Google EMD Update: Good Or Bad For Search?

    October 3, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

On Friday, Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that Google was rolling out a new algorithm update geared at reducing “low-quality” exact match domains in search results. He indicated that “the EMD algo” affects 0.6% of English-US queries “to a noticeable degree”.

As a webmaster or site owner, have you noticed an impact from this update? Have you noticed a dramatic change in search results as a user? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Just to clear up any confusion from the start, Cutts also said the EMD update is unrelated to the Panda and Penguin updates. Here are his exact tweets:

While 0.6% of English-US queries may not sound like an incredible amount of results impacted, there are already tons of people claiming to have been hit by the update. Here is a small sampling of the comments we’ve received from readers:

90% of my sites got hit. Yes they had part of a keyword in the domain name but other than one site, I wouldn’t consider the rest of them low-quality sites. Each one had high quality unique content, numerous pages.

This is utter nonsense. I have a site which was hit that the domain name contained one keyword that I was ranking for. But, I was also ranking for 15 other keywords that weren’t related to the domain name, but they are also nowhere to be seen in google. This is a site with 100′s of pages of unique, quality content, all hand written by me, with a high quality well followed facebook fan page. Just gone. I’m just glad I can rely on facebook for quality traffic, as it doesn’t seem that google can provide that anymore.

Okay, at least I know what happened. Two of my websites are gone. Good sites, with unique content and a lot of backlinks and work behind.

Some readers appear to welcome the update. Here are a few of the more positive comments we’ve received:

I’ve been waiting for an update like this for a long time. I’ve speculated that something like this has been in the works because a brand is almost always going to be more valuable than a spammy exact match domain.

Good Authoritative content is all that has ever mattered & has been the Google mantra from the start, The EMD with “Good Authoritative” root domain content will always have the edge…

I was waiting for this update it may brings my blogs up in the google search. I have blogs which don’t have keywords in urls. This updates helps a lot.

Here’s some additional reaction from Twitter:

Dr. Peter J. Meyers at SEOmoz put together some research on the update using MozCast “Top-View” metrics, indicating that despite Cutts’ wording of “upcoming,” the change appears to had already begun:

EMD data from SEOmoz

“We measured a 24-hour drop in EMD influence from 3.58% to 3.21%,” writes Meyers. “This represents a day-over-day change of 10.3%. While the graph only shows the 30-day view, this also marks the lowest measurement of EMD influence on record since we started collecting data in early April.”

The following sites are some examples of those who got hit, according to Meyers (though he acknowledges he can’t prove they were definitely because of this specific update – it does seem highly likely): bmicalculatormale.com, charterschools.org, playscrabble.net, purses.org, and teethwhitening.com. None of these had actually ranked number one for their respective keywords, according to Meyers, but they went from postions like 3, 4 and 7, to dropping significantly.

It will be interesting to see if more domain-related changes are announced. This is the second one Cutts has tweeted about in recent weeks. He recently talked about a domain diversity update.

When Google releases its monthly (sometimes) lists of algorithm changes, there is often a visible theme from month to month. In June, for example, there were quite a few updates related to how Google handles natural language. I wonder if we might see more domain-related tweaks when Google finally releases the September (and August) lists. Perhaps there will be more heading into October.

What do you think of the EMD update? Good move on Google’s part? Let us know in the comments.

  • Hakob

    This update is even worse then penguin or panda and absolutely makes no sense , many legitimate websites on which never had been done any seo was hardly hit , even personal blog for which I’ve never spent a single dime

  • Mr Not Happy

    Well looks like a few of my sites have been hit with a 50% loss in traffic, This started a few days ago. The thing is I am also losing traffic on keywords that don’t match my domains, even though obviously they are keywords related to those that do. So OK I have lost traffic but what I would like to know is. Am I being punished for being lucky enough to get hold of an EMD for my niche or is it that before this algo change I was actually getting an unfair advantage because I had an EMD… I’d like to think the latter.

    • http://www.sr22-insurance-cost.com SR22


      same conditions happening here, my site’s 3 keywords were on top 30th position, but now, these are not in top 100 positions.

      Please suggest me if you have more information………
      Will these keywords come back……

  • http://www.manilacomputerservices.com Canada Website

    Hmm…seems more coming with change in algo. right getting worse even you have a legitimate website for services.

  • Albert

    This Is bad. Google is playing wrongly. We should retire this search engine

  • http://chrisdutoit.com Chris

    My site with hundreds of pages of good content, several years old, etc. was also affected, but now other domains also including a keyword in their domain (registered a year or so ago) and with merely 50 pages are outranking me. Let’s see if they can improve their EMD algo update to provide better results that what they have now.

  • http://www.usedmac.co.uk Matt

    My domain has not only been hit, but has been smashed down to last place (around 900) for it’s name. It’s an exact match but fairly short and fitting for the type of site it is.

    It’s coincidence that I moved to the .co.uk from the .org.uk last week. The process of this included 301 redirecting the old domain to the new. I think there may have been some errors in this, causing lots of dupe content where posts ended up in 3 formats. Also, if I look in webmaster tools the backlinks are a mess with lots of similar ones coming from the old .org.uk.

    I think one of the factors of this update is a narrow link profile (where before the emd was protected) and mine now looks dodgy. Annoying as it’s just an error, but hopefully fixing it should mean the domain returns. It will be an interesting couple of weeks while I get this sorted.

