Exact Match Domains Making a Comeback

In October 2012 I wrote a blog post titled “Is Your Exact Match Domain Getting Punished by Google?“. This was right after the whole online marketing community was talking about how Google’s Matt Cutts announced the new algorithm will reduce low-quality exact-match domains in search results.

It seemed like this algo update went through as a lot of people reported loosing high rankings for their EMD sites.

However, I have experienced an EMD comeback this year – unless, of course, it’s just a fluke.

Earlier this year I started building a website for my new service in the field of online reputation management; MontrealRM.com. The site was built with a lot of thought and mostly for the user and not the search engine spiders. Good design, quality content, well researched blog posts, contact us page, privacy/policy disclaimer, site-map – the whole kit. This website ranked on the first page for all my main keyword phrases.


I also had a parked domain name sitting around which I decided to turn into a mini-site; MontrealReputationManagement.com. I was hesitant of using it as the main site because it was an exact-match domain which Google seemed to dislike since 2012.

Finally I decided to go along with it and installed WordPress on that domain. At this point the site doesn’t have any content on it; no blog posts, no pages, just the title, description and tags.  As soon as I published the new site in the end of June it ranked high. First-result high, outranking my main site, facebook page and some other online properties I built around my new business.

I am certain it will fall down in the rankings with time as I am building more and more unique content for my main site – however this site has been outranking everything else for almost a month and the only logic explanation I can come up with – the Exact Match Domain.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to test it any further with other domains so I can’t be sure if it’s just a coincidence or if Google has changed a part of its search algorithm once again.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

–          Alex

1 thought on “Exact Match Domains Making a Comeback”

  1. I’m not sure EMDs ever went anywhere. In fact, a lot of people misinterpreted Matt Cutts by saying that ALL EMDs were bad and you shouldn’t use exact match domains.

    Matt specifically said “low quality EMDs” so those are the ones that took a hit. EMDs with no content, little content (1 page affiliate sites etc), scraped content, spam content and spun content.

    So if you had an EMD with great content then you would most likely be fine even if it took a temporary hit.

    I see lots of EMDs ranking nowadays and to be honest some of them shouldn’t be because of the same reasons for the algo Matt mentioned. Just the other day I saw an EMD ranking for a term I was researching and the content definitely looked like a machine wrote it.

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