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Exact Match Domain Crackdown – What You Ought To Know

Posted on : 26-10-2012 | By : stargaterich | In : Internet_Marketing

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One of the SEO techniques used by many online marketers is that of going after exact match domain. Popularly abbreviated as EMD, it is seen as a short cut quick method to improve site ranking.

Lets assume you wish to promote an affiliate product ‘XYZ’ . Register a domain that includes the search query for it lets say something like  XYZ.com or XYZ.org, XYZ.info, XYZ.net and so forth.

This technique is covered in Google Affiliate X course whereby webmasters are strongly advice to include keywords that described or referenced the product being promoted.

Append words such as  “review”, “bonus”, “revealed” and you get yourself a partial match domain name that will get index and rank very quickly by Mighty G. As per the previous example, get something in the like of ‘XYZreview.com’, ‘XYZreviewed.com’, ‘XYZbonus.com’, ‘XYZrevealed.com’, ‘XYZscam.com’ and etc.

This tactic has been used to great effectiveness right until Google decides to change algorithm to plug this loophole. Prior to crackdown  so to speak, many sites with virtually zero or low quality content could easily outrank sites with high quality content simply by virtue of the fact that the searched keyword phrase match the domain name to the ‘T’.

Here’s some information on Google inputs on what this new algorithm update is all about.

EMD Impact – What It Means For You

Tons of websites search ranking drop like a rock following Google update to weed out  so called “low quality” sites.  Interestingly it was observed that some of the affected sites has great content but were nevertheless affected.

On the other hand there were also EMD sites  that still rank highly by the search engine even though it is quite obvious they have been neglected or abandon for quite some time.  (by virtue of the fact that  contents are not updated for months or even years.)

Should You Abandon EMD ?

With all the contradicting observations, should you continue to implement this tactic?  It’s hard to say if it is still ‘safe’ to do so given the hundred or even thousands of sites that disappear from the top pages of the search results .  Affiliate marketers are most vulnerable as many tend to implement this technique to drive traffic to the merchant store or landing page.

High Gain Low Bandwidth

There are some important factors you need to consider when you go for precise or partial match search query terms. The concept behind EMD tactic is that the closer the search query term  (for the product or service name )  match the URL name, the higher it  appear in the search engine result page.

What happens if the affiliate product you promote is discontinued and removed from the merchant site ?  You can redirect that domain to another site selling other related products but you will have to work your butt off to drive traffic to the new site to compete for  different search keywords all over again.

 Low Gain High Bandwidth

Why not consider using a broader term instead of targeting a precise search query.  For instance, lets say you are in the business of  dog training niche and you wish to promote an online  training program  for Pomeranian puppies

Instead of  using something like pomeraniandogtraining101.com (lets assume the digital eBook you wish to promote as an affiliate  is  entitled “pomeraniandogtraining101” )  why not consider a broader match description such as dogtrainingMadeSimple.com instead.

You can use the latter (more generic term)  to promote other dog breed training  related products, thus reducing the cost of  domain acquisition. The benefits in regards to the use of a broader term are 1) less likely to get penalize by Google for exact match penalty and 2) make the URL more brandable so as to rank higher for various search phrases.


An exact match domain, better known as EMD refers to any domain name using the precise keyword phrase that you wish to target. If your site is impacted by Google updates,  fret not, there are a number of ways to circumvent it.  The first method is to buy a high page ranking aged domain and redirect your affected site pages to it.

The second method involve making your URL more  brandable, one which is not stuff with too many keywords, that is none too targeted towards any specific search query term and which is easier for people to remember and more appealing.

Last but not least, content is still king so make sure your site brings value to the visitors. Do not neglect basic on page search optimization factors such as cross deep links, updated sitemap, good navigation and etc.

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