Exact match domains are extremely popular but the thing is that most of them have already been snapped up. Over the years, exact match domains have seen their popularity dropping however as people tend to be swaying more towards branded domains and creating an online image for theirselves. This is great, as this is exactly what people should be doing. However, EMD’s have gotten quite a bit of bad reputation just recently as Google is known to be turning down the volume on how much the EMD’s actually affect rankings.
However, I think that there are a few things that have been overlooked when it comes to EMD’s and I think that in a way, they could be the key to surviving not only the Penguin/ Panda updates that have already been put into place by Google, buy also the future updates that they no doubt have in store.
Recent Press Surrounding EMD’s
Recently, everyone has been saying that you shouldn’t buy EMD’s at all, and that instead, you should be leaning towards a branded domain. Obviously, if you are running a business named “Johns Plumbing Company”, it wouldn’t really make sense for you to have the domain name “newyorkplumbers.com”, even if you were in New York. Of course, you could opt for this domain, but it wouldn’t be very good for your brand.
Google is well known to have hit EMD’s hard in the last updates and many people have noticed their exact match domains dropping in the SERP’s. The question that you have to ask yourself is whether or not this is actually because of the fact that they were EMD’s. Could there be a different reason?
Why EMD’s Might Be Dropping
Obviously, the fact that Google is turning down the weight on exact match domains is going to affect rankings a little, but I personally don’t think it is going to be enough to cause any major damage. I think there is a different reason and it comes down to the people that own EMD’s.
People that purchase EMD’s have usually purchased them for a reason; and that reason is to rank higher. Now, this has a mental effect on people as they believe that they don’t need to work as hard in order to get their domain name to rank. This is the case of course, as we have seen over the years.
However, because of this, EMD’s tend to have more low-quality content and have less links built to them, because up until now, they could rely on the fact that the EMD would do the work for them. EMD’s are often more likely to have spammy links too, which isn’t going to help rankings.
Of course, there is going to be millions of EMD’s out there that are absolutely exceptional with great content and great links, but all I’m saying is that a large percentage of them are quite low quality.
It is for this reason that Google has more than likely decided to turn down the volume on their algorithm when it comes to EMD’s but you have to remember, if you’re doing everything properly, there is not going to be much of a problem.
Why EMD’s Might Be The Way Forward
One of the things that I think has been overlooked when it comes to EMD’s is the fact that they have their main keywords as the URL. Now, as we know, since the Google Panda and Penguin updates, Google has been favouring links that are branded (including the URL) rather than keyword rich anchor text links. Now, this is where an exact match domain could come in useful.
If you have an EMD, then the keywords you are targeting IS your brand. A good example of this is the website; printing.com. They have built their brand around the keyword of the domain; “printing”. Because of this, it wouldn’t be unusual for printing.com to have a large percentage of their links with the anchor text “printing.com” or “printing”. This is great news if they are trying to rank for the word “printing”; which they clearly are.
Because their domain name is their keyword, they are able to build more links with their main keyword in them without appearing spammy. This will therefore allow them to rank better not primarily because of the fact they have an exact match domain, but because of the benefits it brought them.
Basically, whether you go for an exact match domain or a branded domain, the trick is to build a good site with good content and build natural-looking, high-quality links. Sure, the EMD might give you that little bit of a boost but it is the overall quality of the site and its links that will get you the rankings you want.
If you are building links to EMD’s, remember that you need to still vary the anchor text otherwise you will still appear spammy. If you own “thisismywebsite.com” and every single link has the anchor text “this is my website”, you are still going to trigger Google’s keyword filters.
However, an EMD will allow you to build a slightly larger percentage of keyword anchor-text links without Google thinking that you are being too spammy.
In conclusion, there are definitely still some benefits to EMD’s but overall, you should only ever choose an EMD if you are building your brand around that name. If you have a brand already that wouldn’t be an exact match domain, it is best to simply register your brand name as the URL to your website.