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Google EMD Update: What Is Its Real Impact?

A discussion with Stuntdubl

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Google EMD Update: What Is Its Real Impact?
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As you may have noticed, Google has been announcing a lot of algorithm changes lately. This big round of “weather reports” kicked off a couple weeks ago, when Matt Cutts announced the EMD update. He described it as a “minor” weather report, indicating that that it was a “small” change designed to reduce low-quality exact-match domains in search results. He said it would affect 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree, noting that it was unrelated to Panda/Penguin.

Do you consider any of Google’s recent updates to be minor? Let us know in the comments.

The update may have been small as far as Cutts was concerned, but the flood of complaints from webmasters claiming to have been hit suggested otherwise. However, Cutts later revealed that a Panda update had also launched around the same time, and even since then, he has announced a Penguin data refresh and a new update to the Page Layout algorithm. There is plenty going on in Google land that webmasters are finding they need to pay attention to (not to mention those 65 changes Google announced last week that took place in August and September).

So in light of all of this, how big was the EMD update really? Well, if your site was hit and you do not operate any exact-match domains, it’s probably safe to assume that you were not hit by that update. For the many who do operate EMDs, however, it’s not so simple. Remember, the update is not necessarily going after sites with EMDs. It’s going after low quality sites with EMDs. Much like Panda, it’s really about quality.

We had a discussion with Todd Malicoat (aka: Stuntdubl), SEO Faculty at MarketMotive.com, who has a fair amount of experience with EMDs and even wrote The Exact Match Domain Playbook: A Guide and Best Practices For EMDs for SEOmoz after the update hit.

“It’s important to remember that Google does at least a couple changes per day on average,” he says. “A lot of times, they will save up several updates, and release them simultaneously. Exact match domains have been on Matt and his team’s radar for well over 2 years. I think it’s a very difficult thing to ‘draw the line’ of which domains are okay and which aren’t. Google continues to find relevant sites based on page quality, offsite value, domain authority, and keyword relevance. The EMD update is just one in a lot of changes Google has done in the last few weeks, but it is obviously significant.”

As Malicoat pointed out in his playbook, Cutts actually hinted at this update early last year in one of his Webmaster Help videos. “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,” Cutts said at the time. “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.”

“Anytime an ‘update’ is named it will be a filter or factor that plays a role in how the algo works,” continues Malicoat. “How wide of an impact is not quite as important in trying to determine what changed. Unfortunately, I think even the best of SEO folks are still struggling with exactly what happend in the ‘animal updates’. I try not to make too many assumptions about an update before there’s some time to really experience how it changes a handful of sites and the search results experience. I think as a consultant you can only react to best practices after you understand what they are.”

“People have been using EMD’s and anchor text for the last few years as a best practice, and I believe it was,” he says. “Those practices have definitely changed, and I think those who move quickly are trying to figure out just HOW MUCH these things have changed. It’s very difficult to tell with a very limited release where only a small percentage of queries are originally effected. Sometimes even seemingly small changes have lasting effects. The bigger issue at play is how significant the changes to keyword anchor text will be.”

Google has reportedly confirmed that it will launch refreshes for the EMD update periodically, much like it does for Panda and Penguin.

All of these updates are designed to increase the quality of Google’s search results. Beyond the EMD update, Google has recently made other changes to how it handles domains in different cases. Before the EMD update, Google announced the Domain Diversity update, for example. In its recently announced list of 65 changes from the past two months, Google revealed another domain-related tweak related to freshness to help users find the latest content from a given site when two or more documents from the same domain are relevant for a given query. Is Google getting better at delivering relevant results thanks to such changes?

“I don’t think anyone can argue that Google results are becoming LESS relevant in most verticals – Google’s results have always shown consistent improvements overall,” says Malicoat. “Relevance is rather subjective depending on who you ask though. Unfortunately, there’s always issues for someone. There’s only so many results, and organic search has become an important part of the marketing mix. It’s hard to support a business without Google sending at least some relevant users to your website.”

“I don’t always agree with relevance changes, but I come at it from a much different perspective than most,” he notes. “It’s important to embrace the changes and be able to change your strategy with them if you’re going to be an SEO practitioner.”

