Google Slaps Exact Match Domains in Sept 28th Update

02 Oct
Written by jpjanze
Categorized in:
Matt Cutts Tweet about EMD update

Matt Cutts announced on Twitter a new algorithm update targeting exact match domains launched on Sept 28,2012. Google is targeting what they deem to be 'low quality exact match domains"

From my personal experience, I don't understand the filter they are using, it doesn't really seem to make sense? We have been wanting an update like this from Google for quite a while now - there is nothing quite as annoying as having a crappy MFA EMD site rank at the top of the SERPS while a really good quality professional website languishes at the top of page two - but so far are a little underwhelmed by the result. Granted this is based on only a cursory look at the results (we don't spend a tonne of time on EMD's) but from what I have been reading online, there are many many website owners that are just as confused.

"I checked my stats this morning and visitor numbers have plummeted. My domain name has no bearing on my keywords, and I do not have a spammy website. I've maintained it for about 7 or 8 years, and it's always done well. I keep it up-to-date, and have designed and written it myself. I have great natural backlinks (many one-way), and have never paid for traffic. Having checked there was no downtime, I saw this thread and have seen they have rolled some updates."

"Forgot to add to my previous post that a really spammy version of one of my sites is ranking much better on page 1 today! It's a site we were using for test purposes and threw a load of crap at it. So they killed my really good site but have promoted my really bad, very spammy links, site in place of it. Go figure."

"I don't see any change in my niche, sites with exact or partial matches are right there. What qualifies as low quality exact matches?"

"We have seven sites in a specific niche but they are all partial match domains. Four have been hit by this update. The other three, for now, appear to be ok. All are UK hosted websites, running Wordpress. All on same server and all are running Adsense. They all share the same Adsense account….The only thing I can think that has triggered these four sites to get hit is the lack of link diversity. These are the sites have spent all year getting decent links for but the link text variation is low. The three sites which so far seem ok have had less link work done to them and that is why perhaps they will be ok. Therefore, my initial observation regarding what Matt says are "low quality" sites are those where the backlinks mostly contain the same text. By the way, all of our sites have 100% unique well written content and are updated frequently. They are good sites and we have been very proud of them. "

Anyone else been affected by this update? I am curious to hear your experience and what you plan to do to get past it. Also love to hear if you DID manage to get past it.

Matt Cutts EMD 2

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