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Search Engine Optimization
Should You Be Concerned with EMDs (Exact Match Domains) for Best SEO?
March 13, 2013

Does Google penalize a site for having an exact match domain? Of course not! That is not what they do. However, does Google give less weight to a site that has an exact match domain, and has over-SEO, as in has the exact match key phrase in the title tag, in the meta description tag, in the title attribute, repeated numerous times on the site and in their backlink anchor text, then yes!

We started to receive phone calls from several prominent sites that were ranked on the first page for their exact match key phrases via their EMD sites that dropped to the second page. It wasn’t a major penalty; it appeared more like a watering down effect. Ignoring the critics who claim Google does this to fatten their own pockets by "forcing" folks to use AdWords instead of SEO, like the angry caller who saw their EMD site drop to the second page expressed, the truth is, when you do bad SEO, or you go through an SEO company that has been in business for only a few years and doesn’t have the breadth of experience necessary to think like a Google engineer would, as they themselves are not engineers, you take a risk with your money site. In other words, your web designer who developed that beautiful Wordpress site for you, may be a talented web developer, but that doesn’t mean they have the expertise in proper subtle white-hat SEO.

Over-SEO in all of its forms and flavors is frowned upon by Google. They don’t appreciate aggressive SEO techniques. They simply don’t! They don’t hate SEO, in fact, they have extensive documentation on how to do proper white-hat SEO. They want your site to rank well, if your site has a legitimate purpose that satisfies the masses. Meaning, your site has to add value to the Google searcher. If your site does that, then your rankings with just a tad bit of subtle white-hat SEO, like the one employed by, will get your site to the first page. What does adding value mean anyway? Well, it means having content (in all of its forms) that helps people. Don’t build a site for search engines, build a site for people. Have a good SEO company on your side advising you on what it takes to do just that!

Do a whois lookup on your current SEO Company’s site. How old is that domain? If it is less than 10 years old, don’t trust them, as they simply don’t have the SEO experience necessary to help you get to your goal.  If they took an SEO class, or claim they have a degree in SEO (oh geez), or that they will get your site massive amount of links from blogs, forums, will write articles for you, will do press releases for you, will “spin” content for you, for your site’s sake, for the sake of the Internet, PLEASE do not use them!

Incidentally, in my view, spinning content is the most evil thing to happen to the Internet since pop-ups that open new pop-ups when you try to close them. Spinning content is when you take content from one source (i.e. plagiarize), then use software (online sites do this too and for free), to change words with their acronyms. So sentences like: what does it take to buy a house in this market? Will be spun too: what does it take to purchase a home in this store? Do you see why I cannot stand spun content! Do you see why Google engineers don’t either?
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