    If it doesn’t return then I am at a loss to how it can suddenly only be the 900th most relevant site to a user just because it’s an emd…

  • Celia

    My site’s ranking has dropped off the scale overnight. Visitors have plummetted this weekend (since Sept 29th) As someone else said, why should I be punished for having owned a relevant domain name for years and using it for exactly what it implies the subject matter is?!

  • http://OffLicenceForSale.com Michael

    OK guys, see if you can match this.
    I have THE ONLY site in the UK dedicated to buying and selling off-licences. I have been on page one of Google across numerous keywords all year. I have gone from page one to the second to last page, 63, next to totally unrelated pages from an ancient historian, Ugandan websites, literally random results. Mine is the most relevant in the country and I have been put on almost the back page. It contains news, articles, many unique pages. They have just thrown 18 month’s work, my sales person’s job and my job in one go. We sold ad space on this, the UK’s only site for the sector. I have worked in digital, written about it for magazines in the UK, worked for Google and as of today I will probably have to leave the industry all together if this is what Google are capable of. I have lost my job over night.

  • http://OffLicenceForSale.com Michael

    I have THE ONLY site in the UK dedicated to buying and selling off-licences. I have been on page one of Google across numerous keywords all year. I have gone from page one to the second to last page, 63, next to totally unrelated pages from an ancient historian, Ugandan websites, literally random results. Mine is the most relevant in the country and I have been put on almost the back page. It contains news, articles, many unique pages. They have just thrown away 18 month’s work, my sales person’s job and my job in one go. We sold ad space on this, the UK’s only site for the sector. I have worked in digital, written about it for magazines in the UK, worked for Google and as of today I will probably have to leave the industry all together if this devastation can arise from leaving your business in the trust of another comapany. I have lost my job over night.

  • http://www.thefussybabysite.com Holly

    This update has been catastrophic for me and has potentially cut my monthly income by 75% (corresponding decline in traffic). I’ve had this site (my one and only site) for 5.5 YEARS, and have spent that time connecting with my visitors, providing awesome unique content, and getting national media attention. All that is gone in one weekend. I understand the desire to get rid of spammy sites, but what about the rest of us that have been unfairly penalized?

  • http://www.autotick.com Steve

    Same story from me. About 10 sites affected. Big G is indirectly asking us to spend money on adword if you want your sites to be noticeable.

  • http://www.iphonerelease.net Matt @ iPhone Release

    SEO is pretty much dead. If you’re not a big company making google a load of money they don’t care about you these days. Google has kill the small business that has been the backbone of American. Death to google

  • Lost for words

    This was the worst update that I can remember. I went from 15,000 impressions to 3,000 impressions in 24hrs. and the funny thing about it is that I dont have an EMD. Plus, I have noticed that the sites that pay for adwords ads have not been effected by this update.

    This is an attack on small businesses trying to carve out an honest living.

  • http://www.brettb.com Brett

    I got hit hard this time, although my EMD (cheapredwidgets.com) has seen a traffic surge!

    Worst hit has been my legitimate business – I’m no longer in the top 10 for my own software product name!

    I hope FB roll out their search engine soon :)

  • http://www.engage-2012.com/ Engage 2012 Conference

    This is an awful update for smaller business that don’t drive revenue to Google (not paying AdWords, etc.) This could really destroy many business, or at least have detrimental consequences.

    • nick walker

      The update hit 15 of my websites. Im on page 4 while all of my other competion who have exact match domains has had nothing happened to they’re websites. I got a son, wife and home and now no revenue coming in anymore… Thanks google!

  • JonnyRed

    My e-commerce site started in 2009 – the site features 2,500+ pages with all informative unique content written by an in-house editor. In May 2012 I received a notice for an unnatural link warning – no effects on traffic and even increased as the year progressed…until 9/28/12. Site traffic is now down 75%.

    After receiving the unnatural link warning, I did not add any text links to my site and let the remaining text links expire w/o renewing (6 months). The text links were placed on quality blogs/sites with PR of 3+ and Alexa Ranks all above 300,000. Anchor text was varied and well diversified.

    My theory is the that this EMD update targeted ‘exact match’ anchor text links.

    10/2/12 – Today I submitted my site for reconsideration. I spent the last 2 days removing every text link possible. Somehow this minor weather report turned into a hurricane for me.

  • Alex

    This update is not even an update ,is a screw up.How you can ban and punish a potato information site for example because has potato word in site url.I should get tomato site and write about potatos?
    This Matt guy is not very smart for a large company like Google.

  • Stacy K

    This update is outrageous! Almost all of my categories in my ecommerce site have been deranked into the hundreds. Yes, most were EMD, but I run a NICHE MARKET site. How else will my customers find exactly what they were looking for if not for the exact match? I believe Google is just trying to get more money out of small businesses like mine through sponsored search. It’s a shame that good sites that provide a service are being punished!!

  • http://www.marketsharewebdesign.com Kathy

    Maybe I can skate thru this one. So far the few exact match domains I have have improved. I feel for the ones this effected though. I have had several sites hit by P/P.
    Sad to say Googles one goal is to make money. They care about nothing else.

