How well are top websites making use of their new .uk domains?

by Edwin on June 28, 2014

Are top websites making good use of their new .uk domain, or are they squandering the opportunity or even sending free traffic to a third party? Here’s an early look at the .uk winners and losers.

There are 205 .co.uk sites listed within Alexa’s list of the top 20,000 websites in the world. Of those sites, 69 have registered the corresponding .uk domain as of 28 June.

But registering the domain is only half the battle. They then have to make productive use of it! Here’s how those 69 sites rate on that front…

.uk used as primary domain
Score: 5 out of 5
None have switched to the .uk yet

.uk redirected to existing .co.uk or .com site
Score: 4 out of 5
123-reg.uk, argos.uk, eventbrite.uk, hl.uk, homebase.uk, kayak.uk, maplin.uk, names.uk, sportsmole.uk, trustpilot.uk, vodafone.uk, vouchercodes.uk and zoopla.uk


Close, but no cigar…


Frames .co.uk content on .uk, leaving .uk showing in URL bar (potential for SEO issues)
Score: 3 out of 5
fasthosts.uk

Same content served on .uk and .co.uk (potential for duplicate content SEO penalties)
Score: 3 out of 5
autotrader.uk and sedo.uk


The real waste starts below here…

.uk resolves to a blank page (site looks like it’s down to anyone typing in .uk version of domain)
Score: 2 out of 5
ee.uk, heartinternet.uk, holidaylettings.uk, just-eat.uk, orange.uk, santander.uk and tripadvisor.uk

.uk does not resolve (site looks like it’s down to anyone typing in .uk version of domain)
Score: 1 out of 5
amazon.uk, barclays.uk, bbc.uk, coral.uk, cosmopolitan.uk, digitalspy.uk, expedia.uk, glamourmagazine.uk, google.uk, iii.uk, indeed.uk, independent.uk, macworld.uk, menshealth.uk, monster.uk, myhermes.uk, netdoctor.uk, o2.uk, ovh.uk, pcadvisor.uk, postoffice.uk, sainsburys.uk, sony.uk, spareroom.uk, standard.uk, talktalk.uk, telegraph.uk, vogue.uk, which.uk, wiggle.uk, wired.uk and yelp.uk

.uk resolves to advertising/parking page belonging to domain registrar (site looks like it’s gone to anyone typing in .uk version of domain)
These companies are gifting free traffic to their domain registrars!

Score: 0 out of 5
barclaycard.uk, findmypast.uk, ibtimes.uk, monsoon.uk, nationwide.uk, odeon.uk, officeholdings.uk, opentable.uk, pogdesign.uk, rightmove.uk, sofeminine.uk, topcashback.uk, trivago.uk and vistaprint.uk

The .uk extension launched on 10 June, so it has only been out for 18 days as of this post. That makes the above a very early look. Nevertheless, it shows that many companies have a long way to go before they can be said to be making effective use of their new shorter, catchier .uk domains.

Let’s hope the message starts to get through!

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