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Virgin, are you kidding?

Occasionally, I run the great backlink tool Majestic SEO across websites of major companies purely to see if they are likely to fall victim to one of Google’s Penguin updates. Being a quiet Friday night, I thought I would check out the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), as it is a subsidiary of a former client, not forgetting that it was my first bank when I lived in Godzone.

So I let it rip. One of the first reports I run is the Referring Domains Report, which I sort by Trust Flow in ascending order. This lists the lowest value links first and it’s common to see a few with a value of zero.

majestic seo

Sure enough, there were a few, so I turned the page and then kept turning until I reached the last page of the zeroes – over 700 low value links! Not that values of 1 through 10 were much better – and there are a few of those – but that’s getting away from the story.

Cue Virgin

I noted that I was seeing a lot of domains containing “virgin” in the name. Oh, someone having a laugh. Hang on, some of them were recognisable, so what’s going on. I exported the Majestic SEO data and filtered out all the Virgin names. here they are:

  1. virgin.biz
  2. virgin.co.uk
  3. virgin.com.au
  4. virgin.com.pe
  5. virgin.hk
  6. virgin.org
  7. virgin1.biz
  8. virginafrica.biz
  9. virginage.com
  10. virginair.ca
  11. virginair.org
  12. virginaircraft.com
  13. virginalcohol.com
  14. virgin-america.us
  15. virginapparel.com
  16. virginaquatic.com
  17. virginasiapacific.net
  18. virginatlantic.ca
  19. virginatlantic.hk
  20. virginatlantic.org
  21. virginaustralia.biz
  22. virgin-australia.com
  23. virginaustraliaairlines.com
  24. virginbalance.net
  25. virginbalance.org
  26. virginbanking.co.nz
  27. virginbanking.com
  28. virginbikes.net
  29. virginbiz.co.uk
  30. virgin-blue.info
  31. virginblue.net
  32. virginblueairline.com
  33. virginblueairlines.com
  34. virgin-books.net
  35. virginbrides.com
  36. virgincanada.com
  37. virgincar.com
  38. virgin-car.com
  39. virgincareers.com
  40. virgin-cars.org
  41. virgincellphone.com
  42. virgin-charity.net
  43. virginchicago.com
  44. virgincinema.com
  45. virgin-cinema.com
  46. virgincinemas.com
  47. virgincityguides.com
  48. virginclothing.co.uk
  49. virgin-clothing.co.uk
  50. virginclothing.com
  51. virginclothing.info
  52. virgin-club.com
  53. virginclubs.com
  54. virgincola.biz
  55. virgincola.ch
  56. virgincom.com
  57. virgincommunicate.com
  58. virgincomputers.com
  59. virgincrew.com
  60. virgincrosscountry.co.uk
  61. virgincruisesholidays.com
  62. virgin-denim.com
  63. virgindigitalsystems.com
  64. virgin-direct.com
  65. virgindrinks.com.au
  66. virgindrinks.com.vn
  67. virgindrinks.nl
  68. virgin-drinks.org.uk
  69. virgin-drive.com
  70. virgindvds.com
  71. virginenergy.com
  72. virgin-erotica.co.uk
  73. virgin-erotica.com
  74. virginexclusive.com
  75. virginexploration.com
  76. virginexpress.info
  77. virginexpress.se
  78. virginextra.biz
  79. virgin-extra.net
  80. virginfm.com
  81. virgin-footwear.com
  82. virginforever.com
  83. virginfranchise.com
  84. virginfree.com
  85. virgin-galactic.com
  86. virgingalacticairlines.com
  87. virgingalaticairway.com
  88. virgingalaxy.com
  89. virgingas.com
  90. virgingermany.com
  91. virgingroup.co.uk
  92. virginguide.com
  93. virginh2o.co.za
  94. virginhome.co.uk
  95. virginhome.com
  96. virginhomephone.com
  97. virginhospitality.com
  98. virginhost.net
  99. virgin-incentive.net
  100. virginincentives.com
  101. virginincentives.net
  102. virgin-incentives.net
  103. virgininteractive.biz
  104. virginipo.com
  105. virginit.com
  106. virginit.net
  107. virgin-land.com
  108. virginleisure.com
