| 4:34 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|It seems to be a problem where an exact match domain was ranking mostly because of the domain name but Google decided the website offered poor content. |
Not quite, what Matt said was that the EMD algo 'will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.' He made no mention of poor content. I think we have to be very, very careful with our language here because we've seen that there are different ways SEs might measure quality.
| 4:43 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Yes, Jim - that's a good observation. I usually try to be more particular than that.
How do you see the difference between "poor content" and "low quality"? I can think of a few areas. The main navigation and overall site structure could easily be one.
| 4:47 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
This came to mind last night. We know that having the same anchor text for backlinks will create un-natural links correct?
Now, if you have an EMD this pretty much limits how people are going to link to your site, they are going to use those EMD words to link the site (more often than not) as it IS the name. This is one reason EMD's were (IMO) 'believed' to have extra-strength over non-EMD's.
Now, lets take the example of Google... of all G's backlinks across the internet how are 'they' linked? I think it would be safe to assume most use the anchor text 'Google' when doing so. So, why aren't they victim of their own algo change?
I think this has to do with a combination of generic words and what is deemed as non-generic in G's eyes. Google, or anything else for that matter, is seen as a brand whereas as lets say 'red widgets' would be generic. BUT, who is to say someone isn't actually starting a brand called 'red widgets'?
Do you see where I am going with this? They started using synonyms in the algo previously so why not something like this?
| 4:53 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Not quite, what Matt said was that the EMD algo 'will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.' He made no mention of poor content. I think we have to be very, very careful with our language here because we've seen that there are different ways SEs might measure quality. |
I honestly believe the 'poor quality' comment was put in there as a safe measure... if you are hit then they can come back and point you to their guidelines which let's face it... EVERY site on the Internet right now could be construed in a way where 'something' in those guidelines was being violated.
Why even bother mentioning EMD's if the site was lowered due to 'poor quality'? If it is poor then it shouldn't matter if it was an EMD or not - correct?
| 4:58 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Hey Ted. As I linked to above, we just had a thread on that Stone Temple post on page quality by Xoogler Ashutosh Garg. Quite a few eye-opening possibilities. Then there's the whole entity thing that might be taken into account. And those few things probably just scratch the surface.
| 5:01 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Why even bother mentioning EMD's if the site was lowered due to 'poor quality'? |
I see it as an admission from Google, finally, that EMDs were getting an artificial ranking boost just from their domain name alone. Certainly webmasters have been saying that for years.
| 5:19 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Okay, but why were they... because there were keywords in the domain name and backlinks had anchors of those keywords as it was the name?
What is preventing the same thing from happening with other sites? Say I have a product called 'wiget1widget2' where the terms make up the brand name... non-generic... and the domain is widget2widget2.com... it was not affected by searching for that term even though it is indeed an EMD.
I think there is more going on here where something is determining if the words in your domain are generic, non-generic, or a combination of the two.
For instance, rather than having burgerjoint.com it is JoesBurgerJoint.com.
| 5:19 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
They admitted it two years ago, they just didn't deal with it till now.
| 5:31 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|...points Matt made towards the end of the session was that Google will be looking at why exact domain matches rank so well |
Isn't this obvious... backlinks to the site are the site name and the site name is made of the keywords for that niche. This is what made EMD's popular in the first place as it made sense there would be cars on cars.com and I believe the Google algo is more than capable of determining if there actually were not.
I believe EMD's were not given preferential treatment, but it was built in to the name itself - if that makes sense - as people linked to the name and the name was the niche words.
Off the top of my head...umm, Silvios... maybe Silvios is a pizza place, a barbershop, what have you. Silvio now wants backlinks to his site with anchor text of pizza shop or barbershop to rank for those terms, however, most people would just use the anchor text 'silvios' if using silvios.com. Now if they used pizzashop.com or barbershop.com Silvios would now probably get those anchor text backlinks from people as it was the domain name.
