Google rolled out a new algorithm update in which they will penalize low-quality exact match domains (EMD penalty). Many Webmasters who are into micro niche blogging, for the exact match domain penalty seems like one of the worse updates.
As announced by Matt Cutts on Twitter:
Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 28, 2012
New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 28, 2012
This new algorithm change will affect “Exact-match” domains with low-quality content. Earlier, exact match domains are priceless as they have the advantage of the keyword in the URL and exact monthly searches for the Keyword, which used to drive extra traffic.
Also, using exact match domain used to give an extra advantage to the search engine and you could easily rank with low-quality content. According to the report, many “exact match” domains already slipped out of first 10 ranking, and many sites missed the first 100 spot.
What exactly is exact match domains?
We all know having Keyword in our domain name gives us extra SEO advantage and that’s why people prefer to use Keywords when buying domains. Now, having a domain name like makemoneyonline.com, toplaptops.com, will help you to rank faster and higher. Where as using a domain name like tech geek, laptop guy are considered as partial match domain names.
Over the time, many Webmasters used to buy exact match domain names and rank higher in search even with low-quality content. This new algorithm update is aimed to target those Websites with low quality who are ranking higher in searches because of keyword advantage in the domain name.
One thing is clear that Google is following a pattern to penalize obvious SEO spamming. Earlier, Google algorithm took down private blog networks, which used to game the system with backlinks, and now Google taking down exact match domain SEOs. Now, penalizing a site by name is right or wrong is a point of debate, as instead of penalizing they could simply reward other high-quality sites or work more on adding ranking signal based on content and other data. Can you express your view about the same?
How to recover from Exact match domain (EMD) Penalty?
Now, many of you who are into IM and work on seasonal stuff like Black Friday, New year based on exact match domains, you might like to replan your strategy.
As mentioned above, instead of targeting exact keyword matching domain name, go for partial match domain names. Add Prefix or suffix in your domain names and you can use service like Bustaname to get more domain name ideas.
For existing webmasters, who got penalized by this new algorithm change your read to recovery is going to be time-consuming as if your penalty is more on domain level and it’s different from Panda and Penguin, so you need to work more on content and branding your domain. Domain authority is one thing which will create a major difference here.
If you have low-quality content, you can hire writers from freelance writing websites and get your content re-written again with more quality.
Here you can read about 12 ways to judge high-quality content.
Another pattern which I have noticed among exact match domain ranking is, they let all their pages indexed in Google. Which includes tags, categories, Archives pages also. It’s better to let Google index only quality and useful pages from your domain. Add noindex to WordPress categories and tags pages, and here you can learn more about what Google meant by low-quality content.
Social signals are one big SEO factor. You should work on integrating social bookmarking and sharing icons around your blog post. Also set up your blog social media presence footprint by creating Youtube channel, Pinterest profile, Twitter profile, and Facebook fan page.
Read my guide on four things which I did to increase Google search CTR and implement it on your blog and see if it helps or not. Or you can simply buy a partial match domain name and do a 301 redirection from old to the new domain.
We can’t deny the fact that many good sites might get penalized with this exact match domain penalty and it’s better to start working on Partial match domain names. Though, since the low quality content is the major criteria for such penalty, you might get an extra advantage with high-quality content on the exact matching domain name.
Do share your experience with this new algorithm? Have you seen any traffic change or update after this new domain level penalty rolled out?