Phones4U went into administration recently, after losing contracts it had with network operators Vodafone and EE. 

One of the first acts of the appointed administrators was to close the website and replace it with a customer notice.

While it’s understandable that no more orders could be taken, did this act devalue one of the company’s most valuable assets? 

Here’s the Phones4U site as it looks now, with information and contact details for various customer queries. 

This means that all the pages from the site, which was built up over the last 17 years, are now inactive. 

Of course, it couldn’t continue to take orders, but it could have kept the pages alive to preserve the value of the asset. 

While the administrators are busy dealing with the company’s offline assets, they have allowed some fantastic positions to drop in the SERPS. 

The chart below shows ten high value search terms, all of which the company ranked in the top five on Google for.

Now, as we can see, these search rankings have vanished as Google has no pages to index. 

These are highly competitive and valuable search terms, as this chart from Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner shows: 

 

The phones4u domain has almost 1m inbound links and has probably had hundreds of thousands of man hours spent on it to achieve excellent search positions in a highly competitive sector. 

The question is, what would this domain be worth to a competitor, a new player, or someone who wanted to take it online only, as others have done with brands like Woolworth’s and Zavvi

Should administrators be more aware of the value, and take more care in preserving a company’s digital assets in future? Let me know below…