  109. virginlifebank.co.uk
  110. virgin-limo.com
  111. virginlottery.org
  112. virginlotto.org
  113. virginmagazine.com
  114. virginmarketing.co.uk
  115. virginmarketing.com
  116. virgin-mega.tv
  117. virginmegastore.hk
  118. virginmegastore.tv
  119. virginmegastore.us
  120. virginmobile.cc
  121. virginmobile.co.il
  122. virgin-mobile.com
  123. virgin-mobile.com.vn
  124. virginmobile.hk
  125. virginmobile.mx
  126. virginmobilephilippines.com
  127. virgin-mobile-phones.com
  128. virginmobileringtones.org
  129. virginmoney.org
  130. virgin-money.org
  131. virgin-mortgages.com
  132. virginnews.com
  133. virginnightwear.com
  134. virginnz.com
  135. virginoil.com
  136. virginondemand.com
  137. virginone.info
  138. virginone.tv
  139. virginpensions.com
  140. virginphones.com
  141. virginpoints.com
  142. virgin-power.com
  143. virginpress.com
  144. virginpublishing.com
  145. virginradio.biz
  146. virgin-radio.cn
  147. virginradio.com.cn
  148. virginradio.fm
  149. virginrailways.co.uk
  150. virginrailways.com
  151. virginrecords.co.za
  152. virginrecruitment.com
  153. virgin-red.com
  154. virginrentals.com
  155. virginsalon.com
  156. virginschool.com
  157. virginshoe.com
  158. virginshopping.com
  159. virginshops.com
  160. virginskinware.com
  161. virginsocks.com
  162. virginsoftware.com
  163. virginsol.net
  164. virginsport.co.za
  165. virginstakeholders.com
  166. virginsteele.com
  167. virgin-student.com
  168. virginstudnet.com
  169. virgintalk.net
  170. virgintelecommunications.com
  171. virgintelephone.com
  172. virgin-territory.com
  173. virgin-ticket-sales.com
  174. virgintoy.com
  175. virgintrain.com
  176. virgin-trains.info
  177. virgintravel.co.uk
  178. virgintravel.com
  179. virgintravellers.net
  180. virgin-travellers.org
  181. virgin-travelstore.com
  182. virginuk.net
  183. virginunltd.co.uk
  184. virgin-unltd.com
  185. virgin-vodka.co.za
  186. virginvoice.com
  187. virginwatersports.com
  188. virginwear.com
  189. virgin-wine.com
  190. virginwineonline.com
  191. virginwines.net
  192. virgin-wines.net
  193. virginwines.org
  194. virgin-wines.org
  195. virginwinesonline.net
  196. virginwines-online.net
  197. virginwinesonline.org
  198. virginwines-online.org
  199. virgin-wireless.com
  200. virginwireless.net
  201. virginworld.com
  202. virginxtra.biz

I checked a few of them and was shocked to find them all a copy of the others. Checked the calendar – no, it isn’t 2005 when it was OK to put a copy of your website on every domain you owned. I did a search on one of them for the link to BNZ. Found it. A legit story about the Virgin Business Challenge. OK, not all these domains have the same content, but many do, but they all seem to have the same blog, hence the same links to bnz.co.nz.

virgin

Implications

Is there any story here? Well, copying an entire site fully or substantially is not a good idea if you care about SEO. Even if you don’t, then at least think of users who might land on one of these copies and be confused. Virgin is such a super brand that I don’t think its SEO will be affected by Google’s algorithms one way or the other. After all, nobody is going to look for most of these domains, which might include speculative purchases. I’d have 301′d all such redundant domains to a single primary website, such as virgin.co.uk.

What about BNZ getting 202 links from this group of sites? BNZ isn’t a big brand outside NZ, but it is sufficiently strong to not be affected by multiple links from Virgin. Please comment if you think there is an SEO concern here.

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lindsey annison 11 January 2014, 12:58 pm

    Could comment on SEO implications, but got caught up wondering about Virgin Stud Net…..what is Branson planning?!