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Algo Change Targets Low Quality Exact Match Domains 9-28-2012
martinibuster




msg:4501351
 9:13 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt tweeted [twitter.com]:
small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.

 

SevenCubed




msg:4501433
 2:42 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info Donna.

Also if anyone posts reports of sites disappearing it would be of great help to the community here if you could let us know if the disappeared sites deserved the demotions, in your humble opinions of course.

Andem




msg:4501434
 2:44 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Exact match domains have always been a weakness in the Google algorithm. I'm happy to see they are making an effort to put more emphasis on page value than the fact someone managed to snap up a domain name which perfectly matched the search terms.

I'm not seeing a huge difference actually.

textex




msg:4501436
 2:46 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing non emd sites disappearing totally not deserving of the demotion (totally gone for some terms).

plc90210




msg:4501449
 3:49 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has the update rolled out already or is it yet to fully take effect?

jonathanleger




msg:4501460
 5:52 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just did a search for a two-word phrase that gets about 60,000 searches a month. There's an exact-match .net ranking #6 that has ZERO content. All it has is an H1 with the primary keywords, a link to a related Wikipedia article, a link to their twitter feed and a Google+ "recommend this" button with 9 votes.

That's it. Yeah, really, that's it. Nothing else. And it is not well-linked at all either. Very few links to speak of.

What was that about "low quality" filters?

chrisv1963




msg:4501473
 6:42 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Now if they can really fix the domain crowding and the crap news/info articles sites populating wrong verticals it would be almost shinnnyyyy.


It would be great if Google could also take care of the exact match Pinterest accounts and boards.

setzer




msg:4501474
 6:46 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Index might still be updating, or has this even gone into effect yet? Not really seeing a change here. There's an EMD with low page quality (misspelled words, bad grammar) still holding a #1 spot.

nomis5




msg:4501501
 8:00 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Two exact domain name match sites of mine are gone. Both top editorial quality, top content, one has excellent links - in their chosen area they are the best. They definitely did NOT deserve to disappear.

In fact one of the sites has been in competition with another of my sites for the same term. The EMD was far better and it has now gone, the other site remains in position 2.

My other domain name match still remains in number one position for the top keyword and other keywords. Again a top quality site.

All three sites are UK based and targeted information type sites.

zeus




msg:4501517
 8:53 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

no adsense here also

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4501518
 8:54 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have exact match domain sites and no effect is evident as of yet but I am not holding my breath.

I can see this causing all sorts of collateral damage once again.

UK_Web_Guy




msg:4501519
 8:57 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

nomis5 - have you ever "built" links to the sites that got hit?

union_jack




msg:4501524
 9:23 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

2 sites gone. One 3 years old. Ecommence bags site, completely unique content. All hand written. 200 words on each page. I am lost on what Google wants and i have been in this industry for 15 years. Before Google even.

Oh, and Bounce rate good and time on site good. The products are all high end mens bags that are not in the normal stores but Google want to show just the same bags but from large retail sector shops.

lewis1




msg:4501525
 9:36 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have seven sites in a specific niche but they are all partial match domains. Four have been hit by this update. The other three, for now, appear to be ok.

All are UK hosted websites, running Wordpress. All on same server and all are running Adsense. They all share the same Adsense account.

Never wanted to hide anything from Google so kept everything together and we were open about saying all these sites are ours.

The only thing I can think that has triggered these four sites to get hit is the lack of link diversity. These are the sites have spent all year getting decent links for but the link text variation is low.

The three sites which so far seem ok have had less link work done to them and that is why perhaps they will be ok.

Therefore, my initial observation regarding what Matt says are "low quality" sites are those where the backlinks mostly contain the same text.

By the way, all of our sites have 100% unique well written content and are updated frequently. They are good sites and we have been very proud of them.

If on Monday this sticks our plan of action is to go and try and get all the link texts changed to give them some diversification. Not sure what else to try at the moment.

Will post update if I spot any other patterns.

zehrila




msg:4501539
 10:07 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't see any change in my niche, sites with exact or partial matches are right there. What qualifies as low quality exact matches?

1: Dashes in domains? keyword-Keyword-Keyword.com more dashes less quality?
2: KeywordKeywordKeyword.cctld e.g .eu .co ?
3: KeywordKeywordKeyword.tld with backlinks keyword keyword keyword?

What else?

courier




msg:4501541
 10:16 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Color7
Yep, I just lost one. "cityname"Hotels.net. It wasn't even low quality. It had good backlinks and content.

<sarcasm>
On a positive note, it was replaced with www.google.com/hotelfinder. </sarcasm>

I have lost also within the travel sector, interesting I noticed last week many results in the UK had the google.com/hotelfinder.

When are Google going to stop these silly updates, they are begining to become nonsensical and bizarre. What can a webmaster do to avoid these madcap penalities? The results should at least have a little Co-operation from Google not opposition.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4501542
 10:23 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google's intent is to control the travel industry. They have been making moves towards this for some time.

courier




msg:4501546
 10:33 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@BeeDeeDubbleU
Google's intent is to control the travel industry. They have been making moves towards this for some time
It would be interesting to see how many affected EMD are travel related, I have others in diferent sectors not affected.
lewis1




msg:4501551
 10:36 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

All my four affected are in the travel niche.

However, we have many others (less important sites) in other non-travel niches which have been affected too.

lewis1




msg:4501552
 10:39 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Forgot to add to my previous post that a really spammy version of one of my sites is ranking much better on page 1 today! It's a site we were using for test purposes and threw a load of crap at it.

So they killed my really good site but have promoted my really bad, very spammy links, site in place of it.