Dumb example haha, but what came to my mind.
| 5:32 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Just because the final effect is sending some URLs to -950 doesn't mean it's "the same penalty." |
May be not the same, but it is a penalty, and not a mere Panda quality score update. It is very harsh, sending well established sites to rank far below parked domains.
| 5:34 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I wonder how all this will pan out for the newly suggested $100,000 TLDs that are on the block for consideration now like www.joe.lawyers, www.beater.cars, etc.
| 5:53 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
it's getting to the stage now where we cant tell google what our sites are about. in the old days we'd stuff our headings and meta tags with keywords, internal and external links too, alt text in the images... google had no doubt what our sites were about. it was obvious. all they had to do was rank them with backlinks.
but now they chuck all the clues away, which makes it harder for them to work out the subject matter. and that's not going to change any time soon, because people have been taught not to do all that old school stuff anymore. the number of clues has plummeted. maybe that's why the SERPs have got worse.
its like trying to rank the most beautiful women without looking at their eyes, mouth or nose. they've just got to go on what other people tell them (backlinks, social signals). that is the stage that google is at now, i reckon. they are trying to rank the women without letting them do their own hair and make-up
| 6:04 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|...its like trying to rank the most beautiful women without looking at their eyes, mouth or nose. |
<ot>I know it's OT but I have to say it: In fact I close my eyes and listen to their tone of expression to determine beauty, it has nothing to do with what they look like!</ot>
| 6:36 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|backlinks to the site are the site name and the site name is made of the keywords for that niche |
Of course, backlinks would be part of it, but the domain name itself has always been one of the most powerful signals in the algo.
| 7:04 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Of course, backlinks would be part of it, but the domain name itself has always been one of the most powerful signals in the algo. |
I don't think you understood what I meant... it's not the domain it is because the backlinks are comprised of the name, which, is the keywords you want for backlinks. Most people are going to have a title that reflects the EMD and most people will link to it with that title or the EMD itself, thus, giving it good backlinks for the keyword(s).
If you had an EMD and it was possible to force every backlink to NOT use its name/domain do you still think it would rank high for its EMD words? Say you had cars.com and there were no 'car' backlinks, but rather majority were 'houses' do you still think it would rank for 'cars'?
| 7:21 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
HI All, New here but have been watching this thread for a while now trying like most to get a handle on this problem.
Really feel for all who got hit bad. I myself am only a newbie to online marketing (6 months)but starting out, of course my main stay was EMD (3 EMD, 1 Not). All got hammered regardless,into oblivion.
However, I have 2 glaring exceptions. The first is just the EMD keyword that use to rank 5-6 to home page now ranks about 40 but for a more irrelavent inner page.
The 2nd however is a product page that has for awhile now sat 1,2,3 and been my best income producer. The usual keyword, which is also part of the page URL has only moved slightly to 4-5.
My reasoning tells me that either this page is just somehow fortunate to be missed by the lastest updates or that there is something here that needs to be learned and duplicated.
its origin, fair amount of affiliate links both image and text, backlinks to this page number about a dozen with about 6 different anchor texts. Content Not overly stuffed with keywords but they are there and a host of the useual SEO practices.
I'd Look forward to hearing any opinions as to why you think that this page is the last man standing.
| 7:23 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Your comment above, my off-hand reply, made me think of something about this EMD situation that I don't think has been brought up yet. The intention of the domain name.
An analogy is the only way I can explain this. But I'm on my way out so I don't have time to translate it into words so imagery is necessary. Imagine me out bike riding on my favourite Trans-Canada trail. As I'm riding along I meetup with 2 lovely ladies picking flowers by the side of the path. They see me coming and one of them runs into my path of travel and pushes a flower into my face and says "smell this" flower. For me that would be an offensive and in my face intrusion (call-to-action, smell-flowers.com, buy-flowers.com). Whereas at the same time the other lady is passively standing by the side of the path enchanted by the flower's fragrance (essence-of-flowers.com, passively inviting me to enjoy it with her.) The call to action mentality is bold and offensive and trying to force something on someone they don't necessarily want or need. Wheras the passive one is more alluring and might tempt me with her mysteriousness.
