Exact-Match Domain Algorithm Update: What Is Google Really Up To?

Once again, the SEO world has been thrown into another confusion following the release of yet another major Google algorithm change.  Referring to it as a “Minor Whether Report,” Matt Cutts said the purpose is to crack down on low quality exact match domains and prevent them from showing up so highly in the search results.

Before now, the search engines have given priority to domain names that are rich in keywords. For example, if you have a domain name like http://www.hairlosstips.com and someone else has something like http://www.clipperstalk.com; now if the person with the second domain write an article on, let’s say, “15 tips to save hair loss!” no matter how good your article is, the search engine will give priority to the first domain when considering relevancy!

But now that has changed.

Google Exact-Match Domain update

EDM Is Not Related To Panda and Penguin Updates!

The release of the exact-match domain update is a clear indication that Google is ready to touch every area of search engine optimization that SEOs have over the years abused.  Matt was very clear that this latest update has nothing to do with Panda or Penguin updates.

You do remember that that while Panda was aimed at fighting low quality content; Penguin was aimed at fighting web spam. Now, EDM is targeted at low quality exact-match domains!

But What Is Google Really Up To With These Updates?

As expected whenever, Google releases any update the SEO world goes agog with those badly hit complaining. But should we really blame Google for what they are doing? Is it not the SEOs are bringing troubles upon their own heads?

Of course, all of these updates are coming as a result of complains from users.  For a long time, many have questioned why exact domain matches rank well when they shouldn’t. I think this update has answered this question.

As I have always said, Google is helping all of us to have a better web experience. Indeed, Google have its business success in mind but as long as all of us benefit from it, I think Google should be encouraged.

Quality Content Will Definitely Rule For A Long Time!

Google is again showing us that the internet is about information not just any information but quality information. And for that, search engine optimization must be done the right way.  Quality content writing must not be sacrificed on the altar of SEO. If you are marketing online then providing quality content that will be useful to your site visitors is a must.

It is unfortunate that most of the time when these updates are released, the worst hit are always e-commerce sites. Why? Because, many depend heavily on SEO companies who do nothing but push in target keyword phrases into places like the domain name, page url, meta description, the first and last paragraph of a content and then push round it off with some heavy back linking tactics using keyword-rich anchor texts!

If you consider that carefully you will discover that all through it all, the emphasis has always been the target keyword phrase.

But it is time for the wise e-commerce site owner to make a change. Instead of just hiring SEOs (who depend mostly on grey-hat and black-hat SEO tactics) e-commerce site owners should, as a matter of urgency, go for professional SEO content writers who will help them  craft quality web content  that will appeal to both their human site visitors and the search engines.

Besides, those that have not added a blog to their sites should do so or find other ways of adding new content to their sites regularly rather than depending on link building networks and spammy blog comments!

Does This Mean Keywords Are No More Relevant?

Far from it! Keywords still remains how people search on Google. The only thing is that in writing web content you will need to know how to match quality and keyword optimization. The exact-match domain update does not mean that sites with keywords they hope to rank for in their domain names are now doomed.

What Google is looking out for here is low quality sites that want to ride high on the search engines on the basis of their exact-match domains! If you can get a good exact-match domain name and then provide real good quality content on that site, Google will love you for it. However, pushing for exact-match domain today when you want to buy a new domain name is not really relevant anymore. The rules of the game have changed and it will do you some good to listen!

A Personal Example

Let me relate a personal experience here.

A few months ago when I decided on setting up a separate site for my web content writing service, I had a few ideas for a domain name; after doing some keyword research. To my surprise however, every one of the about 8 different domain name ideas I picked on were all, “unavailable!”

I couldn’t believe it. For about 3 days, I was researching keyword after keyword and going back to check the availability of each suggestions but again and again everyone returned “unavailable!”

I was actually looking for a keyword rich exact-match domain name because that has always been the right way to go SEO-wise!

After wasting 3 – 5 days trying to get the perfect exact domain name for my content writing service site, I had to go for SEOWebContentScribe.com, remaining the word “writer” and putting in “scribe.” I’m happy that with just about two months and with just about 7 blog posts, the site is ranking well for its target keyword phrase!

Here is a graphic of the site at #6 for the keyword phrase “seo web content writing service” out of 34,700,000 results!

web writing site SERP graphic
Exact-Match Domain Update Take Away!

If you were hit by the exact-match domain update, don’t lose heart. Implement the suggestions on this post. Remember, the update is about quality, so find ways of making your site a good experience for your site visitors. More importantly before doing anything take some time to evaluate what has really happened and then plan an approach that will make the search engines love your site again.

Share your thoughts with us: As usual I will love to know what you think of this Google exact-match domain update. Were my ramblings in any way helpful? Speak your mind in the comments below.