Go figure.

zarathustra2011




msg:4501554
 10:47 am on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I checked my stats this morning and visitor numbers have plummeted. My domain name has no bearing on my keywords, and I do not have a spammy website. I've maintained it for about 7 or 8 years, and it's always done well. I keep it up-to-date, and have designed and written it myself. I have great natural backlinks (many one-way), and have never paid for traffic. Having checked there was no downtime, I saw this thread and have seen they have rolled some updates.
When I search for my website using my usual keywords, I have gone from page 1 to page 3 or below, and have lost about 70% of my traffic. I don't know if it will continue indefinitely, or if I can appeal, but I feel I have been very unfairly hit, and am also devastated as my website is my main source of revenue.

Voltage Spike




msg:4501572
 12:24 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I seem to have finally wound up on the good side of Google for this update.

One money EMD's, widgets.net rose to #1.
I started this site fresh in May after penguin knocked widgets.com back to page 10. Widgets.net is pr1, and has about 5 or 6 links built from forums and quality blog posts, and maybe 50 internal navigation links. It has 30 pages of quality unique content with a new article posted every 10 days. It has unseated an aged PR3 site (company.com) that has sat at the top of this keyword since the Penguin update. I've worked my butt off on this site; glad to see the effort rewarded. Hope it stays here awhile.

Other 4 EMD's in front page positions, all with decent content, some with unnatural directory links, are so far unchanged or slightly improved.

I feel for you guys who were hit, I truly do. That was me in April.

textex




msg:4501573
 12:26 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is more than an emd update. Either that or crazy collateral damage going on.

Voltage Spike




msg:4501574
 12:29 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Will just add to my last post... all my sites are in software niche, moderate competition.

nomis5




msg:4501575
 12:34 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

nomis5 - have you ever "built" links to the sites that got hit?


Absolutely not, both are hobby sites of mine developed in case one of my main sites was ever hit. Not a single link bought, sought or encouraged.

The third site I mentioned as not being affected looks like it is now but not as bad as the others. Possibly because the domain name was a plural. All SERPS for the single name keyword though appear to have disappeared.

I have several of these semi-sleeper sites and another EMD is unaffected - yet.

Also the largest of my semi-sleeper sites is unaffected but it's only a partial EMD.

The immediate financial effect of this update is small for me because the main sites are unaffected. But it has wiped out a significant part of my disaster strategy in one go.

I have been in this business for many years and am totally convinced the affected sites are of solid, good quality. Not a trace of black hat at all. Wiping them from the SERPS is unacceptable collateral damage from this latest algo update.

The affected sites are all on the same Adsense account (not the one for my main sites), all use Adsense alone. They not travel sites.

WebPixie




msg:4501582
 1:41 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Therefore, my initial observation regarding what Matt says are "low quality" sites are those where the backlinks mostly contain the same text.



This is the same situation for our two money sites that got dumped. The incoming link anchor text is not as varied as we would like. While we have done some link building over the last 9 years, most of the links are natural and people often link with the domain name which an exact match to the keyword.

I think once again that when Matt Cutts says "low quality" he is not talking about the quality of the site, but his view of the quality of the linking. One of the sites hit is not only quality, but has been the best resource in the niche more many years.

lc4seo




msg:4501591
 2:12 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Two of my sites got hit and two other moved up. One that got his was an emd but had 15 pages of solid content. The second site had 50 pages of great content all about 800 words or more. The domain included a keyword but was by no means a low quality EMD

lc4seo




msg:4501592
 2:13 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

TexTex, I agree I am seeing the same thing in life insurance

SevenCubed




msg:4501593
 2:19 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think once again that when Matt Cutts says "low quality" he is not talking about the quality of the site, but his view of the quality of the linking.


Isn't that what those other algorithm updates were supposed to cover -- backlinks, don't know which one -- panda/penguin (I haven't followed those so I don't know)? Why would they have excluded exact keyword match or near exact keyword match domains from those and now include them?

One of my sites has dropped 5 spots from middle of page 1 to middle of page 2. It's the one site I least wanted to drop and DEFINITELY did not deserve to be pushed down, it's clean. The owner has a heart as big as the universe -- she does so much for people here locally through her service. I'm not feeling well this morning.

Google, you are a bunch of vicious people, the gloves are coming off now. Oh yeah and the one competitor site that is spam and should have dropped hasn't moved.

SevenCubed




msg:4501594
 2:32 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

By the way the domain that dropped below was the oldest in my portfolio of about 5 years and is structured as generic-generic-servicenamekeyword.

I have so much on my plate and now back to work trying to figure out what dragged this one down. It is a mature site that had settled and was on cruise control. As I sit here right now I think I'm going to wait at least a few days for the dust to settle though in case they continue tweaking it.

WebPixie




msg:4501595
 2:34 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Isn't that what those other algorithm updates were supposed to cover -- backlinks, don't know which one -- panda/penguin (I haven't followed those so I don't know)? Why would they have excluded exact keyword match or near exact keyword match domains from those and now include them?


It is my opinion that the exact match keyword domains were given somewhat of a pass for over-optimization of incoming anchor text with the previous updates. The idea being that if the site is BlueWidgets.com of course a lot of people will use "Blue Widgets" for linking.

This recent change seems to indicate that G- was not satisfied with the results as it relates to EMDs and that a more specialize tweak was needed. As has been the case recently, when I say "tweak" I actually mean total destruction. :)

SevenCubed




msg:4501599
 2:38 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

As has been the case recently, when I say "tweak" I actually mean total destruction. :)


Google needs to be tweaked.

This 604 message thread spans 21 pages: < < 604 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 21 > >
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