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Exact Match Domain Owners Panda-Slapped

Take THAT exact match domain

There has been an update to the Google ranking formula that means having exact match domains is no longer the SEO advantage it was a week or so ago. According to reports something like 2.4% of English speaking web sites have been affected by this change.

An exact match domain is where the target keyword phrase is the root of the domain name.

Examples include:


Get the idea?

By having the domain name exactly match the search term, some internet marketers were getting good traffic for not much extra effort. In low competition markets just having the keywords in the domain name was enough to get great rankings, especially large sites with lots of interlinking pages.

And then Google stopped the music.

If you have an exact match domain and you have noticed a drop in rankings and traffic, this is what we suggest:

1. Don’t panic

2. Slowly but surely start adding new pages to your site. Put your target keywords in the page url (eg. dodgydoctors.com/cheap-brain-surgery-sydney.html). Look at your page metatags, especially the title tag. Add some quality words and images to those new pages. Three to five pages will be enough. Don’t be greedy.

3. Build some quality links into those new pages (not to the home page). Article marketing, manual and thoughtful blog commenting, and press release submissions still work.

I’ve never been a great advocate for exact match domains. The trouble is they are not “brandable” which means they are easy to forget and easy to confuse with similar sounding exact match domains. Which one of these would you be more likely to remember:


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