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For years exact match domains have been the quickest and easiest way to rank websites for their content; if you are searching for a particular phrase, e.g. pepperoni pizza, www.pepperonipizza.com, www.bestpepperonipizza.com and www.pepperonipizza123.com would all rank high on the list. Google has been hinting at the demise of the exact match domain system, and as of September 2012 Google’s new algorithm update has went live to change the exact match domain system for ever.

pandaWho will be affected?

According to Matt Cutts (Google’s senior engineer) the algorithm change will affect just 0.6% of queries typed in US English, and so most of our searches will be spared any major upheavals. The main reason for this change is the burning desire of Google to remove low quality sites from the listings. The new exact match domain algorithm promises to do just that. The Google Panda update in early 2011 and Google Penguin update in early 2012 were the first to try and tackle sites using practices such as duplication of content and keyword stuffing among others. This latest update will come as no surprise if you have been following search engine news recently, and certainly it is only a minor upgrade to the process that began two years ago; this latest revision of the Google algorithm won’t affect users and web developers as much as the original overhaul, but is still significant enough to cause a splash.

Exact Match Domains

The main reason for this update to the previously implemented algorithms is that up until now exact match domains have been largely overlooked. In reality, there is nothing wrong with holding an exact match domain name, but often sites which have low quality and a high keyword density are not ones which most Googlers want to be presented with when they search. The algorithm attempts to restore a level playing field for sites that contain basically the same information, but different keyword densities etc. Google are doing their best to make sure that keyword stuffing with no increase in content quality won’t boost your ratings in the search engines.


A ‘Minor’ Update

Cutts has stated that this algorithm update is only “minor”, and in fact is so minor that is it not even considered part of the Panda and Penguin updates. With this new set of updates, keyword dense sites will be hit hard, as well as exact match domains seeing a drop in hits. But if your traffic falls slightly this is no reason to fear in the long run! It is well known that new algorithms take time to ‘equalise’, and positions within the search engine listings will fluctuate for a period before things begin to balance out again. If your traffic drops for a while it won’t be long before it is on the rise again, so don’t despair if this algorithm seems like a temporary setback for your site.

Here is a video of Google’s Exact Match Domain (EMD) update by jim Stewart

[media url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpDGH95TnZ4" width="100%" height="400"]

So What Can I Do?

The things that may have left you high in the listings in previous versions of the Google algorithms may cripple your site in the new Panda and Penguin scheme; so if you are concerned about the effect of Google’s September 2012 update on your site’s viewings then just follow the tips below to begin to climb back up the ratings once again:

Delete duplicate content: Duplicate content is now penalized, and so getting rid of any duplicates lying around your pages can help boost your rankings.

Un-stuff: Keyword stuffing also drags you down the ranking in the new scheme, so perhaps it’s time to un-stuff your site with keywords.

Provide good quality content: At it’s core. that’s really what this stream of updates is about and So if you are willing to provide good quality content to your viewers, this is sure to be reflected in your listings.

Image credits respectively: lrargerich | stefanweihs

What steps you are considering after this new Google’s exact match domain algorithm update? Share your opinion in the comment section, we’ll be glad to hear from you.

Guest post from SEO Brighton – Edited by Nizam Khan

This is  a guest post from SEO Brighton – Brand is an extenuating factor that can save companies from the implicit doom of exact match domains. SEO Brighton offer branding, infographics and other online marketing as well as professional SEO services in Brighton, for your business.

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