The Google Exact Match Domain (EMD) penalty

October 2, 2012Uncategorized

So after a long sunny weekend in Sydney we’re back at work to find another Google update that seems to have affected a number of sites throughout the English-speaking world.

What Google is not clear on is what criteria it uses to target a site. All we can speculate on is that it’s similar to the Penguin update and it’s all about high quality relevant traffic.

An exact match domain (or EMD) is a domain name that relates directly the search term your site is targeting. So if I sold dish cloths and my site was called dishcloths dot com then my site may be penalised under the Google Exact Match Domain (EMD) Algorithm Change.

I say ‘may’ because at this stage there are still sites out there that are ranking for their EMD.

SEOmoz have released some early data on sites penalised and it seems pretty big:

What to do if your site is affected

Refrain from the over-optimisation of content. This means if you sell cotton dish cloths, vary the term to ‘patterned cotton dish cloths’ or ‘cotton tea towels’.

As it’s still early days, we have yet to see if sites affected will slowly recover or if they will have to submit reconsideration via Google webmaster tools.

What we can safely say is if your site has been focused on giving the user plenty of fresh relevant varied content then your site will remain unaffected.

Aidan Sheerin