How Nordstrom strategically beat Zappos in Google Search

How Nordstrom strategically beat Zappos in Google Search

May 10, 2016 1:00 pm

Five years in the past, in April 2011, Zappos’ market share in Google was greater than 3 times as giant as Nordstrom‘s. 

Today, Nordstrom has twice the market share on Google as Zappos.

During the time between April 2011 to December 2012, managed to extend its market share by fifty one% (going from a visibility rating of forty two.N to sixty three.forty two factors), whereas Nordstrom elevated their visibility thirteen factors to fifty four.N. A big bounce in market share by 302%.

At this level, they turned a direct competitor to Zappos, with each domains having 50% of their key phrases in Google in widespread.

In September 2013, took off, leaving within the mud. Since then, has constantly elevated its market share, climbing by sixty five% from September 2013 till in the present day, with a visibility rating of ninety.seventy eight factors.

During the identical time, constantly misplaced market share and ended up at a -37.32% loss, dropping from sixty three.forty two to 39.seventy five factors.

What occurred?

If I see one thing just like the above, I wish to shortly examine each domains. You can run such a comparability within the Toolbox by merely typing the domains into the search bar, separated by a comma:,

We can see that hyperlinks aren’t an issue for Zappos. They even have almost one million and a half hyperlinks, from about H,000 domains, greater than Nordstrom.

zappos vs nordstrom

Competitive comparability of and

The factor that shortly catches the attention is the massive discrepancy within the quantity of listed pages for each domains. Zappos has a whopping fifty six million pages listed and that may be an enormous drawback.

If we take a look at the variety of key phrases for which Zappos has a Top one hundred rating (17,000) and examine it to the variety of listed pages, we get a ratio of A,310 listed pages for each key phrase within the Top one hundred.

If we examine this quantity to another domains, we see how inefficient that is:

  • Wikipedia has a ratio of 107
  • Walmart has a ratio of one hundred thirty five
  • Nordstrom has a ratio of 182
  • Amazon has a ratio of 250
  • Zappos has a ratio of A,310

Take a take a look at this:

Comparing the indexed pages for a specific product

Comparing the listed pages for a selected product

This large variety of listed pages is an enormous drawback for Zappos’ crawling and indexing price range. The actual enemies of each the crawling and indexing of huge web sites are net builders, JavaScript and chaos basically.

Let me present you some further examples:

Zappos has fairly numerous product pages within the Google index which aren’t obtainable anymore. At the identical time, these pages are set to index/comply with.

zappos see robots no follow

Ironically, additionally they have widespread merchandise, which ARE obtainable, set to noindex/comply with.

products set to noindex/follow

All these issues collectively will trigger Google to crawl pointless URLs, which can deplete the crawl-price range for the area. And this crawling energy will probably be sorely missed, particularly for such in depth tasks.

Additionally, this crawling finances will outline how typically Googlebot crawls the primary few ranges of the area and the way typically a deep crawl will happen.

We see one thing comparable with the indexing price range: this price range decides on the utmost variety of URLs which will probably be added to the Google index.

It is essential to take into account that solely URLs that are crawled recurrently will keep inside the index.

It might all be really easy. In principle, each piece of content material ought to have a singular, logical, straightforward to know URL, which stays precisely the identical over the many years.

Sadly, this utopia doesn’t maintain as much as the actual world: net builders determine on creating the third print model of a web page, Googlebot learns a bit extra JavaScript and all of a sudden invents utterly new URLs and the website will get its third CMS-relaunch in two years, which leaves the unique URL-idea in tatters.

All of it will finish the identical approach: Google will crawl pointless URLs and waste the area’s crawling finances.


We can see that Nordstrom determined to compete with Zappos on about 50% of its key phrases. For fairly some time, each domains competed instantly on the similar degree of visibility. Though in the long run, Zappos’ onpage issues and a change in consumer behaviour has let to a stark distinction in visibility for each Domains.

If we take a look at which key phrases each domains rank for, we discover that, at first, Nordstrom solely ranked for 23% of the key phrases which Zappos had. Only three years later, Nordstrom already managed to rank for 50% of Zappos’ key phrases.

This change exhibits us that Nordstrom truly determined to actively work on competing with Zappos. Today the tables have turned and Nordstrom instantly competes on sixty seven% of Zappos’ key phrases.

Number of keywords which and have in common

Number of key phrases which and have in widespread

When we speak about consumer behaviour, we imply that, if the consumer has a selection between each a outcome on Nordstrom and Zappos, they’ll determine to go to We can see this because of Google Trends. The consumer curiosity for each domains half methods in Mid 2012, simply as direct competitors began.

This publish was initially revealed on the Sistrix weblog, reprinted by permission.

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