Google recently announced another algorithm ‘tweak’ which directly targets exact match domains – i.e. those domain names that exactly match popular keyword phrases.  Google has stated that the update is targeted at ‘low quality’ exact match domains and expects fewer than 0.6% of all search queries to be effected.  Those of us in the search engine optimisation industry think there may well be a bit more to it however.

Google made their announcement last Friday via a Tweet posted by Matt Cutts of their Search Quality Team.  His Tweet read as follows:

“Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results”

Matt then did a follow up Tweet about this latest update saying:

“New exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects 0.6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin.”

Impact So Far:

Since these changes were made public last Friday many SEO consultants were making frequent posts on Twitter and other message boards complaining of significant ranking drops. With some client websites dropping out of the search engine results altogether.

SEOMoz ran a study last weekend which does seem to confirm the impact that this update has had,  The SEOMoz report included a number of examples from previously high ranking websites like and which most agreed were far from ‘low quality’ websites but they were bumped off nonetheless.

According to SEOMoz, the algorithm update has so far impacted both .com and .org sites.

SEO Consultants Reaction So Far:

The reaction to the update from SEO professionals has been mixed.  Some see this as a good move by Google, whilst others see it as bad news. Many posters on the social networks complained that Google was unfairly punishing their clients websites for providing exactly what searchers are looking for.  Others, including GB Web Marketing are saying that exact match domains, often referred to as ‘Micro-Sites’ have always been a ‘Black Hat’ SEO ploy and should have been punished months if not years ago!

Where It’s Heading

We all know that Google regularly adjusts algorithms, often 50 times or more each month and they always have a reason for doing so.   We believe that Google’s sole objective in the continual tweaking of their algorithm is to ensure that they deliver the very best quality search results to their searchers – it always has been.

Top quality sites, have plenty of good quality content that delivers real value for the reader.  They also have a good number of links from good quality referring domains and strong ‘Social Signals’.  If you stick to this simple but effective maxim your website will not incur the wrath of Google.

If you would like to know more about GB Web Marketing Organic SEO services please leave a comment below or call us on 01293 822755.

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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