Google EMD Update Was Accompanied By At Least One Other Update

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

Update: Apparently the other update people are experiencing was a new Panda update. Google transparency at its finest.

As you probably know by now, Google’s Matt Cutts announced an algorithm change on Friday – the EMD update. The change was designed to reduce low low-quality exact match domains in search results. Cutts deemed the change “small” and tweeted about it as a “minor” weather report.

Based on all of the complaints we’re seeing (you can read plenty of them in the comments of this article), it may not have been all that minor. Cutts said that the change affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree, and noted that it was unrelated to Panda or Penguin. Still, based on all of these sites claiming to have been hit, you would think it was Panda or Penguin.

Some webmasters claim to have been hit, but not necessarily on sites with exact match domains. So why would they have taken such a hit? Well, it’s not news that Google launches various changes to its algorithm on a day to day basis. The company often gives the “over 500 a year” number. This time is no different.

Search Engine Roundtable is pointing to a reply Cutts gave to one person on Twitter about the situation, where he noted that he knows of one change that was also released during the same timeframe as the EMD update. Here’s the exchange (with another interesting one about Google’s struggle with quality thrown in):


While it’s not that interesting that Google launched another change the same time as the EMD update (again, it’s common knowledge that Google pushes changes every day), it is interesting that so many people are complaining about being hit when the update Cutts tweeted about was said to be so small, and that many of those claiming to have been hit were not dealing with exact match domains. If another change had as big of an impact, a greater impact, or anywhere close to the impact as the EMD update, why wouldn’t Google announce that one?

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on Google to be “transparent” about the changes it has made over the course of August and September, with its monthly (at least they used to be) lists. All of that combined with new updates to Google ‘s Webmaster Guidelines should be enough to keep webmasters busy for a bit.

  • https://plus.google.com/110826622201196466178/posts Nick Stamoulis

    I have several clients that have built their brand around a keyword (think something like SEOMoz) and so far nothing has happened to cause any concern. I don’t think that a site whose only crime is an EMD should be affected by the update but I’m interested to read what some other site owners have to say.

  • Tom

    I have a PR4 site that was hit – it was simplyKeywordKeyword.co.uk we had always ranked pg1 for the past 11years and had over 5000 pages index. Now we are completly gone.

  • http://handdryerindia.com pelister

    To Matt Cutts or Whatever the Google Algo is…. I want to say pls dont forget the basics…

    What is this EMD? , a man selling shoes will name his domain “qualityshoes.com” not some thing else (I dont want to be harsh). and he will promote with keywords pertaining to that, how in the world Matt or Google decides that to be EMD. If that is the case a lot of EMD is showing up in search after the update…

    And moreover pls be transparent when you do something, so others will know and act accordingly, if it is to be secret, then why do you impose that on the rest of the world…

  • 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

  • Justin

    Minor weather report : small upcoming google algo change, we will remove all sites who have less than 10k of alexa ranking. Only low quality sites will affected.

  • Justin

    i still not understand why mattcutts_com website not penalized??? EMD, lack of content, clearly general articles without any details. This emd is clear example of low quality site.

  • http://www.escapeninetofive.com Ben

    Very interesting, we all knew SEO was changing all the time but 500 updates yearly? Wow…talk about keeping your finger on the pulse.

  • Seema

    I was NOT having an EMD but my main kw was present in the domain (for example if my domain is ABCD.com, and my Main Kw is “C D” ). Still my site penalized and in no where in serps now (it was on first page for a long time for my main Kw ). I am quite disappointed now and started to consider some other options of doing online biz as SEO seems to Die very soon now.