Is an Exact Match Domain (EMD) Name Right for You After Google EMD Update?

“Content is the king”, it seems that Google is following this phrase strictly- Panda and Penguin are result of this phrase. After PANDA and PENGUIN, everyone expected that some version of PENGUIN will hit the websites, but this time it is the EMD update. Recently at Pubcon, Matt Cutts came out with yet another algorithm that says that Google will be looking at exact match domains and why they rank so well.

Is it the time to conclude that those days are gone when a site with an exact match domain would rank high in Google? Yes, it is, though Google considered this concept bit late but the golden rule prevailed once again – Quality over Quantity. All websites with EMD should not worry, if the website with an Exact Match Domain has good domain age, has quality content and has high quality links pointing to it then there is almost no chance to suffer the hit but if it is not so then could be a pretty bad hit (A straight punch on the face actually).

Relation between Exact match domains and the CTR
We studied the impact of title tag and Meta description in terms of how it affects the Click Through Rate (CTR). The study concluded that the domain name also had a great impact.
The impact of such things is hard to elaborate but there is an example of how the data panned out:

  • An exact match domain + title tag = resulted in a CTR of 38%
  • A non exact match domain with a relevant domain + title tag = had a CTR of 18%
  • A non exact match domain with a relevant domain – title tag = had a CTR of 1%

Influence of Exact Match Domains
There are still some websites with exact match domains ranking high in the search engines, but that’s not because those are exact match domains, rather it is the quality of the content in those sites that make them rank high. Not to mention the intelligent link profile has a role to play as well. In nutshell, Exact Match Domains doesn’t guarantee the ranks and ROI, what matters is that you should promote your brand.

Exact Match Domains and Partial Match Domains are an easy prey to Google’s EMD Update, so now you should not rely on them for your search engine ranking. Despite of all the aforementioned benefits, the trend of EMDs will continue to decline. So it’s better to keep in mind the Google’s EMD Update before choosing a domain name.

Will Exact Match Domains Get Hammered By Google’s EMD Update
It’s hard to say to what degree, but yes some will get penalized (and some have got penalize). It is obvious that all exact match domains will not get nuked, Google would allow the legitimate use of exact match domains. So, there might be a threshold that Google uses while determining which exact match domains to penalize.

This is an extremely exciting time for anyone involved in SEO. You get to watch a major algorithm update get pushed out. Analyze the sites that get penalized, view collateral damage, try and better understand what Google’s objective is with the update, etc.

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