Google’s been busy again with its Algorithm updates. In September and October they released a few new updates that may have affected you and your website(s). The one update I found most noteworthy was something Google has been talking about doing for a while, the exact-match domain update.
Google EMD Update
This update is targeted at low quality, spammy, exact-match domains. You know the ones right? It’s been common practice for years for SEOs to register domain names that exactly match the keyword that the site is attempting to be optimized for. For example, if I wanted to rank well for the keyword “SEO Portland” then I might register the domain www.seo-portland.com. This type of practice has been effective in achieving positive results for years. Because of the easily found success of optimizing an exact-match domain, these domains are often very spammy. The Google EMD update does not intend to penalize all exact-match domains, just those that are of low quality and spammy, according to Matt Cutts of Google. This update is said to affect less than 1% of search results, but could well be more than that.
This update is long overdue. It never really seemed right that these exact-match domains could outrank an established brand, with a higher quality site and content, just because the domain matched a searchers keyword.
Some other updates in the past couple months included minor updates to Penguin and Panda updates, as well as a Google Image Index update that has some folks up in arms. It’s a moving target folks…try to keep up!