  • nicksey

    When will people learn that Googleno longer delivers relavent results? Google algorithms are designed to keep the big boys at the top and the little boys at the bottom. Google have no interest in allowing new specialist niches anywhere near the top of the results, this is why Google constantly list Amazon and Ebay high in the results pages even though they are general metrchants with no specialist knowledge. Bing and Yahoo have provider, better more accurate and fresher results for some time now. Just because a site has a keyword in the url, does not make it spam.
    Google lost the plot with search results some time ago and really do deserve to lose their top search engine position but unfortunately people still Google things and until they are educated and informed about the facts will continue to do so

  • http://www.fibreoptic-christmastrees.uk phil

    So everything i was told about getting a EMD has now gone out of the window, might as well give up

  • Robert Blueford

    I can’t wait to see that option used in AdWords…!! :-)

  • http://www.suchmaschinenoptimierung-mv.de SEO Mecklenburg

    Also in Germany we waiting the Update and results. We are very excited;)

  • http://www.ctcdesign.com Charles

    Worst update ever – we have a forum in a very specific niche with the domain name nichekeywordforums dot com with 75k posts and 2k members that was obliterated from the SERPS.

    Never built a single link to it, 1300 natural links mainly from member blogs and industry businesses. I was dumbfounded.

    In my (eh-hemm) not-so-legitimate EMD sites, they all dropped and were replaced by really old MFA sites. Xfactor must be cashing in about now…

  • http://socialnetworkingbusinessplan.com Social Biz Writer Barry

    What bothers me most is the abominable quality of Google product remaining in high rankings for search results. I mean the youtube videos and Google plus authorship sites that survived this “low quality” ranking update are among the worst search results I have EVER seen.

  • Kris

    For a long time now google has been more about internet enforcement and less about search results. Enforcement of google’s own perception of how the internet should be.

    Had some sites absolutely slammed – one is down to 2 visits only yesterday :O) On the other hand, have had some emd’s gain traffic.

    Trapped in the google maze and looking for the way out – somebody show me the door!

  • http://ds3-t1.com Les

    Yes my site does have parts of keywords,but it says what is says on the tin. My site provides what potential customers with what they are looking for. It took a lot of work to rank well in Google over a number of years. No spammy links or dubious methods to manipulate keyword ramkings.
    To say the least I am extremely angry about what is going on. What does Google want? What do we name our sites now!! May be we all should do what Google wants and give up. Maybe we now have to buy Google ads to sell our businesses or maybe that is what Google wants.

  • http://www.the-web-design-hosting-co.com/ Peter

    Well google must be taking the pee now, customers name is the website url as you would expect.. it was rightly top for the search term and a load of others.. related to the business. now just wiped from the board ?? Why because his company name is a good one ? he is in Workshops so do we now make a website that says garden sheds instead ?

    Google you are stupid.. i know your scam get people to go pay per click right ?? well over my dead body …

  • Robert Blueford

    I guess that shows how blind algos go, when used by blind intelligence, sometimes called artificial. Who’s the machine? Scrap G

  • Kris

    I’ve just looked at a number of search results for a variety of keywords and see that sub-domains are noticably absent. In fact, the whole time I only saw two sub-domains and neither were on page one. And they were for big domains: answers.yahoo.com and news.discovery.com. So my question is “Did the EMD update take down sub domains or was that some other update”?

  • http://theakurians.com Colonel Robert F. Cunningham

    Since when as ANY Google ‘update’ improved anything for net users?

    If they aren’t KAK-this they are KAK-that … with so much KAK-jackassing they ought to be Donkey Farming instead of cramming SOCIALISM and denigrating AMERICANISM!

    YES! You may quote me!

    Colonel Robert F. Cunningham,

  • http://www.hawaiicarhire.com Frank Fiorentino

    With the EMD decision Google has once again decided it is the judge and jury. Had enough of being bullied by Google? For a long time Google has dictated the terms of a websites value. I’m tired of Google and it’s domainance. For me it’s time for a change.

    • http://bayrvpark.com Frank

      It is getting harder and harder to do SEO. I have been managing my sites for about 6 years and I do not feel I know how to be effective anymore. I do not see any big improvements in search results so I do not understand where Google is going with this. I still get search results that have high ranking sites that are not relevant to the search.

  • https://canadaseopro.ca Todd Herman

    Yes got nailed by this update and lost 5 spots on our front page listing. Now sitting at spot 8. Not sure how they think this will improve their results, in the automotive industry the professional websites are few and few in between. The number one spot is now occupied by a very poorly designed and full of errors website. Wow G, you got to get your stuff together, very POOR update!

    Regard, T

  • http://ReturnOnNow.com/blog/ Tommy Landry, SEO Austin

    I’m seeing some oddities as well. My main domain is branded with no keywords in it, and it has actually held very well. My “fun” domain is an EMD, and it has now been hit twice.

    Penguin put the first lick on it. When that rolled out, I lost >60% of my traffic, which was mostly derived from SEO. Now this hits and I’m down to less than 10 visits / day on that site.

    I truly hope Google gets better at separating reputable sites on keyword rich domains from spammers. This was a growing site and is not even up for making money, just for connecting to likeminded people. Where’s the Spam in that?

  • http://www.mortgagerefinance.com Phil

    My EMD is Mortgage Refinance .com, how is this a low quality website? We’ve been on top for years, can they explain by which criteria is considered low quality? No ads, just our services for which we are registered.
    Look at bankrate.com, is that considered a high quality? Looks like junk spam site to me!

  • Andre

    In principle this update makes sense, but it sure seems like it’s been poorly executed. Just because a site has a keyword in it doesn’t make it bad, and the keyword is sometimes part of the brand name so now we’re being penalized for that too?

  • http://www.abx2.com Mike Daw

    Unclear about this – is Google simply ignoring the domain name (EMD or otherwise) or proactively demoting a site with an EMD?