Now whether or not google can translate this imagery into EMD or not is another story all together but maybe it's worth throwing into the discussion for consideration. Maybe londrum can expand on his point based on what I'm trying to explain here. I did this very rushed so it could be totally out in left field too!
| 7:29 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I understood exactly, I just don't completely agree that it's all about the backlinks. As I said above, the domain name itself, discounting backlinks completely, has always been one of the most powerful signlas in Google' algorithm.
For example, I just happen to know of a one-page domain with *no* backlinks. It ranks #3 for an exact match query ahead of many more powerful domains, actually super-powerful domains; it had ranked #1 for a number of years but was finally overtaken.
And that one page in the domain? It's blank, not even a title element.
| 7:33 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I might have missed it but haven't seen anybody reference this by Bill Slawski: Google's Exact Match Domain Name Patent (Detecting Commercial Queries) [seobythesea.com]
Very interesting reading and maybe/possibly part of what is at work here.
| 7:49 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|I wonder how all this will pan out for the newly suggested $100,000 TLDs that are on the block for consideration now like www.joe.lawyers, www.beater.cars, etc. |
I don't suspect that these new TLDs will have any influence on EMD just as most TLDs don't now. Unless I am mistaken only .com, .org, and .net give you an EMD "bump" right now (although likely a smaller one than before) and TLDs like .info, .cc, .me, etc get no EMD benefit in the algo.
| 7:58 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Matt Cutts didn't say they were removing/reducing the value of a EMD. He said the algo was for dealing with low quality EMD's. I wonder with that said if they are struggling with being able to single out those cheaters vs those sites that have quality. Again, I'm not reading that Google planned on leaving us with fools gold domains by this algo update. It's what's happened to many sites, but that wasn't what he said. This may just show everyone that an algo tweak or change in ranking philosophy can turn gold into dust. I have dust now but hoping for gold.
In other news, I can report simply no upward movement on my affected sites. I hope to read some good news from people soon regarding improvements.
[edited by: MrSavage at 8:00 pm (utc) on Oct 4, 2012]
| 7:59 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
"In other situations, a company may attempt to “trick” the search engine into listing the company’s web site more highly. For example, if the search engine gives greater weight in ranking results to words used in the domain name associated with web sites, a company may attempt to trick the search engine into ranking the company’s listing more highly by including desirable search terms in the domain name associated with the company’s listing."
Classic Google backwards logic. We are going to rank domains with keywords in them higher, but anyone using a domain with keywords is trying to trick our search engine.
| 8:04 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|For me that would be an offensive and in my face intrusion (call-to-action, smell-flowers.com, buy-flowers.com). Whereas at the same time the other lady is passively standing by the side of the path enchanted by the flower's fragrance (essence-of-flowers.com, passively inviting me to enjoy it with her.) |
isn't that just your personal preference though? other people might have them the opposite way around. a domain name is just a signpost really. you can't make a proper judgement about quality until you visit the site.
anyway, with your example, you are at an advantage because you can see the women PLUS their actions. you have the full picture. but if i just gave you the two domain names (signposts) on their own,
there is no possible way that you could judge which one was the better site.
that's why it's a bit wierd that google are using this as a ranking factor. a name on its own doesn't tell you anything.
and if, as expected, they are already marking the quality of these EMD sites down through Panda, why would they get an extra penalty now just because the domain name had some relevant keywords in it?
| 8:39 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I hate their use of 'trick search engines'... nobody is trying to trick anyone... it is common nature to describe something based on what it actually is or perceived as by the individual... the same reason why people bought an EMD is the same reason a person types a certain keyword into the SE to find results - it is their first thought on what actually describes what they are looking for / intend to find.
| 9:38 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
@mihomes, I totally agree about the use of "trick search engine" and that is their biggest problem. They don't really care anymore and if they do they think that everyone is trying to trick them so they have to fight back with everything they have. When everything is totally white hat, I dont think they would recognize it anymore. Can a company be paranoid? If it can, then that's what GOOG is now...