When asked if he believes Google’s results have improved in general, in light of recent updates, he says, “I really don’t think I’m the ‘average user’ to ask that sort of question unfortunately. I would come to the conclusion of what makes ‘relevant’ search results with a much different bias than most after being a search user for well over a decade. I’m also the co-owner of Marauder Sport Fishing which uses MiamiFishing.com as our domain, so my opinion is certainly biased.”

“In my opinion, there are plenty of conflicting interests under the G umbrella these days,” he adds. “That means relevance alone can’t really ALWAYS be the main priority. The one thing they are not lacking is data. They have data and intelligence to make relevance decisions like no other company or entity on earth.”

“Panda and penguin are both upgrades that raised the bar on the quality a website needs to demonstrate to receive organic search traffic,” he says. “That can be good or bad depending on perspective. It means more authoritative sites are ranking, and websites that don’t display all the quality signals necessary will not attract the traffic. The barrier to entry for new sites is higher, but the occurrence of spam is lower. There’s always some tradeoff in those two things I think.”

And really, regardless of all of these updates and their various functions and names, they tend to have one main thing in common. They’re designed to improve search results’ quality. Panda is flat out about quality content. Penguin is about getting rid of spam (which makes for a low quality experience). The EMD update goes after EMDs with low quality content. Google’s main message is that you should just produce quality content, and you’ll be fine. Still, quality is subjective, and there are plenty of webmasters getting hit by algorithm updates who would argue that it’s not that simple – webmasters who really believe they do provide quality content.

“Google is forcing sites to EARN traffic rather than just get it,” says Malicoat. “I think we’ve seen this before, and we’ll see it again. As an optimizer, I don’t look at many of the changes as good or bad – only a change that requires a change in strategy to keep relevant traffic flowing to a website.”

Businesses and sites need to decide how important Google traffic is. For instance, do Google referrals outweigh the benefits of other potential benefits that could be received by not going the “please Google” route? Since the Penguin update, we’ve seen a lot of sites frantically asking for other sites to stop linking to them. In some cases, the sites asking for the removals admit that they would like to have these links out there, but are having them removed for fear of Google not liking them (even when there is no direct evidence that these links in particular are hurting their Google rankings). In other words, they have become so desperate to combat the negative Penguin experience that they’re overreacting and removing genuine, natural links.

As Malicoat points out, there are benefits to having EMDs.

“EMD’s definitely have lots of benefits – though you have to take my opinion with some bias – I own more than a few of them,” he tells us. “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, and complaints started.”

“There’s still lots of benefits in EMD’s,” he reiterates. “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.”

Not to beat a dead horse, but the key seems to be making sure the quality of your site and its content are as good as they can be. You can have a domain like DenverLawyers.com. Just don’t treat it like a useless piece of crap, and perhaps Google will not either.

If you want to review the things Google is thinking about when it comes to quality, I’d suggest running through these bullet points Google put out after the Panda update last year.

Out of Google’s recently announced updates, which do you believe has had the greatest impact on webmasters? On search results? Which has had the greatest impact on you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Google EMD Update: What Is Its Real Impact?
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  • Guy

    quality content mantra again. For google quality site is only youtube, wikipedia and webmd. Everything else is search spam. EMD also spam in google eyes, but it natural even offline practice. But not for google, them liked to create only new rules, and like every algorithm – have lot of bugs. Most funny it programmers game only, reluctance to admit their mistakes.

  • Paul Moran

    Google does not want anyone to find another website other than by its own dictatorial biased index that flies in the face of logical thinking and is aimed at forcing companies to pay exhorbitant rates for Adwords that small business cannot afford.
    EMD’s should rank at the top because they ‘are what they say they are’ and any competiive advantage gained by owning one is the same as owning the prime spot on main street. It rewards those who had the sense to first enter the market whilst other big brands dithered.
    Likewise keyword links are the most logical way of describing the page at the end of the link.
    Quality is indeed subjective and something that Cutts obviously does not understand
    Google’s attack on small business should be referred to monopolies and unfair trading Government bodies throughout the world.
    Search is too important to national economies to allow one company to dominate and destroy good small business. China had the right idea and any prospective politician could win millions of votes if they said they would force Google to remove all its so called quality filters and allow a free market.

