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Toys.com Loses Google Ranking

Toys ‘R’ Us loses search traffic from Toys.com domain name.

As I predicted a couple weeks ago, Toys.com has been de-indexed by Google because the domain is forwarded to ToysRUs.com. Now the value of Toys ‘R’ Us’ $5.1M purchase of Toys.com has been relegated to type-in traffic and potentially some of the inbound links to Toys.com.

The type-in traffic is valuable, but now the company doesn’t hold a lock on the #1, #2, and #4 positions in Google for the term “toys”. Its competitors, including Amazon.com, have a chance to creep up. Toys ‘R’ Us could have used 301 forwards on specific pages of the Toys.com web site to enhance its long tail product search.

It also appears the toy company could use some help managing its domain names. For example, it owns the typo ToyRUs.com (no ‘s’ on end of “toys”), but it doesn’t resolve or forward to the company’s web site toysrus.com. According to Compete.com, this simple typo gets over 60,000 unique visitors per month.

Although Toys ‘R’ Us registers its domains with Mark Monitor, it appears to not use its typosquatting services, as evidenced by the many typos of ToysRUs.com owned by unrelated parties.

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  1. Jamie Zoch says

    Nice catch on the Typo ToyRus.com and it’s misuse. I often scratch my head and wish it was easy to contact these companies as a domain consultant to offer advice!

    eLoan.com’s eLoans.com needs it as well as many thousands of other big co’s that fail with assets they already own!

    A domainer/domain consultant would be well worth a small fee to get advice from!

  2. Gary says

    Things don’t get a lot better here in Blighty.

    Toys.co.uk does forward to ToysRUs.co.uk

    but ToyRUs.co.uk is squatted on and parked (although not showing a lander anymore, looks like it was cancelled by NameDrive)

  3. Blake Worthington says

    That’s just goes to show every company should have a Domainer or Seo person on board to avoid these kind of issues. Simply amazes me that a company with there buying power and they acquire such a great name to just simply let it fall out of google.

    Great story and I’m subscribing to your feed as well….Thank you

  4. Shane says

    That’s why Monster.com has been running Jobs.com as a separate site since the day they bought it. The one exception was when they started forwarding it to jobs.monster.com. It took just a few days for Google to drop them from the rankings, and then magically Jobs.com was its own site again 🙂 Rankings were restored soon after.

  5. Dot Us says

    It is very scary they dont employ someone who know this,

    i mean a billion dollar company ? not having the sense to benefit rightfully from a 5.1m purchase.

    i think your’e right, having 1 domainer on there staff at, what $60/70/80,000 a year ? would make them 3-4 times that amount 🙂

  6. jojo says

    I think people can always resubmit the domain to google again. Build it again, avoid the duplicate content, and google will give the domain a life again.

  7. Matt Evans says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision to redirect/shutdown Toys.com was made by an internal team that never even considered SEO. This happens A LOT at larger companies that don’t understand SEO and don’t address it in every dept and in every related process.

  8. David says

    > bah, you’d register typos to direct traffic to your site, what else?

    trademark protection. they may also have taken them from others in pursuit of that.

    It seems, on the surface, that setting up redirects would be a simple process. In reality, however, in a large company it just isn’t as easy as hiring an SEO expert to sit in house.

    An SEO expert isn’t likely to have access to configure servers and redirects, so he can make all the recommendations he likes. Without resources to implement, it won’t happen that quickly.

    I’d venture a guess, it’s been on someone’s list for a while, but isn’t a high priority. The fact is that even though 60,000 may have mistyped “toysrus.com” and received a browser error, how many of those people just gave up and didn’t end up at the ToysRUs wesite after a search or correcting their mistype a few keystrokes later?

    In the ideal world with unlimited resources, this would all be setup perfectly. When you have a brand as recognized as Toys’R’Us is, however, setting up the typo domains becomes less important (as long as a competitor isn’t using it to drive traffic away from you). And owning the domain becomes more important than setting up the redirect.

    I guess my point is, although these are all valid issues to raise, don’t assume Toys’R’Us isn’t aware or doesn’t know what it’s doing. It’s more likely an issue prioritization of resources and calculated ROI on that implementation.

    (didn’t mean to hijack the original thread from toys.com, but just wanted to shed some light on the typo issue a couple people commented on.)

  9. Joosh says

    Also toysrme.com goes to the wrong people and the FBI is looking at toysrtoys.com and toysrus.org also is being canvassed for a possible blackmail attack.

    However, the money involved ($25 million) is too little for the big boys to worry about. Though our cut is only $5 million.

  10. GuaranteedRankings says

    Redirects (302 temporary or 301 permanent) are easy to overlook…and when it comes to stable SEO, it turns out to be one of the most important factors. A simple 301 redirect would have helped Toys.com avoid the ranking slippage.

  11. Columbus DJ says

    Wow… thats great information. Amazing that a company that size makes the same types of mistakes that I would make… although they’re playing in a completley different league!

  12. apentium says

    Now, 2 years later you do not see any problem. It is a good lesson that whatever happens may have different outcomes in the short run and the picture may be different in the long run.

  13. Lakesha Sherow says

    Wow, amazing weblog format! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The overall look of your website is great, let alone the content!

  14. Josh says

    SEO penalties are not rare these days with google penguin 2.1 in the yard. It is interesting to know if a site revovers after the penalty is lifted or further steps are needed to go ahead with seo efforts. Nowadays this proves somewhat difficult to accomplish due to strict rules laid by google in order to fight spam, affecting legitimate sites and practices as well.

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