    • Kris

      They’re actively demoting the sites with emd.
      But not all… I’ve seen emd sites at spot number one now and they’re just affiliate whitelabel sites.

  • http://www.hawaiicarhire.com Frank Fiorentino

    One more thought… Note: Google didn’t eliminate the EMD competition that is using AdWords!

  • http://motorhomehirenz.wordpress.com/ Jane Whitfield

    Yeah not impressed, I lost my #11 ranking for “best keyword” – I would have understood it if my domain was bestkeyword.com but it wasn’t, it was bestrandomword.com – If you follow what I mean :)

  • http://www.tibetanbuddhas.com Dan Mitroi

    Sure not all keywords in domain root are bad. I really think that good content is more then enough for google’s top 10

  • http://www.mnhtac.com Jeff

    Is this Google’s idea of a control issue? I believe not too many years ago, society made note that too much control by any one (1) group is not beneficial for the masses. Our company name, “Minnesota Heating and Air Conditioning” will apparently sink. We are in Minnesota – We sell and service heating and air conditioning. So much for relevance huh!

  • http://www.liquidairfuel.com LiquidAirFuel

    I expect that the EMD update will not effect any EMD’s which don’t have a high ppc.

    • Kris

      A conspiracy if you are right.
      I just chose the spammiest topic I could think of – Viagra Online. A search shows the top 4 are not emd, but thereafter it’s all emd. A quick look in adwords tool shows the phrase cpc at under a dollar with low competition – low by adwords standards.

  • Jan

    I do not have EMD domain and my traffic falled for about 50% in last three days.

  • http://www.bigoakinc.com Shell Harris

    Google went after more than just EMD sites. There was collateral damage to other sites they deemed low quality that were not EMD.

  • http://www.deepjunglehome.com Bala

    We have 2 resorts close to each other at a wildlife destination in India. We had 2 different websites (with brand names and no keywords), 4 other websites with EMDs which discussed about the wildlife location. All six websites have been removed from index for all keywords including the domains with my brand name which dont have keywords in it. Not sure why they removed the brand name domains
    Best regards

  • http://www.motorcycleinsurance.com Todd Halterman

    I lost my job over this crappy update. Good, authoritative content meant nothing. But no Adwords, so see you later site. Not real happy and now I’m dedicating my future to gaming the stinking Google Monopoly system…

  • John

    Matt can kiss my }%#}%^

    10 years of hard work with great sites took us from 10k per month to less than 1k. I guess if eBay or Amazon you don’t have a issue. You have to wonder what kind of back door money they are giving Mr. Cutts. I hate you Matt. I really hate you.


  • Brill

    Does it really make any difference if I put in my 2 cents? Probably not, since I’m apparently a bad person that makes a living by providing advertising and marketing services to companies. It pays for my mortgage and puts food on the table. What does that mean to Google though? It doesn’t mean much apparently. They are treating people like they are disposable pigs. The ones that were first to adapt to the way of Google are the first to be cut. Not a sign of remorse or concern of what you do or what your online business provides. We stand in the way of their plan. The fact that I’m providing advertising services takes away money from Google. I don’t see a 10-15% conversion rate as a bad thing for SEO traffic. It is a bad thing when it comes to PPC though. It seems like bid prices have gone up and conversions have gone way down with PPC, thus making margins a thing of the past. I use to say that you have to spend money to make money. I don’t say that anymore. I now say you have to have money to make money. Thus, this is finally showing again in the search engine results. The playing field was dug up and a new golden skyscraper of a middle finger replaces it with a Google logo stands on it. Oh wait, how exciting, another new Google product. Google for Dummies, Dummy. I could rap for hours about what I think they are up to or I can make a change to the way I allow them to touch my life.

    Here is a list of things anyone can do to touch them back.

    Use different search engine
    Use a different email provider
    Do not use Droid driven cell phones/tablets
    Use different map provider

    I think you get the idea about abandoning the Google ‘whatever’ services. Some other ones that some people may not find as obvious are:

    Google Analytics

    There are nested in our business life and private lives, resting in our pockets throughout the day. Tracking our business success, what we are searching for, and using GPS to see where we are… we live in their “surveillance society”.

    I’m not concerned about my future, just concerned about the future of Google, because what they’re doing should be a concern of everyone that is touched by this. It’s been the most amazing magic trick ever; I’m still amazed how they’ve pulled it off to this point. I laugh when I see other governments lay down the law on Google, because that is what governments are suppose to do. Protect their people’s rights, no matter if the taxes paid by any business fund their war efforts and impending bankruptcy.

    I’m tired of watching my lively hood being destroyed. I’m going to go watch “Enemy of the State” again…

    • http://www.greyolltwit.com/ Grey Olltwit

      Hear, hear. I am already doing the things you suggest plus dropping Google Webmaster Tools. We have given Google far too much information in the naive hope that as they seemed to be the good guys back in 2004, they might help us small concerns. We were all badly tricked, one might say conned.

  • http://PackerBackers.net Bryan

    So much for relevant and original content. My site was wiped from EMD results, and I don’t even have advertising or aff links of any kind on it. Google continues to screw people over with their misguided ‘good intentions’.

  • http://legalaidadvisor.com Dave

    Google is an a$$. They demote sites because they have a relevant site name. We are told that only low quality emd’s are affected, so why are these low quality sites ranking well in the 1st place?
    Come on Google, you’ve only been in the search business for 14 years right enough!

