Google, the big G, the top search engine and affiliate hater wielded the machete once again last week, slashing away at Exact Match Domains!
When will it end? My previous post about getting an exact match domain seems a bit lame now, but don’t discount it by any means.
What Google, or their chief engineer Matt Cutts has done, is basically knock thousands of decent, well aged, targeted websites out of the SERPS and given the websites owners a redundancy notice for them to retire!
Whilst I agree that there are too many spammy websites using exact match domains to trick rankings, there are also many, many, many decent business’s been hit by this cluster bomb algo change.
What are Exact Match Domains
If you have an online business that sells Cherry Wood Grandfathers Clocks that you build yourself, you would have a domain name that represents your company such as cherrywoodgrandfatherclocks.com.
OK, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s what you build, what you sell and what you’re good at. That is an exact name domain.
Now, Google has attacked such domains in their latest update and are targeting exact match domains that run a string of words together that searchers put into search engines, such as, ‘how can I lose weight quickly‘ – because someone will have bought that exact phrase and put a .com on the end of it in the knowledge that they know that 30,000 people a month will be searching for that exact phrase, so the domain name howcaniloseweightquickly.com will get a head start on other websites. (hope that’s clear?)
Google thinks this is cheating the system, as most of the sites that have those kind of long tale keyword domains (exact match domains) will be just thin affiliate websites selling slimming pills or some other over hyped product…and Google don’t like that, they think it’s irrelevant content.
OK, that’s fine, but what happens to the poor business owner of Cherry Wood Grandfathers Clocks? He gets cut down with the same machete as the the thin affiliate site! It doesn’t matter if he’s been in business 20 years online with a ton of customers, he still gets hit!
What happens now?
Well, if you have an exact match domain and you’ve been hit, I suggest you wait a week or two to see if you get some ranking back.
If after a couple of weeks your site has gone off the radar, well…it’s start all over again, or try redirects to your pages. I would imagine good genuine sites will eventually crawl back up the SERPS, but if you have a young thin site, you might just have to wave it goodbye.
That’s what Google wants you to do because it doesn’t offer the searcher/reader what it really wants.
So, Are Exact Match Domains a gonner then?
No, I don’t think they are a gonner, I still think they offer more good than harm, but it’s time to think of using less words for your exact match domain.
I would say with .com’s you could still rank well with up to 4 words, but probably better with 3, but with .net’s and .org’s I would stick to 2 or 3 words and no more.
But make sure your sites offer good, strong, interesting and unique content and be prepared for a Google dance every now and again. I would stick to Social Sites and web 2.0 bookmarking for backlinks and using RSS feeds. Do a few Youtube videos and optimize them as much as you can, although Google will probably start running strict Algo’s on YT in the future, but we might as well make hay whilst the sun shines until they do.
Write a good article on your subject once a week, say 1000 words and send it to a good directory, either Street Articles, Go Articles or Article Base…and syndicate it with Only Wire to social bookmark them. I really think Articles are a lot less useful for backlinks these days, and I don’t think they carry a lot of weight with Google…I could be wrong though, so don’t discount it entirely.
Also, build and use micro niche sites that are relevant to your main site to sell products. You can then use these for backlinks, feeds etc. and use good unique content with these types of websites. Treat them as lite-sites to your main site, but still treat them as a working website and backlink organically, not aggressively.
Oh, and build a list if you can…The Big G can’t touch lists!
What I wouldn’t do is use Big Linkwheels, Mass Backlinks, Automatic Blog Posts, False Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, G+ views and likes.
These are not worth anything really and will ultimately get you cut down. Don’t use Spun articles, and don’t send off dodgy articles to millions of directories in the hope it will zoom you up the rankings.
It may have worked in the past, but it will kill your sites today.
It’s almost impossible to do good SEO these days and it’s difficult to understand the way Google has gone about hitting websites with their aggressive Algo updates over the last year and a half. They have got rid of a lot of pure crap sites, but they’ve also killed off some damn good ones too, and have broken many hearts and livelihoods in the process.
Exact Match Domains