For our first SEO site review we are going to look at whoever is number one for “DVD rental” in Google. There are some big rental services that you would expect to rank high LoveFilm (3rd), Blockbuster (2nd) but it’s actually Tesco’s rental service that ranks 1st. Although the site does seem to be associated with LoveFilm so they will be presumably getting a nice healthy cut.
The home page for the rental site seems to be nice and clean with various SEO factors being considered.
- Short Meta title “Tesco DVD Rental”
- Domain name contains keyword
- Hidden H1 Tag of “DVD Rental”
- Uses GZIP compression to improve page speed
- A few mentions of the term in the onsite copy
- Nice punchy meta description that will encourage clicks and includes the keyword so will be bolded in results
There are many tools we can use to look at the offsite optimisation of the site. But we will mainly use the SEOmoz Open Site Explorer.
According to the tool, the domain has 24,077 links which include internal links, followed and nofollowed links and 301 redirect pages. These come from 134 linking root domains.
If we delve into the linking root domains, surprisingly the top linking domain isn’t a Tesco one and in fact the Timesonline.co.uk. Then ThisisLondon.co.uk, thirdly Kylie.com (something to do with the singer?!?) and finally in fourth place their big brother Tesco.com.
In the image below we can see the top 5 anchor texts used in the backlinks. The number one in terms of linking root domains is tescodvdrental.com (which does contain the keyword). But the anchor text which is used the most in the backlinks regardless of root domain is our keyword “dvd rental” with a whopping 15,118 links.
We will now look at some of the actual pages linking to the site. Using the filter settings in the tool, we can make sure we are looking at a list of links that are from external sources, followed or from 301 pages.
Their top link should be from Tesco.com with the anchor text “dvd rental” but the link doesn’t seem to be live at the moment. They do however have a link from the sub domain direct.tesco.com which has a page rank of 5, but doesn’t use the exact keyword, it uses “Rent DVDs”(which they are 2nd for in Google”.
Alot of the other links on the top 20 seem to be from Tesco, so nothing fishy will be going on there, just a good linking network from their sites. Lets have a look at who else are linking to them.
They get a nice link from this Money Saving Expert page which is PR3 but they only use the anchor text “Tesco”.
They do seem to have a lot of spammy looking links from domains that don’t seem to work, when opening a selection, most pages returned errors, one Chrome warned me might be a malware risk and the one I did get to load was a list of links. This would seem fishy but all these pages seem to be using the domain name as anchor text, so not a very good black hat technique if it is one.
We could spend an eternity looking into every backlink and looking at all the internal pages of the domain but to wrap this review up, we won’t. Put simply whoever designed the site and has managed their campaign has taken advantage of some basic SEO principles and made good use of the powerful network of Tesco sites and sub domains. It is nice to see the site using Gzip compression which shows they are aware of the speed elements of the Google algorithm. No sneaky blackhat techniques that we can expose im afraid. It looks like their number one position is well deserved.
Stay tuned for some more SEO reviews of the UK’s best ranking sites.