  • http://freeprintablelessonplans.blogspot.com Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben

    First thanks for the helpful explanation. My Adsense earnings bottomed out on 9/28 and haven’t come back. I maintain several blogs and all were affected. I lost about 75-80%. My sites aren’t EMDs but some of the names may suggest they are. For example, “free printable lesson plans”–yes it offers specifically “free printable lesson plans” but on a plethora of topics and subjects. If I understand EMD’s correctly, they have very niche names–”free-printable-Hello-Kitty-coloring pages.blahblah.com. They also lure readers using that tag but don’t provide said free printables. My blogs don’t offer just links, like spammies. I compose posts with paragraphs of content (not just tags and keywords). Does that count as an EMD, or should I say would Google indexing bots see it as an EMD?

    Another question–around 9/28 I rearranged keywords, too. Where before I used some 2-3 word phrases for better-performing keywords, I separated them into single-word keywords. When my page views tanked, I reconnected the keyword phrases. It hasn’t seemed to help. Should I leave significant keywords as phrases or use as individual words?

    Any insight you can shed would be greatly appreciated. I’m hoping the drop is due to dust settling from the Panda 20-Penguin 3-EMD update trifecta. (Thank you for your patience with this rambling comment, too!)

  • http://www.jeroenwaning.com jeroen waning

    Hey guys,
    I was one of those who got hit REAL hard by this “minor weather update”. I’m not afraid to admit, I was using a lot of black hat SEO techniques. And… I sure paid for it… BIG TIME!

    I had about 15 successful websites making me a good amount of income, but then, about 95% of my traffic got taken away from me (rightfully so I now realize).

    My websites had great content on them, I had low bounce rates, etc. People loved them… But… my rankings and free traffic were artificial.

    This was a big awakening for me, and it made me consider a career change… Just for a hot second though LOL. I’m not giving up THAT easily :)

    So now, I’ve decided to start building a successful online business from scratch all over again.

    BTW, my name is Jeroen Waning, and I just wanted to introduce myself here. I was wondering if anyone else had the same experience as me with this and how they feel about it.

    I’ve recently set up a personal blog where I am going to document my progress of restarting an online business from scratch. I’ll be recording all of my failures and successes.

    I know that running an online business can bring a lot of “information overload”… so… I wanted to do this:

    Anyone that has any kind of problem they currently want to solve, but they don’t think they have the time, please click on my name and comment on my blog.

    If you have problems getting traffic, making your first sale, getting ripped off by the latest hype, etc, please let me know about it, and I’ll try to develop a solution for you (and help myself and others in the process) while you go about your business and focus on other things.

    My reinvented online business strategy is now about providing value before getting the money, not getting the money first… and THEN providing the value… Just wanna see if this works :/

    Thanks for letting me vent LOL. See ya ’round :)

  • Terry Scales

    Aside from his “EMD’s should rank at the top because they are what they say they are” comment, I’d echo Paul Moran’s comments.

    Google rankings have become a joke since Penguin/Panda/EMD updates that distract from the truth of what they are really about – hitting small businesses that had the foresight to buy into an online presence when the big boys were still sceptical about how this Internet thingamajig might benefit them. The level playing field it once was, is, since the smokescreen of updates began, fast becoming an exclusive club for those who can afford big bucks to maintain a top ranking Adwords campaign whilst easily funding any damage caused by the updates to bolster their organic positions.

    EMD’s, in many cases, aren’t what they say they are and these were becoming an unfair threat to those EMD’s that were yet the valid ones have to suffer further relegation down the rankings.

    How many good quality, niche websites, whose owners are experienced specialists in their sector, recognise the following? Your now on page 5 or 6 in the SERPS only to have been replaced by a blend of sites that comprise of poorly designed, low quality websites, some of which may even be dead pages, even some one page EMD’s with outsourced, illegible copy and no valid address details sitting just below the big brands who monopolise the top spots.

    As for duplicate content, wasn’t that supposed to penalise the plageurists not the original authors? Well it appears not and if you do have knowledge of your industry and have spent many years writing article after article, blog after blog, as a means of providing your visitors with educative, unique content, should a bigger fish decide to utilise your copyright without permission, they may be seen as the original authors and rewarded for the theft.