  • Jeremy H

    I did the branded domain thing after wisely getting “Constant Content The Google Gift” from my mentor James Paul (AMAZINGLY smart guy, phenomenal book, grab it).
    We’d get some clicks to an EMD and we didn’t make much and put in as much of an effort on our other site in the same niche. The practices in CCTGG had me rnaking on the first page for 500 queries (including 344 in the number one spot) and 3752 total queries. The traffic was ridiculous and the poll on our site for return visitors was “What Brought You Here Again?” seeing there are millions of similar sites to mine and the answer was “Name Stayed In My Head” Followed by “Content Is Relevant To Me”… honestly, Google can do whatever they want. A business mind will always win over a computer geek… Google should employ more business people and less geeks.

  • http://www.mywebpixie.com Lydie B

    I think it’s à good to see Google weeding out low quality EMD. As a user it is aggravating to find high rated pages of this kind with useless content. However I find the idea that keywords in a domain name to be reprehensible absurd. Isn’t the title or Domain name supposed to say something about what the website is about? This needs some fine tuning to say the least. Meanwhile. It would be good to see Google excluding search entries that use wildcards to pick up whatever search word or phrase is entered to give back a matching result in he top 3.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    Would not “algor” be a more appropriate abbr. for Google’s scary algorithm tweaks?
    After all, Al Gore does claim that he’s the ‘life force’ behind the internet and the man is surely scary (like Google’s “algo” tweaks).

  • http://tech-sharing.com/ Krishna

    If you are not hit now, and if you gain from this algo, be prepared for being hit by the future changes. Ever since I started watching Google algo changes and how they affect sites, I have noticed that most sites were affected at some point of time. Maybe, most people may not complain about it, or admit it because the next change may reset it. I have few old and new domains, some EMDs, some unrelated. All have been hit. It happened before, recovered (without my doing anything) and again got hit. I stopped worrying about Google algo changes.

  • Nikolas

    The problem is Google update hit really good sites also with this EMD update.

    I think Google really turned the button on EMD to much this time.

    Google really has to think about all the people that have online business that they are living of, and many business have without no good reason now been negative effected by this update.

  • http://www.palmtreeservices.com.au Eric Frei

    It is nothing knew to people in SEO that Google had since inception placed too much weighting upon the TLD. Many businesses etc do have websites which do not have their business name as the domain name but the keywords of the market they are competing in, this is a totally unnatural presentation of business compared to traditional brick and mortar models.

    The practice then evolved to the point that even individual pages were being stripped out to be replaced by a TLD domain. Many businesses are running multiple EMD websites to cater for specific keyword searches.

    What is the challenge here for both Google and SEO people is to know what is a low quality site. What is the criteria? Will an EMD site always be disadvantaged now?

    For some of us we have had websites long before the evolution of Google’s algorithm, bought domain names which reflect the business name and have to jump through 1000’s of hoops to rank. We have now got competitors with many EMD sites, some even copying the TLD and business name of others. The internet has become a sesspool of deception and Google thinks it can sort it out with algorithm changes. I doubt it. In a traditional bricks and mortar business the customer can witness authenticity but on the internet they witness an illusion. There is now so many online stores competing for market share with no stock, no premises and just a % cut for the real business. Anyone with a keyboard and website is now in business as an agent, look at the Amazon associates type of deals.

    Sadly for some of us genuine quality businesses the net has done more damage than can be imagined, and we now have an new occupation called SEO to live under the new world order, GOOGLE!

  • http://www.domainimaging.com Robert Mann

    My site got clobbered, but an exact EMD (sounds redundant, but the domain is the keyword with “.com” at the end) is ranked at #2. The site has 3 pages and about 100 words total (for all pages). The content is worthless. Not very consistent.

  • http://www.domainimaging.com Robert Mann

    Forgot to mention in my previous post – the first 3 pages of results for the keyword are filled with local results for other areas. I am seeing results specific to cities that are thousands of miles away. They should call this the “juvenile” update.

  • http://www.seomarketing.com.br Felipe Bazon

    One of the most straight forward algo updates in years, about time lowq EMDs got penalised.

  • http://www.manilacomputerservices.com US Website Designer

    Got hit also, end of on another seo tricked.

  • http://www.autotick.com Steve

    With this update, I’m sure there is a surge in adword advertisement which is what Big G is aiming for. The question is, do you want to quit or contribute in their game play.

  • http://theunknownEMD.com anonymous

    Google’s Algorithm Latest Changes Score More Casualties

    If it hadn’t become apparent to most non-website savvy entrepreneurs by now, the search engine giant has once again cast down its power and pillage on the unsuspecting, the unknowing, and the undefended website owners for having committed would-be cardinal sins of inappropriately naming their website using the main keywords of their website’s content or subject matter in their website domain name.

    You see, the self ordained mega powers that be have taken on a whole new life within the hallowed walls of their own domain to become a gate keeper of what they deem irrelevant or unacceptable to the world.

    Some would call this a monopoly or a truly bias owner of the world’s largest search engine, but to them it is a policing of the internet world through their own one-sided viewpoint.

    This is my house and I will decide who lurks in the interim of my domain. Seek not the ability to position your website in a main corridor within my house or I will seek you out and punish you for what I once made welcome your presence. For I am the all powerful Oz and only I can say whom I choose to allow reside on my foyer.

