Last Friday Matt Cutts tweeted about Google’s latest update, which focuses on penalties for ‘low-quality’ Exact Match Domain names, hence the EMD TLA.
While Google is never big on giving us the details lets digest this together!
Using a relevant keyword in a domain has been a very long-standing ranking signal.
ie: A consulting site for financial companies using ‘financial-consulting.com’ as a domain would be seen as relevant
Over the years this has lead to people grabbing up domains with keywords in them for SEO purposes.
Having your keywords in your domain name didn’t mean overnight dominance of the web, thankfully. Indeed, there was usually some trade-off between desirable keywords and a reasonably short domain name.
In fact, no organic/white-hat SEO would suggest you use something like:
Why? Because the gains in SEO wouldn’t match the losses in user trust/conversions.
Would a good organic SEO/White Hat tell you NOT to purchase those types of domains for 301s to your main site?
I’d like to think so, but this was clearly a strategy for a lot of sites competing for top rankings.
Regardless of your SEO ethics, the practice of domain parking/selling because of search ranking signals is clearly an unnecessary burden on the internet.
While the ‘domains for sale’ issue would still exist without search engines, search engines honestly should be making your choice of domain name MUCH less relevant.
Ideally fresh internet traffic should occur as match between the searchers needs and the services/information that your site provides.
And with this latest update it’d appear that Google agrees with the idea that book should found by more than what’s on the cover.
As of this last update you can expect sites with nothing but some keyword dense 301′d domains to now face a penalty instead of a positive ranking signal.
We didn’t see this coming!
I’m already seeing people post sad tales of the deep impact this update is having on certain sites, and I’ve had a laugh at a few ‘professionals’ claiming they never felt this day would come.Personally, while I’ve watched some very good presentations on SEO and web ranking strategies, the one thing that helps me most as an SEO is Matt Cutts’ breakdown of the real philosophy behind ‘good SEO’ which boils down to:
Never do something for the sake of search engine rankings alone.
If you like ‘Lord of the Rings’ then look at this as:
‘One Rule to Lead them all, one Rule to be found by…’
..and you should never have to fear a Google update!
In fact you should look at each Google update as a chance for your rankings to improve as other sites are punished for their ‘clever’ attempts to game the system.
Another Google Easter Egg?
And finally, to end the post with a chuckle, here’s a Google search phrase for you to test out:
I was hoping this was more than just an ‘Easter Egg‘ in Google’s search, but alas Google hasn’t yet licked mathematical artificial intelligence. :p
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 12:01 pm on October 2, 2012