We recently looked at the UK sites that made the biggest SEO gains in 2015, but now it’s time to cross the pond to see which US sites did the best last year.
Juan González the SEO & Country Manager at Sistrix spent a considerable amount of time last week evaluating 200 domains, and has given us an exclusive look at the top 100.
Please note, we haven’t included any adult-entertainment websites in this list – of which there were only three. Also, as there were no major Google updates in 2015, most of these problems were “home-made by the website operators.”
The insights below each domain are from Juan himself, so a massive thank you for his input.
In May 2015 Choice Hotels consolidated all of its domains – comfortsuites.com, qualityinn.com, comfortinn.com and many more – into the main domain of choicehotels.com.
The redirects are sound but the only hazard may be the fact the consolidated domains still return a 200 status code when a Googlebot useragent visits. It might be a good idea for them to fix this potential cloaking problem soon.
We’ve already looked more closely at Quora in our UK review.
Basically, Quora has cornered the market when it comes to Q&A sites, and has very impressive URLs like https://www.quora.com/Can-I-burn-an-audio-CD-on-a-DVD-R-and-have-it-behave-as-a-CD-R-so-I-can-play-it-in-all-cars-and-players which themselves rank for almost 100 Keywords on Google:
Groupon managed to massively build up their /coupons/stores/ directory during 2015, so that now a good 33% of the top 10 keywords for the entire domain are generated in this directory.
Looking at the top keywords for the entire domain, there are 65,338 top 100 keywords but only 2,545 top 10 keywords, so there’s quite a bit of room for improvement.
The crowd-sourced local business review site may be massive when it comes to indexed pages (more than 30 million), though it seems that its quality is not what Google wants.
Out of more than 30 million indexed pages, we found only about 32,000 URLs in the Top 100 results, with less than 1,300 URLs making it into the Top 10.
Again, a domain which we covered in our UK review. Zomato provides exactly the kind of information that Google looks for when it serves localised results to searchers – restaurant reviews, user ratings, photos and menus.
Much of its improved visibility was down to Zomato’s purchase of urbanspoon.com, the content of which redirected to zomato.com from June 2015.
Here’s the Top 20 US domains that increased in Google visibility in 2015:
- choicehotels.com 397.81%
- quora.com 394.40%
- groupon.com 195.09%
- angieslist.com 189.35%
- zomato.com 185.29%
- macmillandictionary.com 147.24%
- etsy.com 136.76%
- academy.com 132.74%
- weather.com 130.98%
- cambridge.org 129.74%
- washingtonpost.com 123.25%
- burlingtoncoatfactory.com 119.02%
- wayfair.com 106.22%
- authoritynutrition.com 103.99%
- skyscanner.com 100.06%
- mentalfloss.com 99.85%
- instagram.com 98.93%
- express.com 96.79%
- cinemablend.com 95.22%
- sears.com 86.87%