Is the .gb.net top level domain any good for SEO?

Everynow and then I get new options of TLDs popping up in my 123 reg account and this time it was .gb.net TLDs. I thought I’d buy one and see if it’s any good for SEO.

We all know the best domains to get ranks end with .com or .co.uk (if you’re in the UK) and other TLDs are much harder to rank with (no matter what Google has to say about it!), this being a newish one I thought I’d give it a go. I bought an exact match domain with the keywords SEO Consultant in it – this should give me a head start and although these sites aren’t as easy to rank with an exact match phrase anymore the fact that someone has knocked me off the top spot for freelance seo consultant with an exact match domain after 3 years makes me think there is still some legs in this model (don’t worry I’ll get my rankings back for freelance seo consultant before long!).

The domain I decided to buy was SEOConsultant.gb.net, I’ve linked it back to GrowTraffic using nofollowed links so there’s no complaints that I’m trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes with this site and it’s nofollowed because I’m not trying to pass any strength through to GrowTraffic.

Where do other websites rank for the term SEO Consultant?

It’s worth bearing in mind that just about every exact match variation of seo consultant has been bought, and very few of the exact match domains rank in Google UK for the term SEO Consultant. I’ve had a quick review of which websites rank for SEO Consultant and these are the main sites in question:

  1. www.ben-norman.co.uk
  2. www.bensykes.co.uk/seoconsultant.html
  3. www.i-fluid.co.uk
  4. www.danhorton.co.uk
  5. www.scottdsmith.co.uk
  6. www.webservedevelopment.com
  7. www.seoguru.co.uk
  8. www.assistedreputation.com
  9. www.wiredondesign.co.uk
  10. leeroper.com

Interestingly, none of the top 10 appear to be exact matches and most of them are in fact SEO Consultants rather than SEO Consultancies – this suggests to me that it’s (as we’d expect) a competitive market place to get your site ranked on there for this search term. I should probably point out that once upon a time Grow Traffic also ranked in this illustrious space with other seo consultants however I retargeted the site towards the term freelance seo consultant as at the time I was working for an SEO agency and it wasn’t right for me to be positioning myself as a full time seo consultant at the time.

SEO Consultant Exact Match Domain Rankings

Progressing through Google.co.uk, it’s only on page 5 that we actually find the first exact match domain: www.seoconsultant.uk.net, after that it’s www.seoconsultant.uk.com on page 15, and that’s all I could see in the top 300 results which is great to see as it suggests either the industry is nicely competitive or Google is getting better at weeding out exact match domains that have been built by SEOs to get some ranks without too much thought on brand – probably a bit of both really.

My experiment as much of anything isn’t about making the site compete in this massively competitive sphere, rather I’ve created a local of content on it that should see it start to compete in the local sector. I’ve created around 1,500 local pages based on towns, cities and area in the UK. If I was to do this with a .co.uk website I would be confident to have some nice ranks within a week for quite a few of the smaller locations I’ve put on there (the type of places where there is only one seo consultant – or no seo consultants even!). I’ve not quite got down to the level of creating content for every village in the UK as I didn’t think I needed to do that to prove the point however if I can’t work out the results I may just be tempted to try and add some more content around all the villages. The towns, cities and larger areas should be enough though in my opinion to see if SEOConsultant.gb.net and more to the point, .gb.net has a chance of outranking .com and .co.uk domains.

The site went live around a week ago and so far although it’s started to get some rank it doesn’t appear to rank anywhere near as highly as I’d expect it to within this time period for SEO Consultant terms in the less competitive areas. I’ll give it a bit more time and more effort and update you on the ability of the .gb.net domain to rank in the UK for an internet business for SEO Consultant type terms.

5 Comments

  • Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. It’s great to see you’ve spent some time and actual effort to create a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done. Well done I look forward to seeing what happens with your SEOConsultant.gb.net experiment.

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  • simon says:

    Just as an update to this blog – I can confirm that we’ve got some fairly amazing results with this strategy. Where there is limited competition the website is generally ranking within the first few places in Google which suggests to me that this type of domain is definitely worth considering when you’re targeting the UK.

  • Sam @ PromozSEO Academy says:

    Be aware of Google EMD updates. And btw. I don’t think that SEOConsultant.gb.net is not an EMD. The Domain contains a part of the keyword SEO Consultant in UK or SEO Consultant in GB.
    It is not always necessary/possible to rank higher with an exact match domain. Rather SEOing on a good and brand-able domain is more beneficial and safe in long run.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • simon says:

    Hi Sam, Thanks for your comment. This was an experiment I conducted in 2012 to see how the .gb.net TLD would perform as an Exact Match Domain – the point was to see if it could outperform other websites and more especially other EMDs competing for the same keywords with the usual TLDs – especially at a local level. A brandable domain is of so much more benefit – I wait for the day when Google kills off all EMDs. I’m sure it will happen one day, it’s the only way to feasibly get round people saying they’re getting links back to their domains from exact match anchor text because that’s their brand / domain.

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