    Sour grapes? You bet I have and how sad is it that I have to withhold my web address from this post for fear of further relegation of an online business that I’d built up since 1999 with many hours of effort.
    There’s precious little that good small website owners can do about this and I’m half expecting the next update to be named Google Pig to reflect the greed of the owners who only wish to eat the best truffles.

  • Guy

    google now working hard to remove quality and informative websites except big brands and extremely popular websites. It MFA site idea what peoples click more often on adwords ads if no relevant results in organic serp found.
    I not telling about affiliate sites, panda/penguin already get rid of them totally.

    Emd is absolutely normal practice in offline world, but google love to change anything because $$$.

    Really this emd update is start of war with onpage seo. Looks like emd update is only testing ground for more jarring and jolting updates for all sites.

    • http://www.dirtworks.net John Meshna

      Agreed. We’ve been nearly killed off by all these changes at Google and this fall we started to show a few small signs of hope and as soon as these updates came out our business nearly disappeared again. Google needs to be investigated and broken up. They work in secret and are destroying the free internet as we know it.

  • http://gfx-3d-model.com pelister

    If any of the google imbeciles dare – answer us, I have wrote post after post on google webmaster forum about low quality sites being listed in search result, pointed out many sites with link cloaking, keyword stuffing, single page affiliates but no one answers.

    What is there relevant in wikipedia, linkedin, technorati, youtube to place them in search results. google at the epitome of stupidity.

    BTW this is what google doing right now

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrontojPWEE

  • http://michaelcorder.com Michael Corder

    My personal blog – (http://michaelcorder.com) with an EMD of my name, with no advertising, and 100% original content, was almost completely removed from the search results on Sept 29, for all keywords, as well as for all my photos. To date it is still unfindable.

    My other blog, The Energy Blog – (energy.typepad.com) has gone from 100-200 visits a day to zero, and no longer ranks for any of it’s previous keywords, including it’s name.

    Google has chased me away. I’ll Shut down & give up…

    Albeit incredibly upset ;-)

  • Robin Ong

    An unfortunate thing has happened in the internet. Google has become the new God in this realm. Therefore, as smallholders who use to operate blogs, well, we could only survive if we go back to the trusted brick and mortar or the old economy. I’m borrowing to open a new grocery tomorrow in main street, anybody want to join me?

  • Meh

    I had an EMD get dropped 2 spots below another EMD to 3, while being sandwiched between the #1 &2 results (same domain and EMD) and 4,5, and 6 that are also an EMD from the same domain. What happened to same domain results being collapsed??

    My site has been up longest, #1 for 2 years, very high quality (even linked to by google blogs as a resource), but yet took a major hit here out of the blue.

    This has resulted in a 50% drop in quality leads and about 10% in traffic. Ouch. Not happy.

  • http://thewizc.com Andy

    I have about 22 Amazon Affiliate sites and at the time of the Google changes my traffic and sales went literaly to zero for about 3-4 days. After 2 weeks of directory submissions and mass pings I have my traffic and sales up to about 25% of what I was doing before. About half of my sites are EMDs and I really don’t see the problem with that. If my site is called Feed The Cat dot com and I sell cat food, what is wrong with that? My customers were very happy and I never had anyone logon to my site and say I’m not buying because you are a terrible EMD. What’s the deal with content anyway? When I’m buying cat food I’m looking for product information and price. I’m not trying to manufacture cat food, I just want to buy some and feed the cat. Also when looking for content I’m not a buyer. Google has punished my customers and me. I think anti-trust investigation is in order for Google. They dominate the internet and I would be willing to bet that each algorithom change is movtivated by market domination and bottom line profit. Their changes are simple designed to sell their advertising which is fine with me; however, they are over the line with their mononpoly of the internet search engine space. Come on BING!! Maybe BING needs some help form the U.S. government.

  • steve

    My site was crushed when Google had the update in January. I guess my quality free content was punished because of my Adsense ads. I lost 65% of my search traffic and income over night.

    Now with this October update they put me back where I was before January. Why? I have changed nothing, so my guess is Google saw a trend in lost revenue from Adsense and acted accordingly. Either that or nothing they do makes any sense so why bother analyzing it.

