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Google’s EMD Updates Targets Domain Name Speculators
I periodically hear folks say that they’re buying “all the domain names related to xxx” and you can fill in the xxx. The idea is they purchase lots of domain names for keyword phrases and then use those domain names to either forward to their main website or they put up low-quality websites at those search-term domains with the expectation that Google will funnel search traffic to those domains and then to their website. I even read a best seller how-to-make-money-on-the-Internet book that proposed buying lots of domains and holding them for this purpose.
Certainly having popular search terms in your domain name can give your website a small boost, but it’s only one of hundreds of ranking factors. Google recently clarified the issue with an exact match domain (EMD) update. According to a recent article at Search Engine Land, “Google specifically said EMD was designed to go after poor quality sites that also have exact match domain names.” It’s not that EMDs are being targeted by Google, it’s the exact match domains with poor quality content that are targeted.
According to the article, Google also doesn’t run the EMD filter continuously. So if you own a keyword-loaded domain name with a poor quality website attached to it, and you’ve seen your search engine ranking plummet, don’t despair, you can repair the problem and expect a boost in rankings the next time the filter is run.
So what’s the takeaway? If you’re speculating in domains, don’t expect them to be valuable because they provide a big search engine benefit. After the EMD update, they don’t. If you have a keyword rich domain and you’ve seen a recent drop in your search rankings, check out Google’s guidance on exactly what they look for in assessing the quality of a website and follow that guidance in improving the quality of your website.
If you’d like some assistance in plotting a strategy to improve your search engine rankings, please contact us at 713-234-6346. SEO is a dynamic field and either you can spend the time to stay on top of these changes, or you can hire someone like IX Brand SEO Services to do that work for you. But the bottom line is that someone working for you should be doing that!