exact match domain names

Google’s New Algorithm Punishes Exact Match Domains

October 2, 2012 - 4 minutes read - Blog, Business Branding, SEO

Google’s lastest algorithm change has owner’s of exact match domain names ticked! The algorithm has de-valued several exact match domain names that weren’t up to Google’s quality standards. Sites that previously ranked on the first page of Google for the targeted exact match domain keyword, are now nowhere close to the first page. Now, this doesn’t account for all exact match domains, mostly the low quality, light on content sites.

What is an exact match domain name?

If your main keyword is “best blue widgets” and you were lucky enough to snatch up the domain name, www.bestbluewidgets.com, that is considered an exact match domain name. Before the most recent Google algorithm update it wasn’t difficult to rank an exact match domain name on the first page of Google for that specific keyword, unless of course the keyword was super competitive. Now, unless you have a quality site with lots of content and links, good luck ranking an exact match domain name quickly. It’s definitely possible but will take a lot more work than it did a few months back.

What’s surprising is that Google announced it was cracking down on low-quality exact match domain names awhile back, and it just now got around to it.

Late last week Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts tweeted,  “New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.”

What results have we seen with our exact match domain names?

Mod Girl Marketing owns several websites and domain names in a variety of niches. This week we did see a drop in some of our lower quality, exact match domain sites. We found, for the most part, that the sites that dropped rankings were sites that hadn’t been touched in months and sometimes years. They were mostly affiliate websites with a handful of articles and ads. They weren’t huge money-makers but did generate some revenue every month…well unless we are willing to go back and make the sites higher quality, we can kiss that small monthly revenue good bye! Some of our other exact match domain sites that we spent more time on, implemented strong SEO campaigns, posted several articles, etc, remained the same or only dropped a few spots.

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So what does this mean for exact match domain owners?

Quality matters! Don’t throw up a website because of it’s awesome domain name. Branding is key! If you are willing to put in the time, energy, and effort into marketing your exact match domain name like you would any other business, then by all means go for it! But don’t expect it to reach the first page of Google in a week from posting 2 articles. Just like any website, it needs proper content marketing, social media marketing, SEO marketing, etc. Like Matt Cutts said, focus on BRANDING – it will pay off tenfold in the long run.

Need help branding your business online? Hire the experts at Mod Girl Marketing to give your brand a fresh look and generate the exposure you deserve! 

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