  • http://www.wholesalehomegiftsupplies.com Wayne C

    The whole ideal of Google going straight PPC dam near killed us it was the friend to the small business owners and now it just dont care…so i am going amazon to pay for my ads

    • John

      Small sites made Google and now we get screwed by them. Going to amazon also.

  • http://booksandhealth.com kc

    I couldn’t agree more with Steve. We are experiencing the same. We were hit hard in January and now again and we too have not changed anything to warrant this latest attack. The Christmas season is upon us and where are we???? I’m sure Google hasn’t gotten enough dollars through their ads and so they try and make folks play their game of paying Google to be on the supposedly ‘free’ internet… Gone are the days that the internet offers opportunities for all and frankly I am very tired of the Google greed.

  • http://www.simplyclicks.com David Burdon

    I have plenty of examples of sites that have lost ranking position – maybe an average of 4 or 5 positions. But at the same time I have sites that have stayed rock solid number 1 for their exact match domain.

    Perhaps the one key difference is the amount of time I’ve been contracted to provide SEO. The sites with a longer history, and history of link building, are doing better.

    • http://www.travelagentmumbai.com samson daniel samuel

      David is very right “The sites with a longer history, and history of link building, are doing better.” but my other websites with Domain Name keyword search has fallen down that is very tragic I thought Domain names will help this websites stand strong and I stopped concentrating on its link building.

  • Pete

    Google has officially joined the 1%. Who cares about the rest of us? Emd spam? It’s all about Adwords rev.

  • andy

    I got hit hard by the EMD update, pretty much my whole network has disappeared overnight! TLD’s were pretty much EMD based as it fitted several micro niches well, the domains were what i would call brandable EMD’s! content for each was unique and i made a living from my sites. my biggest gripe about the update is one of my main sites was replaced in the serps by a near exact EMD to my own only with a .cc extn.

    thanks google it now looks like its back to the dole que for me!

  • http://travel365.us.tc Dr Robert

    Many of my sites dropped off the radar after the Google EMD. But why ? My domains are EMD with country identifiers. Dot tk ( Tuskani ) and Dot us Dot tc ( Germany ) extns AND many of my colleagues from India with Dot In. I believe Google has offended millions. With that being said my traffic grew on Yahoo even though Google zapped my front door. My traffic has also gone up on Bing and DuckDuckGo. In my humble opinion I believe Google has shot itself in the foot… How deep is yet to be determined.

  • http://barocha.comunidades.net Antonio Rocha

    Work on pro quality is aplausível, more like to be perfect if many things are kept in secret?
    I think Google should think well on your requirements, there are already companies that have found other avenues, where they found more beneficial results on Google.

  • WTF

    We were literally destroyed overnight by this last round of ‘updates.’ Sites that have years and years and years of building expert, authoritative content, sites rich on content and blogs written by industry professionals and experts in specific fields of medicine and law. Sites that practice white hat link building and do regular press releases. Some EMD and some not–but the end result the same…POOF, FUCKING VAPORIZED OVERNIGHT.

    This update is not about quality…it is about Google manipulating the market and trying to crush SEMs and take the business. Since September 28th, my telephone has rung 3-4 times a day with robo-calls from Google promising to put us on page one. Seriously, WTF? Are you kidding me?

    Google is just muscling out the competition and then trying to rake in all the cash. Why, because they can – that’s why. Matt Cutts is a fucking puppet who spews bullshit from his nostrils. He is the bag man for Google and their unscrupulous practices of hurting the small business person. Fuck Google and the horse they rode in on.

  • http://www.graciousstore.com Nina

    I am a newbie in E commerce, I join the business at the peak of all these Google update and still trying to make sens e out of the whole talk, talk. Can someone please help me, how does E-commerce website meet the requirements of “high quality content”? When the primary aim of rthe site is to sell merchandise to customers

  • http://www.romanticgetawayaustralia.com.au Michael Chorney

    On close examination it’s no more Google PRESSURE pushing the small guy into more Adword Advertising.

