonbio.co.uk’. Here’s the current Fairy.com:

7. London

The city of London threatened to set up a ‘.london’ generic top level domain, yet the city doesn’t even own its own dotcom. The ‘official’ website is at visitlondon.com, meanwhile the main dotcom houses this:

8. Guardian

Guardian.co.uk gets over 4 million daily visitors. I’d bet guardian.com gets quite a lot of accidental typo traffic. Here’s its current incarnation:

9. Greggs

With 1,500 shops, 400,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and almost 20,000 employees, Greggs Bakers is both a large company and quite committed to the web. As a result, it’s quite surprising that this currently sits at Greggs.com:

10. Argos

Argos passed the ‘£1 billion online’ barrier way back in 2008, yet years later they still haven’t managed to claim the Argos.com domain. Amazing, eh?

11. Distilled

While not as large as some of the others here (at least not yet!), Distilled will be known to lots of domainers and search marketers. Despite specialising in search & online reputation, even they haven’t managed to get hold of distilled.com. (Big thanks to the brilliant @carlhendy for this & the next one). Here’s the current distilled.com site:

12. Skoda

Another from the car industry is Skoda – one of the biggest brand rejuvenations in recent history after their purchase by Volkswagen, yet here is the content of Skoda.com:

Any more?

Do drop a note in the comments if you know of any other really interesting/surprising ones.

The Impact of Small Changes

The Impact of Small Improvements

In situations where there is a chain of events, very small improvements within the chain can yield big end results. Most digital marketing/website user journeys are like this.

As a silly example, the chart below shows how a brand could increase their ’email revenue’ from £391,500 to £500,772, simply by improving performance at each step of a user journey by 1 percentage point.

In the example, an ecommerce brand is sending a single email to a list of 1.5 million addresses. The average order value in each scenario is £145.

Take a look at scenario A and compare the ‘actual’ results at each stage to scenario B:

This is a simple, very crude example, but a nice reminder of a pattern that appears in almost every single user journey.

Google Now Hiding UK Search Data

Google Now Hiding UK & Other International Keyword Data

Last year, Google made a change that meant lots of keyword data was suddenly stolen away from website owners. Thankfully for UK & other international sites, they only rolled this out on Google.com.

‘(Not Provided)’ – The International Rollout

The bad news is, they’ve now rolled out this change to several other international Google sites, meaning you will now lose far more search query data.

Whereas in the past you would see all of the actual search terms bringing traffic from Google, now you get a large lump of data categorised under the anonymous phrase ‘(not provided)’.

Here’s a graph from a UK site showing the increase in the amount of data Google have hidden today vs the same period last week.:

How to View This for Your Own Sites

To view the above graph for your own sites, do the following:

  1. Add this ‘advanced segment’ to Google Analytics: http://bit.ly/hiddendata
  2. Go to the ‘audience overview’ report (‘Audience’ in the left-hand navigation, then ‘Overview’).
  3. In the graph, set the time format to ‘hourly’. (above the right-hand side of the graph)
  4. At the top-right of the screen, set the date range to today; then tick ‘compare to past’, and choose the same day last week as your comparison.
  5. Finally, select the Advanced Segment you set up in step 1 by clicking ‘Advanced Segments’ toward the top left of the screen, and choosing ‘Not Provided – Organic Search’ in the right-hand ‘Custom Segments’ box.


More Background

Here’s a post from Econsultancy talking about the impact of the original rollout. There is also a blog post over there containing a ‘hack’ to work around this to a very small extent.

If you’ve managed to gather any data on this so far for your site, do leave a note on the comment. And do share this via Twitter if you think it would help others.