Reasons why Quality Exact Match Domains are still working for SEO


Recently I was browsing online forums in the domain world, as I am personally really interested in domain names as I have been buying and selling domain names for over 8 years. For as long as I can remember domain names and SEO have pretty much gone hand in hand with SEO, as does web development with SEO. I found and interesting discussion a Sydney based web developer and Domain name seller by the name of Scott Nugent had engaged in. Basically Nugent had been calling up numerous end users who were Digital Marketing Managers to say that he has some domains for sale related to their business. A quote from Nugent below about his calls:

Out of the 8 I called, 3 of them all said the same thing: “I’ve been told exact match domains have zero value these days because Google penalizes you so I wouldn’t be interested”.

Now to further this quote from the end users, I also saw a very well known SEO company in the australian market put out this statement on Linkedin yesterday

Now that Google no longer gives you an SEO boost for exact match domains, what are the best ways to choose your new domain name?

Now these two quotes from various groups of individuals in the online marketing world has kind of baffled me, from some one who has been working in digital market I highly disagree that Exact Match Domains weight in search engines has been totally wiped out, I think a better statement to make is: Exact Match domains are still worth while if you create a quality site from them with good quality content and a decent link profile to match.

I will show below with some live examples of exact match domains still ranking well, whilst these domains are examples of quality exact match domains it is still evident their is a slight boost in these ranks for the EDM, I mean if you have a branded exact match domain people will naturally link to the website using the match link anchor text for the given keyword!

A quick search in the Australian market I can find several examples of EMD (Exact Match Domains Ranking)

1. Do a search for “Car Sales” and see (current rank 1st position.)

Note from keyword: Whilst Car Sales is a very well known brand running on an EDM, it can be said that Drive has a stronger link profile yet it ranks in second position.


2. Do a search for “Credit Cards” and see (Current Rank 3rd position)

Note from keyword: Competitors such as Credit Card Finder rank lower but the important point is that Credit Cards the exact match domain still ranks strongly.


3. Do a search for “Lawyers” and see (Current Rank 2nd position)

Note from keyword: Competitor which is branded and has a strong link profile such as Slater & Gordan is out ranked by the EDM.


4. Do a search for “personal loans” see (Current Rank – 1st position)

Note from keyword: Outranks strong competitors, domain authority is lower, competing banks not currently out ranking for the term.


5. Do a search for “loans” and see (Current Rank – 5th position)

Note from keyword: competitors such as yes loans have a stronger link profile yet still ranks higher.


6. Do a search for “Leather Jackets” and see the partial exact match domain (currently in 1st position)

Note from keyword: Competitors such as Viparo have a stronger link profile yet still ranks higher with the partial exact match domain, even looking at Viparo’s link profile you can see they have been targeting leather jackets heavily.

7. Do a search for “Jobs” and see the exact match domain (currently in 2nd position)

Note from keyword: From looking at the serps, it is evident that some of the government websites are very strong yet the EDM domain is still ranking in 2nd position.

Another point to back up Exact Match Domains:

Now from my recent interview with Andre Weyher the Google search employee he provided the following insight into Exact Match Domains:

Choose your domain name wisely, having a good URL can give you a head start in the race. Good domains are still expensive and for a good reason.

Now you can take an educated guess from the statement about and the facts on hand and see that “Good Domains” usually means Exact Match Domains in high competition markets.

Now what can we say about the above research?

– Looking at keywords such as “Loans” and “Personal Loans” and “Jobs” in the Australia market it is evident that the EDM (Exact Match Domains) has some authority still in the ranks, the point is low quality EDM domains have been targeted after the last update. If you have a exact match domain I feel it is still worth investing in it but make sure that you have quality content related to the domain and build a quality link profile behind the domain.

Can Online Marketers please not make silly comments that Exact Match Domains now have no authority or benefit what so ever, it is clearly not true.

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Reactions to the recent Exact Match Domain changes in Google Australia!

So over the last few days there have been some changes from the Australian market and global markets targeting Exact Match Domains,
I have sourced together a few quotes from Australian website owners who have been directly hit by this update, please note these are not clients of mine just members from the general publish who have expressed their opinion on the update.

“Looking at my own EMD sites, a few with thinner content seems to have been hit…But those which are built out with pages are holding strong… therefore will be interesting to monitor over the coming weeks”

Website Owner – Sydney

“Haven’t actually seen any ranking drops today with my EMDs so far although overall adsense views do seem to be down over the weekend. However it was a public holiday in NSW at least which generally hurts traffic.”

Website Investor and Site Owner – Sydney

“A few of my low quality EMD sites got hit hard in this update as well.”

Website Owner – Brisbane

Tips on how to avoid been hit by further updates:
– Make sure you invest in high quality content, so not use duplicate content or spun content.
– Make sure you have high quality links pointing to your site.
– Make sure that you push social signals to your site.
РMake sure that you invest time into sites which are long term and have been established for a while, I have seen many story’s from
This update where people who have been hit are people who own very new domains.
Please post here if you have been targeted by this update:

Google Rolls out update to target Exact Match Domain names!

Google last Friday released an update to target exact match domain names, Google has said they will target Exact Match Domains which are low quality (see Matt Cutt’s post below from Twitter)

This is an interesting change for Google from any one who owns domain names and has a large number of domains in your portfolio. The reason this change is interesting is because it could have a negative impact on the way in which your sites are indexed and the rankings you hold.

Now the thing is what do you do to make sure that your exact match domain and website is not deemed low quality,
I have a few important points for you:

* Make sure you do not use ad heavy adsense pages on your EMD.
* Make sure that you do not use large amounts of duplicate content on your EMD.
* Make sure that you push quality social signals to the page level of your EMD, example: Facebook Likes, Tweets and G+ mentions.
* Make sure that you target higher quality link building to the page on your EMD.
* Make sure that you build the EMD into a site with numerous pages, rather then just an EMD with 5 pages for example. sells for over $250,000

Today we have seen a great sale of an Australian domain name been the domain was sold via eBay for $250,000 which is interesting for a high value generic domain, I was surprised to see the domain not sold via a private broker. Also with selling via something such as eBay you limit the amount of lead time potential buyers have to get sign off on funds allocation. That been said this is a very healthy sale for an Australia domain it will be interesting too see who the eventual buyer is weather it be a insurance company or a private investor.

See image below for sale information:

The Exact Match Domain debate for SEO

What is a exact match domain or a (EMD)? This is a Question commonly asked question by many in the online marketing field.

Well a Exact match domain is the exact version of the keyword you are going to target within the domain name itself. This has been a great little SEO benefit for many years if you buy the exact match of a keyword it can assist the SEO for your website.

For example look at “Exact Match Domain” these guys have the domain name –

exact match domain SEO
exact match domain SEO

The same can work for any industry for example for “Cars” for “Real Estate”.

The other benefit is that you can get type in traffic for generic keywords I think something like 2% of users bypass search engines and go direct to the URL and type it in.

The only problem is alot of people who have either not got the exact match domain for their industry or do not want to pay big money are not complaining it is unfair and have been quite loud to Google and search engines this in turn will see the power of Exact Match domains drop over years for sure which is not a good decision in my mind as many people will be left out for example * Affiliates * Domainers * SEO’s and pretty much any one who owns a exact match domain will be hit hard.

What are your thoughts on exact match domain’s please let me know?