  • susan

    I’m tired of hearing everyone complain about Google and how it’s destroying their businesses, etc. As webmasters and internet users we have not only allowed Google to become what it is, but we’ve encouraged it. We put the ‘king’ on the throne. That also means we have the power to take that throne away.
    Think about it folks. If every webmaster suddenly stopped supporting Google whether it’s by dropping those adword accounts or via search, that would be millions and millions of lost $$. Now imagine if the general public began migrating away from Google because it had lost the support of webmasters – mega millions more in lost revenue. Perhaps then and only then would Google get back to what it was originally and stop playing these stupid games with the web.
    Is fear holding you back? Well, in many cases webmasters have already lost pretty much everything they worked hard to build up and their sites are doing them very little good so what’s to lose. As long as you keep feeding the beast it will only continue to get fatter and more controlling.
    I am in favor of no more complaining about Google until/unless webmasters are willing to take a stand and actively pursue dethroning the ‘king’.

  • http://melissastini.com Mel

    This year I’ve seen a lot more old, outdated websites popping up on the first page since Penguin and Panda. Age does not equal quality. Many of these sites look like something from 1997 and they maybe haven’t been updated since then, either. I understand Google is trying to prevent new”ish” sites from zooming to the top of SERPs for fear they are webspam, but a lot of the newer websites have far better quality than the old ones, but the oldies remain in the top ten just because they have a couple of ancient old authority links. Many of these old sites are irrelevant, out-of-date, and a waste of user’s time. I’ve tried to report these bad search results, but it’s probably falling on deaf ears. Bing is actually providing me better results!! (I never thought I’d live to say that.) ATTN GOOGLE: you’re ruining your search engine. By becoming so overzealous, you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater and leaving users with poor search results.

  • http://play-electric-guitar.net Andrew

    Google, by its own definition is a low quality spam website. Place your ads where google would and this is what happens. SEO was there to help dumb search engines find out what your site and pages are about. It seems Google wants to go it alone, I say let them.

  • http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com Mike Budd

    So far so good, no devastating effect on EMDs due to these ‘animal changes’. For a good reason, I believe: quality. If I had to chose again, I would not pick such exact match domain name that is suspicious to external parties like journalists (we are in touch with some of them who told us about it) but totally ok for people who search for “exactly that”: products and prices. Fot me it is the same kind of dilemma as keeping your readers on your page with high quality info or sending them right away to merchant sites: it has to be a compromise.
    Last word with a personal view on the quality of the search results in domains that I know very well: to be fair to Google, I saw a real increase in terms of quality, apparently small sites that were ranking only through black hat SEO are down now, except one who is still cheating a bit (paid links) but ranking high.
    Cheers, Mike

  • http://www.seolions.com SeoLions

    Oh We have hit by the EMD not all but a little over our 6 percent of domains have been hit and surprised to see our websites with lot of contents 100 percent white seo methods have been hit. But no problem we will recover soon

  • http://Houses.com.ng Darlington

    The EMD update hit me so bad. I am a domainer and i have a lot of domains. Since parking wasn’t making much money any more, i decided to build out a mini website so my domains could be index, rank, get traffic and which would increase the value of my domains.

    What i don’t really understand about the EMD update, was it targeted for poor content website or website with bad seo. For all i know, i updated my website with good content. I built most of my backlink from one source and my anchor text was my exact keyword, i don’t know if that was the reason i was hit…?

  • http://bookinsomnia.com Mark

    Time to stop panda-ing to google completely. I have. No longer going to check the search engine listings. No more little niche sites of variable quality. Just a few good big quality sites attractive and monetised and drive traffic direct.

    If they get listed in google or bing that will be a bonus. Why bother to keep up anymore. Google will eventually be invitation only or pass a test to be listed. You see the now them pandering to wallmart and the big names in their results.

    Time to move on.

  • http://freeldssheetmusic.org roger

    Cut traffic to my (what I believe to be a non low quality) website by 1/3rd. Now we’re suddenly punished for having used EMD when we first started our site? lame… freeldssheetmusic.org is the one in question here. Hope they fix this…

  • https://twitter.com/brickmarketing Nick Stamoulis

    “Still, quality is subjective, and there are plenty of webmasters getting hit by algorithm updates who would argue that it’s not that simple – webmasters who really believe they do provide quality content.”