    Let’s get real with all this power tripping and biased censorship of an internet giant. If they could actually do what they claimed and only weed out the truly bad content or lame, thinly displayed websites, that would be far more understandable, but to literally crush and annihilate legitimate businesses with absolutely no remorse or clear unbiased recourse is unacceptable even if there is nothing anyone can do about it.

    As the world continues to evolve and progress there is only hope that at some point all things bad will be righted in some way or another. Until then, we must seek to avoid evil when it is presented and seek more accommodating and user-friendly means of sharing individual thoughts and rights to all.

    We are all equal and we are all different, yet our voices have but one tone, and that is to be heard and not to be suppressed just because we failed a new guideline that was adopted, long after our content was printed and posted.

    The explanations that are given by the giant are for better quality for the viewers’ experience. And this is determined by the all powerful giant, who is the main gate keeper to the informational world?

    So, does this not reek of bias and domination without free and independent expression? Oh, sure this is their house and you can vacate the domain, but was this house built on these same guidelines that led to their power and position?

    The sentiment of this article will be so widespread and agreed upon that it will be secretly praised and applauded but only in fear that those who acknowledge their agreement will also find their domains demolished with yet another new algorithm change that will punish the innocent and cause further damnation from the two-faced powers that be.

    Ironically, the top keyword when searched for “best search engine” reveals an appropriate ‘coined name’ and truth far beyond the control of the giant itself.

  • http://www.realitist.com Robert

    Clearly this is an attack on targeted niche marketing and it would be great if it only removed sites with iframe content from online big box stores. The problem is it also makes it harder to find what you are looking for. So now we have sites like xsfzit.com ranking PR-6 who’s going to search for that, while a google search for funny pets videos can’t even find funnypetsvideos.com how stupid is that?

    • shweta nahata

      I completely agree…….its utterly ridiculous…….till date we have been saying tht google enlists the most niche website…but with this new alogrithm updat, google has wiped out the top quality websites from the search results just because it has a matching domain name….how silly is that…..the people working behind the policy must consider this in mind that its gonna affect google search results the most in terms of featuring quality content.

  • http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com Mike Budd

    I must say that your post scared me a bit, as I have an exact match domain also. After a quick verification I saw that fortunately nothing changed in terms of search results.
    Quick comments about that:
    – our site is in all modesty full of quality content, as we spend a lot of time with friends doctors to review medical studies and to publish helpful articles.
    – we are in touch with many journalists who are currently covering news around our main topic of interest, due to new bills/laws in several counties or states. When they see the name of our website I guess that they are suspicious, but when they discover our content they have no problem exchanging with us and even linking to us, which is a great sign for us.
    – why did we pick such EMD then? Well it is in the beginning, we thought it might attract people… I think we wouldn(t make the decision today.

  • http://turismo-in.it/ Turismo

    I’m worried about what might happen in the results of research in Italy but for now nothing is changing

  • Bins

    It’s simple.. if you now want to make a site about “technology news”, you should not name it “TechnologyNews.com”. Instead, you should name it something like “sjksldfakh.com” or if you really wanna make it fancy and yet unrelated to your “technology news” content, you can choose something like “GayWife.com”

    Funny but true!!!!

  • http://buy-facebook-likes.net/ Adam

    It’s certainly not an unexpected and affiliate niche marketers are going to fall victim to this one. I’ve noticed some sites disappear that had page 1-3 rankings. but they were .net extensions with hyphenation between the keywords for example: http://buy-facebook-likes.net/. A .com EMD that I have is still number one.

  • http://www.ignivasolutions.com Igniva

    In my views Google has just fixed some bugs and shortcomings in its algo. And on the way to that it has got struck into new bugs/issues. I hope some of them will get fixed when they will add new algo tweak.

  • http://tartanwebdesign.co.uk Alison

    We’ve noticed huge drops across the board on authority sites we’ve been following (and a couple of my own personal sites have vanished without trace).

    These sites are not EMDs but they do contain single words that could broadly refer to general search terms – even if these words themselves are not targeted.

    It seems that as well as EMDs, they’re killing all synonyms too.

    This is most probably a fishing trip, bringing the real junk to the surface for closer examination.

    Either that or as Bins says above it’s the era of the CUMD or Completely Unrelated Match Domain…

  • shweta nahata

    This update by google has seriously affected my business. It was initially google algorithm itself which gave preference to the domains with the keywords. Did this not initiate webmasters and ownerso ft he portals to opt for a domain name with the “matching keyword”. All of a sudden such a move marks a complete drop down of the traffic on my website. My website is not low in quality and content. it was on number one with the targetted keyword.

  • shweta nahata

    How can the top ranking websites be simply wiped out of the search results. We had a huge traffic on our website. Does this mean that people who were using our website are fools.they did nt know what they wanted………were they using our site just because it ws on number one……NO a big NO………….google should re-consider this algorithm

  • shweta nahata

    If i have a website for makeovergames….it quite apparent that i will opt for a domain name wich includes “makeovergames”. This however does nt mean that my website should nt be geting preference in the listing just because it has the keyword in its domain. This is utterly ridiculous

  • Arbaz

    well, this update has hurt two of my small and 2 months old sites, but a good increase of traffic to a old site like 5k increased on daily basis. don’t know whats happening actually!!

  • John

    Another attack on small business owners. “Low quality”? and what the hell is so wrong about having an exact match domain name anyways for god’s sake? Matt Cutts is schizophrenic.