-950 penaly... I don't see anyone here (in this thread) that posts about the -950 so maybe it is just me and a few others but what I am thinking is within this "update" there was filter that got trigged and the old -950 was, if I remember right, an over-optimization trigger, so I am looking at that now. Any other ideas?
| 10:13 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|Now, lets take the example of Google... of all G's backlinks across the internet how are 'they' linked? I think it would be safe to assume most use the anchor text 'Google' when doing so. So, why aren't they victim of their own algo change? |
1. Intent. Usually when you're linking using a brand's name, it isn't manipulative. Also, the Google name has a lot of other brand signals associated with it. Google knows that "Google" is a brand, and is going to treat it differently.
2. Not every link to Google uses "Google" as anchor text. If they did, it would look unnatural. Maybe not for a new site, but if you have 15,000 links and all of them use your brand name as anchor text, you'll still probably be hit by a future Penguin update, even if you have brand signals.
| 10:51 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|1. Intent. Usually when you're linking using a brand's name, it isn't manipulative. Also, the Google name has a lot of other brand signals associated with it. Google knows that "Google" is a brand, and is going to treat it differently. |
I agree with this, but who is to say what a brand name is and is not? This is why I believe they are using something which words are generic and non-generic which then determines if you have an EMD or a brand. Who is to say there can't be a brand/company/etc... say... called 'FloridaHouses' and uses 'floridahouses.com'... would this site no longer show for the search term 'florida houses' eventhough this is in fact a brand in this example?
| 11:42 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)|
Again, remember that this change certainly did NOT demote all EMDs, and not even all non-brand EMDs. The algorithm change is demoting what Google sees as "low quality" EMDs - arguable those that were ranking well because of their domain name alone.
| 12:07 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)|
|isn't that just your personal preference though? other people might have them the opposite way around. |
Yes it's my preference but I know I'm not alone in my thinking.
|anyway, with your example, you are at an advantage because you can see the women PLUS their actions. you have the full picture. |
A properly designed search engine could have the same full picture. Don't take my word for it check out what Temple Grandin has to say about it on TED dot com. As she points out, some of the people that should be in silicon valley aren't.
|there is no possible way that you could judge which one was the better site. |
Google can't you're right, neither can other search engines right now but yes it can be done. If I were to design a search engine from scratch (the egg) I would build that logic into it from the start -- not after the horse has been let out of the barn. Their engine has become bits and pieces instead of a coherent whole.
|and if, as expected, they are already marking the quality of these EMD sites down through Panda, why would they get an extra penalty now just because the domain name had some relevant keywords in it? |
I agree 100%. I submit the search term "google apps for business" as evidence.
| 1:38 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)|
I run about 10 established EMD websites. My 3 older ones (2007) have, as yet, not been touched. I knock on wood as I post this.
As I said in another thread, I'm just not going to play their games anymore. My EMD's are not spammy, they simply match the subject matter of the website. If I have a site about growing tomatoes, my first domain choice is going to be growingtomatoes or even growing-tomatoes. Absolutely absurd that G labels domains as such as spam and writes off years and years of solid hard work and researched content in so many cases. I have no interest in thinking up funny, useless slightly pronouncable "brand" names for my sites. I'll continue doing what I'm doing because Google will be knocked off their perch at some point, and sense will once again return to the internet.
| 8:14 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)|
What if you have site about a famouse historical figure or a poet or whatever? Let's say that it is about Edgar Allan Poe. Would edgarallanpoe.com be considered manipulative by Google?
This is a nonsense decision no matter which way you slice it.