Backlink Profile Analysis: Sainsbury’s vs. TESCO [EP. 1]


Back when I headed up SEO at MediaCom UK, one of my clients was Sainsnbury’s. I loved working with them and helping them navigate the turbulent waters of SEO.  They were switched on and we achieved brilliant results together.

A few months ago I was curious to see where they’re at today compared to their competitors.   In light of all the Google’s algo drama over the past few months and their ongoing fight against artificial links, I was especially interested in how they’re doing in the areas of authority and link building.

The comparison was against TESCO.

I asked the team to set them both up onto our client reporting portal 163 days ago, here’s how they faired…

Sainsburys vs TESCO PageRank

The above summary shows TESCO with a higher PageRank (7 vs 6). It also shows considerably fewer links from fewer domains and around 46% site-wide links (quite high, but much less that TESCO’s 65% site-wides).

Sainsbury’s were leading on the highly sought after .GOV front while TESCOS were kicking arse and taking names on the .EDU front (ironic given that Sainsbury’s is the one leading the healthy eating at schools initiatives).

We recrawled their site again today and here’s what the situation looks like…

Sainsburys vs TESCOS today

In the span of 163 days, Google had downgraded TESCO’s PageRank to 6 (from 7) even though TESCO’s links actually increased while Sainsbury’s decreased.  The number of domains Sainsbury’s links are from actually increased.

Both sites saw an increase in nofollow links, an indication of a healthier more natural link profile.

TESCO have also been much more aggressive in acquiring many more autoritative educational (.EDU) links.  (To Do: For EP2, further analyse the details of  TESCO’s .edu links. )

I’ll leave you with the above for now to chew over. Stay tuned for episode 2 and watch the drama unfold as we analyse their backlink profile and provide more insights about these 2 UK retail giants and how they fair in regards to SEO.

Until then,  have a brilliant week!

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.


  1. […] audit.  The screenshot below is a crawl of a previous client of mine (Sainsbury’s) which we recently re-audited. It demonstrates the importance of dickering the most important pages on your website.  In […]

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