  • Johyn

    The key question is “what is low quality content”? Until Google provides realistic measures/answers then how can you plan? We were just about to launch a very focussed program – providing good quality content (professionally written at some expense) but using all the “known” white hat processes eg a http://www.EDM ,EM titles. EM in Meta descriptions, EM in H1, EM in content etc specifically to get to the top and provide visitors with good and valuable content versus our rivals. How can Google suggest a community chat about “what to do in florence” is better than a site totally focued on that topic?

  • http://www.ker-pow.co.uk jon

    1 of my clients has lost 50% of his sites. He hires skips for a living in London!!!! Not exactly spamming samsung32inchlcdtv.com is it???

  • http://www.randombyte.com George

    I ran a quick test using several of my own EMDs (you can see the results in the last blog post on my website) and it looks like Google has targeted a specific list of words, because not all the EMDs were hit. Actually, none of my EMDs that were ranking #1 were hit by this update.

    • Kris

      I was coming to that conclusion too.

  • http://music-zen.com Joseph Salamone

    Google is making sure that no new websites gain an edge. It is becoming a search engine for the top businesses only if you are new or start up you need not apply. I love Google but their search has become a joke. Might as well just make it a high end business directory and charge a fee to submit your business there.

    • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Raymond

      Best way to sum it up I’ve ever heard. Top results are old forum posts now because they kicked everyone out of the pool.

  • Naresh Kumar

    This update has hit me hard, all my 10 websites are no where even i couldn’t find them. It really affected many webmasters, those people who have Amazon review sites, i really bad for them!!

  • http://21stcenturybusinessentrepreneur.com Patrick Clarke

    It appears hard to avoid concluding that Google is waging war on small business owners, presumably to curry favour with big investors in “high places”. It seems intent on becoming the internet version of Yellow Pages, those who splash the most cash for space swamp everyone else regardless of real quality.

  • http://www.dotcommembership.com Adrian Lee

    In SE Asia, Google results just don’t make sense. Can’t do any research cos the results shows crappy or unrelated websites or an article written in 2008. Guess the best minds in the world managed to get it wrong.

  • http://www.webmaster.cm Rob

    Yep – I run a webmaster site (supposed to LOOK like I know what i’m doing) and got hit.. Here’s some info about how far we dropped: http://www.webmaster.cm/threads/new-exact-match-domain-emd-algo-affects-english-us-queries.761/

  • http://www.airportlimousineonline.com/hamilton_burlington_airport_limousine.aspx Hamilton airport limo

    yes it typical task for the search engine optimization people who are doing good job and after getting the update keywords go down.

  • Mike

    I just don’t get it. I have a PR4 finance BLOG (not some boring niche site) with over 1,000 high quality articles since 2005. I get thousands of natural backlinks. I lost 75% of my SE traffic over the weekend and I’m still trying to figure out why.

    Is Google going to run some corrections? I’m obviously not a low-quality EMD….

  • http://australianbizdirectory.com.au George

    I am utterly disappointed in the new EMD Google make the rules but unfortunately, they don’t play by the rules. My site have been on page 2 of google for almost 4yrs and with the new updates, it is now in page 8. However, there are a couple of hacked site with no related keywords laughing on page 1 go figure. I personally think Google don’t care about what the public think or perceived. But my site google see as low quality, is ranking on first page on Bing and 2nd on yahoo with the same keyword. And in the same token, Google will encourage you to use adword and bid for position. Google have taking their eyes off the ball and until another player comes around and take the number one search position before they realise their mistake, then hopefully it might be too late when the horse has bolted.

  • http://searchenginemind.com Gole

    Google is smart enough to roll out it on a weekend evening. What happen in case Apple market its iPhone 5 with a new site like iphone5[dot]com. iPhone 5 is a huge keyword and so google will penalize this if not then what will be in case if Apple does not have that domain and some one else running a site on that domain

  • Ravi

    Hi Friends,

    Google launched new update on Friday 28th September called “EMD” exact match domain. They have taken this step without giving any prior information, notice or guidelines in his blog or webmaster.

    But those websites has registered EMD a year before (5year or 10year) they must not be panelized. They must start panelizing those EMD who start booking from 28th September onwards because we do not know what Matt or Google will do in future!

    Before making big changes in Google Algorithm, they must release Algorithm update news a year before to acknowledge webmaster and website owners.

    They did whatever they want!

    Even they have released new webmaster guideline (2nd October 2012) after EMD updates! I want to ask from Matt. Why he produce webmaster guideline after EMD update? Does he want to hide something from webmasters or website owners? It is a big question!

    Okey..! Now I would not be in ranking if I have taken EMD website, am I right Matt? But I can run Ad-word campaign for my EMD website; will you please explain me Mr. Matt why I can run Ad-word for EMD website? Or why I can run Exact Match Keywords in Ad-word?

    Huhhh…it’s all about Google mentality to reduce Organic search and force for Ad-word campaign. Why I would get ranking on top if I paid high Bid in Ad-word for my EMD website? Mr. Matt you must reject campaigning for EMD based websites!

    Well, my dear webmaster now Google is getting cheaper day by day! I think we have to move on Yahoo, Bing searches to popularize that.

    After this happening I will focus more over Yahoo and Bing, will submit my sitemap in Bing and will promote accordingly to Bing even I will run my campaign in Bing and Yahoo only.

    Google is not authentic and ethical anymore..!! 2012 is the end of the Google!!!!

  • ms mc alpin

    Google is no longer a Search Engine it is now an Ad Engine for all those companies we already know about and would not need to search for. What a mess! I had started to use Bing about 6 months ago for 50% of my searches now I use them 90% of the time.