    That’s what makes SEO so tricky for many DIY SEO site owners. You could think you were playing by the rules and get blind sided by an update. When you think you are doing great and one day to walk up to 1/2 your traffic how do you go about determining where you went wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/zoomqa Lawyer James

    Making key changes helps to identify whats going wrong over the web search.

    SEO will soon mean validating your domain with accredited business links and content that solidifies you as a real company and not just a purchased domain with content.

    • http://24hourearner.com Anthony

      James that’s obviously on the assumption that the web is powered by business-related terms, which it isn’t. A large chunk of people go to Google (and other SEs) to find out ‘how to do stuff’, not necessarily to buy something. Perhaps Google’s drop in ad revenue is a validation of this fact. The solution IMO is not to force the organic results into some sort of commercial melting pot. Users are a lot more sophisticated than they were 10 years ago.

  • RapedByGoogle

    Google Stock dropping 10% today. I am sooooo happy. I am a web developer and supporter of Google for over 15 years. I take Google’s recent updates as a personal attack. I am stepping off the Google train immediately!!! No more Google phone, docs, chrome, tablet, adwords, adsense, etc…. I am ditching everything Google. The new definition of Google: The founder of antitrust and financial terrorism. The government must act and declare martial law on Google today!!!

    • http://Iagree! Pete

      Ad revenues are falling. This is attempt to stop the bleeding and they are only shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Stephen

    Our company has developed a series of niche websites that include gratuitous links to relevant US-based manufacturers and government information sources. Over the last 10 years, we have obtained a number of “.us” domain names, and we have endeavored to fill the gap between commercial enterprise websites and non-commercial information sources such as Wikipedia. During this decade, American manufacturers have faced strong competition from abroad; by linking to reputable U. S. manufacturer websites from our relevant “.us” websites, we have highlighted their products and done our small part to help them survive and grow so that they can provide decent jobs for American citizens.

    We have contracted with a freelance author who formerly worked for Elsevier to write the majority of our articles, and we have tried to earn a modest living and recoup our content investment primarily via Google Adsense, without degrading our content with pop-up ads or affiliate links. We provide contact information on our sites, and our business is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.

    Yet, since September 29, our websites’ page impressions have dropped dramatically. Since that date, many maps and other images (both original copyrighted works and derivative works that we have licensed for publication) on our websites have also disappeared from Google image search results, yet these same maps and images continue to appear on Google image search results with other website URLs specified as their locations instead of their original URL locations on our websites.

  • Majeem

    We got obsessed with Google I believe. They may or may not have a business agenda behind these series of updates. But the more we keep giving them importance, the more they are are going to hurt. It is really impossible to change as and when each update rolls out. Better stick to basics. You can’t beat millions of people using Google as search provider.

  • http://www.aks-india.com/ AKS

    It is a good news for SEO’s, it will eliminate low quality EMD’s from the rankings. It was frustrating to see these domains ranking above quality sites. Thanks to Google for this update !!

  • http://www.homepage-erstellen.net Oliver

    The times are definitely gone when earning money on EMD’s was dead simple.

  • http://www.outdoordesignershade.com.au/foldingarmawnings.html Dylan

    I am working in SEO field from the last one year. I have entered in this field when google penguin update hit. But I was trying to learn how can I avoid this kind of update. My site and key words were remain same and they did not penalized. So, I think everybody should study and should learn about updates. My ph- 01933246577(Dhaka, Bangladesh).

  • Chris H

    The EMD update is only directed at exact match domains with low quality content, IE domains that ranked solely on their name, and not because of their content. Exact match domains still work great.

    Besides, you don’t need to have an exact match domain to create a niche website on one particular topic.

  • http://shadecool.com.au/ Andrew

    I agree with AKA this is good news for SEO, it will definitely eliminate low quality EMD’s from the rankings. The exact domain match was a disadvantage to the rest of us.

  • http://shadecool.com.au/ Andrew

    I agree with AKA this is good news for SEO, it will definitely eliminate low quality EMD’s from the rankings.

  • http://www.seouzman.org cengiz

    türkiyeden sizi takip ediyorum.çok güzel bir makale elinize sağlık!

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