Tech & Science shadow websites: Lieferando digs the water out of restaurants
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Lieferando is benefiting from the crisis as a delivery service - and with it the restaurants whose food the company is selling. But the shadow websites that Lieferando is building ensure that the organic findability of the restaurants on Google suffers.
The food delivery service Lieferando benefits to a large extent from therestaurants - on the one hand due to the higher demand from customers who are currently unable to eat in the restaurant, but also partly from the increased sales of the restaurants that have food delivered. Last year increased by 50 percent.
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This is a curse and a blessing at the same time for the restaurant owners: Because many of them also offer self-collection and are otherwise very happy about the services of Lieferando, even if they are usually subject to a commission of 13 percent, even if the delivery is over own driver takes place and only the deal came about through Lieferando. If one of the Lieferando cyclists drives out the meal, it is usually as much as 30 percent that the restaurant pays for the service. In a market segment that, even outside of the lockdown, earns more money from drinks than from food, that's a real problem.The overwhelming presence of Lieferando microsites
But the problem is made even bigger by tens of thousands of shadow websites across Europe, which, were registered by the Dutch company “Just Eat Takeaway”, which Lieferando also belongs to. There should be around 120,000 domains across Europe, 50,000 of which are in Germany - the IT security company Domaintools has made the relevant data available for analysis. If these - and this is not uncommon - are better SEO-optimized than the actual website of the restaurant, they will even appear higher up in the Google search results. And quite a few customers book via Lieferando in this way without wanting to do so or seeing the alternative of ordering directly from the restaurant without an intermediary, since these microsites are not immediately recognizable as system websites for every user due to their design. There is also an option to order within the Google results pages, which is also processed via Lieferando.
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In the case of the example of a Vietnamese restaurant owner from Munich, which the BR cites as an example, he was only able to secure the domainLieferando: Shadow websites are a feature and service - if you go to the (higher-ranked) domain , you end up on a restaurant page where you can order food via Lieferando. In the meantime, at the owner's request, this has apparently been replaced by a generic launch page from Lieferando, which takes you to the Lieferando start page. The whole thing is also advertised with Google Ads.
Lieferando itself declares that these websites are part of the contract and a service for the restaurants that smaller providers in particular would appreciate. Google advertising also saves the restaurant media budget. If you talk to companies about this approach, the picture is actually divided: A restaurant owner who does not want to read his name publicly in this context explains that Lieferando is an important sales channel due to its size, especially in the pandemic, but the price for it is high and successful online advertising is a real challenge.
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This cooperation creates a high level of dependency for the catering industry, which now extends so far that companies have the choice of whether to get involved in the "almost monopolistic structures" (according to the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) about the company) or forego the additional sales that are urgently needed in the crisis. Thein both cases. The cases also show how important it is for companies in any industry to not only secure the domain that is close to them as soon as possible before or after opening, but also some other domains with the company name in various combinations - and not least through the Optimize corresponding to .
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