Google EMD Update: Review after a Week since Impact

Prejushya Kalicharan

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EMD Update is the one by Google to adore

EMD Update 1

This first time update by Google released on 27 September 2012, bringing down low quality Exact Match Domains ranking best in the SERPs, should be the first update that made most of the SEO’s glad. We had coverage on EMD update in our previous post. Though some of them complained Google’s approach to be unfair, all allegations were ruled out when Google justified their action labeling EMDs to be one among black hat techniques.

EMD update by Google

A seasonal update alike Panda & Penguin

A seasonal update alike Panda & PenguinJust as Panda and Penguin updates that are being refreshed, EMD also will get a refresh from now on. Danny Sullivan shared Google’s words in SEL –

                        “Similar to other filters like Panda, Google says EMD will be updated on a periodic basis. Those hit by it may escape the next EMD update, while others not hit this time could get caught up in the future.”

This very well depicts, there are sites that missed the first EMD update and are warned to be caught the next time.

What EMD actually means

As the name portrays, EMD never refers to sites with search terms in their domain name, in turn makes these sites rank high. EMD targets on domains with poor content and exactly match the search terms they hope to be searched for. For example, online-pet-accessories-shop.com. Just a generic search term this domain contains, with no brand recognition and quality content available. Such domains contain no content and if present, copied from other websites.

Danny Sullivan quotes,

“EMD seems targeted after low-quality sites that are “in between” these two things, perhaps sites that have content that doesn’t appear scraped because it has been “spun” using software to rewrite the material automatically.”

He says, Google never targeted Cars.com for “cars”, Usedcars.com for “used cars”, Cheaptickets.com for “cheap tickets”, Movies.com for “movies”, Skylightbooks.com for “books” etc.

In short EMD’s are targeted, only those with poor content.

Matt warned us of EMD update in the past

Todd Malicoat had mentioned in SEOmoz blog, that Matt Cutts warned us of EMD updates about two years ago, and the quote is as follows –

                                        "We have looked at the rankings and weights that we give to keyword domains and some people have complained that we’re giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains. And so we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm so that given two different domains, it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it."

Maybe we should revive all videos by Matt Cutts, a couple of years old, and we might get a bonus of predicting those updates possibly arriving next week :-)

Todd points out the following benefits out of the EMD update:

“In the current Google climate, EMD’s are the symptom of a problem, and therefore an easy target. Link anchor text was a very large part of the Google algo, and is being slowly dialed down. EMD’s were where anchor text problems were MOST apparent. Most competitors were amazed how easily EMD’s ranked in the last few years. They are great for: attracting keyword anchor text, attracting social mentions with targeted keywords, better for dominating a small niche, saying what you do in a geo vertical (DenverLawyers.com, DuluthDentists.net, etc.), targeting long tail variations in a small keyword set, and making brand mentions and keyword mentions the same.”

Recovery tips

  • Create high quality content to your affected site
  • Mail a re-consideration request to the Google Webmaster Team if you think your website was mistakenly hit (as usual)
  • Increase your social presence
  • Change the overall design and re-cover your website
  • De-index all low quality URLs that should have caught Google’s attention
  • Convert quantity into quality
  • Check analytics every time a new effort is done
  • Create a strong brand presence and exposure, rather clinging to generic names in order to drive traffic

Notable comments

  • Does that mean my website stevecars.com is blackhat because I sell cars maybe google just wants to get rid of us little guys I am about to say f —–seo keywords back links and Adsense sell my sites to the highest bidder and richer become a pimp or drive a cab
     
  • Plenty of EMDs are ranking fine. It's the low-quality ones they're targeting. The algorithm is still heavily biased toward EMDs; just Google "movies" and Movies.com is the first result, even though no one uses that site.
  • Google is smart enough to roll out it on a weekend evening. Most of the webmasters was not able to see the impact as they may relate it to week end drop. But it will affect lot’s of niches. It will be a killer for affiliate sites minor sites.
     
  • With 41 EMDs in affected in the data set, it's hard to draw any strong conclusions beyond the overall drop. You're absolutely correct - this could be a penalty for sites using EMDs badly, or it could simply be a devaluation based on Google lowering the "volume" of EMDs as a ranking signal. I suspect it's more along the lines of the former - a targeted hit for sites with other poor signals, but I can't prove that at this point.
     
  • In my opinion there is no doubt Google are checking the OWNER of a site that is being penalized and penalizes many if not all their other sites. I personally have over 30 sites most are Adsense earners albeit 50 plus pages, not one page scams BUT also 5 'Legitimate' eCommerce sites with hundreds of products and good content. ALL my sites were sent into oblivion including the quality eCommerce sites. Google can take the others if it wishes but taking out the eCommerce sites = wrong.

Category :

Google

Tags :

google update, Google EMD Update , EMD Update

About Prejushya Kalicharan

Prejushya Kalicharan SEO is a challenging field and I try my best to surpass this challenging environment which is unconditionally filled with opportunities, knowledge building and problem solving. I pursue what I .... more info


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