    • Backrubber

      I agree – I think the sooner we all stop using Google and move to Bing, the better!

  • http://www.coordinateseo.com Darren L.

    I have 7 niche aged EMD. Good, unique content. I may be some link problems from directories over the years, but there have been no warnings from google about this. I have no adwords on the pages. My sites have gone up or stayed the same. Virtually no change.

  • http://www.exabytes.sg/ Jerrick

    Love this update while it fair to everyone .
    Using exact match domain with no quality content should not have priority to stay on high SERP.
    Content is a king , exact domain in domain might just over optimize and cause lot of company taking exact match keyword domain rather than own brandname to appear in online world.

  • sam

    To fuck with the google algo….google guys them self don’t know what they want…they are a bunch of fuckers why most of the EMD has been removed irrespective of there site qualities…i lost my three emd sites with a good and unique content on it…we can use ADWORD to advertise our EMD’s but we cannot get organic rankings…this is just one more way to screw the small guys and squeeze more out of them..Google became a money machine..its not a search engine any more its became a tool for its Fucking owners to make more money…bastards

  • http://www.searchen.com John Colascione

    Also agree with Tweeter Alana Burton, EMD’s make sense and shouldn’t be weakened. One of the only moves Google has made that I don’t agree with. I’ve seen no change thus far anyway.

  • Victor

    Still, the lack of Google interactively refine search client (well, at least for Chrome) Today looks primitive anachronism, bordering on kleptomania.

  • http://educationplusjobs.com Shan

    As far i remember, previously it was good to have keyword in domain. And people use to do that specially..

  • Christian

    2 of my sites have obviously been hit by the latest EMD update. Funny thing is only 1 might even be considered an EMD. By the way, since when is it bad to have a keyword in the domain name? Last time I checked this was utmost importance over the last 10 years. We created a business and brand around it. Now our brand is considered and EMD!?! Give me a freaking break. Matt Cuts and his fool friends at Google are responsible for more small business unemployment than anyone else. I promote Bing every chance I get. At least their search results make some sense! Finally the one site I have that is clearly an EMD wasn’t even touched. Great job idiots!!

  • Blue

    My website went from top 3 straight to nowhere (it doesn’t show up in the first 500 results). What bugs me the most is that big sites, that pay thousands of dollars for ADWORDS, seem to have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM!!! Killing the small guys, keeping big ones on top. Great job, Google, keep up the “good work”!!!

  • http://twitter.com/weboptmization Rajesh

    One my site got hurt in EMD Update. I’m looking for recovering tips from Google EMD Update.

  • http://www.londonphotographer.co.uk Dan Burman

    I’ve been massively demoted that has already had a noticeable effect on my enquiries. It wouldn’t seem so incredibly unjust if google had not favoured keyword domain sites for so many years, which lead to people like me spending a not inconsiderable amount buying such a domain to keep up with competitors. Just crazy that they can do this with no warning and apparently no ability to discern whether a site is a genuine business or a spam site.

  • http://www.londonphotographer.co.uk Dan B

    This apparently minor update has obviously already hurt plenty of genuine, non-spammy sites like mine.

    I’ve been massively demoted that has already had a noticeable effect on my enquiries. It wouldn’t seem so incredibly unjust if google had not favoured keyword domain sites for so many years, which lead to people like me spending a not inconsiderable amount buying such a domain to keep up with competitors. Just crazy that they can do this with no warning and apparently no ability to discern whether a site is a genuine business or a spam site.

  • Bill

    Regarding Igniva’s comment above of: “In my views Google has just fixed some bugs and shortcomings in its algo. And on the way to that it has got struck into new bugs/issues.”

    Perhaps it has. Perhaps it has also morphed into becoming EXACTLY what it started out not wishing to be anything like: Microsoft. :-)

  • http://coralatlas.com carl

    Cutts SUCKS and Google sucks …. this change effects NO ONE BUT small people ….. I mean NO ONE BUT THOSE who least can afford to be squeezed … they just keep clearing the board to make room for jpoint ventures between fb tweeter google amazon ebay etc etc etc … and the little people are getting swept under the rug …

    this was a totally un-necessary change that effects those millions of individuala who hve registered domains for there intrinsic keyword value …

    this is n’t improving the market it is MAKING THE MARKET and SHAPING the market ….
    Cutts is an out of touch techno-elitist … and a snot nosed mass of human skin and capillaries without any feeling at all for human beings!

  • http://www.youresa.com Joshef

    in my oponion it’s just the advance version of penguin updates and nothing much. With all the techniques of penguin they added emd(Exact Match Domain) to it.

  • Megan miller

    The some people says that is absolutely correct now “Rich become more and Poor become more poor” that’s what Google do exactly same thing now.. Google doesn’t want to focus on the people who always doing hard work.. but some big site which do larg amount of adwords and pay google for that.. I want tell you guys in future no one will ask for google, they look for other search engine and social media..

  • Marius

    I think Google made a big mistake with EMD algo, as plenty of useful and quality sites disappearded too… My wasn’t affected yet, but who knows when it will be…? MAYBE they are working on it and hopefully in a time good EMD sites will come back nearly to the position they were before. There will be for sure less power in EMD’s but it is UNFAIR to treat them all as SPAM sites… I am using more and more Bing and hope they are not the same fools soon.

    Also the top 10 serps for some keywords are really useless now after EMD, not finding what I want on Google but instead sites which should not be there at all.