homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.242.126.9
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

    
Keyword domain making a comeback?
graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 2:59 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have seen a number of keyword domains in the first page of the SERPS recently. I just way one for a search like this:

[adjective][noun].co.uk

for a search on Google UK

where the combination is a commonly used phrase in the industry (searching with quotes gives 161k results)

It was third in the SERPS. It is a one page site with

1) A toolbar PR of 1
2) Very few incoming links: link: operator says none, Open site explorer says 41 from 4 domains, Majestic says 49 from 6 domains.
3) It is beating pages on strong sites including household name media sites.
4) My competing page is relegated to page 2, despite a higher toolbar PR for the page, and an incomoarably better links profile for the site (although only 5 external links from 2 domains for the page itself).

I can understand more direct links leading it to beat my site, but given it beats almost everyone, the only explanation I can think of is that the keywords in the domain work. Perhaps Google misinterprets the phrase as a brand?

 

AussieWebmaster

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 4:26 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

guess G has realized the people who have these sites generally use appropriate content and some are getting lift for nothing

Sand



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 5:34 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe. But don't forget to take a really close look at the content that's on the page as well. Sometimes it's easy to focus on things like the domain and the links, when it can really be as simple as they're organizing their content on the page in a way that makes more sense to the search engines.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 5:41 pm on Aug 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some quick thoughts, mainly to suggest a deeper analysis may be warranted....

How old are the domains? How long have they been in the serps? How long have they been above you?

When did drop in your rankings occur? Did just you drop, or was there a widespread change?

1) TBPR - very approximate ballpark indicator at best, often misleading by itself. It is never current, eg.

2) number of incoming links is never by itself a good indicator. Where, eg, are the links from? What is their quality? What is the relevance of the link source pages? Factors further upstream? IPs? There's a difference in the two tools... Majestic is generally fresher, eg, by a fair amount.

3) beating strong sites... but on those strong sites we don't know about the strength of deep pages. As you note, it's obvious on one-page sites that links must be going to the pages themselves, rather than being distributed through a navigation system of unspecified quality.

4) drop of your competing page... You're looking at it as all about PR and links, and that may not be the case. Drop could be attributed to how Google has re-evaluated your inbound links and to upstream factors affecting your inbound link quantity... and (PS) as Sand says, about content.

I can understand more direct links leading it to beat my site, but given it beats almost everyone, the only explanation I can think of is that the keywords in the domain work.

Not disagreeing with this... just suggesting there are multiple factors.

If we see a lot of one-page sites ranking, it's likely to be a weakness in the algo, currently being exploited, that Google will need to address.

Are the one-page sites sufficient to address all of users' needs for the query/queries for which they rank?

Are they ranking for just one phrase, or for a range of phrases?

Do they link out?

Etc etc etc.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 8:21 am on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

The site does not have good content. It attempts to explain a rather badly defined technical term, and the terms you need to understand it in 250 words (most sites would spread this across several articles).

As far as I can see it ranks only for the the two word phrase I originally found it with, and the same phrase with a third word added.

U understand toolbar BR is approximate, but I am talking about toolbar PR, and the majestic metrics and strong brands on competing sites.

Some of the pages it beats are on strong domains and one has a lot of back-links. I do not think that 2 and 3 are enough to account for it given that competing pages also have strong incoming links - especially the major news magazine with an article with title "the rise of [phrase]" and lots of external links directly to the page.

Its links include one from another one page site for a related term with the same ownership, and none of those I have found are that strong.

It does prove that a one page site with an exact match domain, little content, and a relatively small number of linking domains can rank very well.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 3:15 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

It does prove that a one page site with an exact match domain, little content, and a relatively small number of linking domains can rank very well.


How old is the site?

When did it start ranking well for its keyword?

could it be still in the honeymoon period?

~~~~~~

As far as I know, exact match domains (EMD) were not PUNISHED by google so much as any extra ranking boost for having the keywords in the domain name / DNS was eliminated.

So it was not so much a punishment but an effort to level the playing field, no?

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 3:32 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Been up for over an year, it used to have two pages in 2012 and three earlier this year. Homepage text has changed substantially, but deals with the same topic.

No idea when it started ranking well.

I was not expecting the site to rank worse because it was an exact match, but I cannot see any other reason it ranks so well.

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 4:09 pm on Aug 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

As far as I know, exact match domains (EMD) were not PUNISHED by google so much as any extra ranking boost for having the keywords in the domain name / DNS was eliminated.

Apparently t was about reducing low quality EMDs appearing in Search Results. Here are the last year's threads discussing this update: [webmasterworld.com...] and [webmasterworld.com...]

@graeme_p
This one page domain - is that page what one could call low quality? I mean if you ignore the size of the domain and look at that one page being returned in SERPs as an answer to the query - would visitor perceive it as low quality? Does it answer visitor's query?

Donadoni



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 6:56 am on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

I am still scratching my head on how these manipulations still work! A site targeting a vertical which gets a decent amount of KW searches a month, and is considered moderately competitive.

This site was published Mid-Oct 2012, and found it's way to to the 3rd result on Google SERP, where it now resides on average between the 3rd and 6th position.

All the KW linking to the site are either exact match KW anchor text from blog submission sites, or a link to the site featuring the exact match KW predated by a stop word, i.e. A Exact KW which also happens to be the Exact Match Domain.

Since this still works I am considering buying an EMD in this vertical, and using the same tactic, since it appears that Google still has trouble dealing with it.

Any insights that I am missing? Obviously it's a risk, but otherwise I am stuck with my branded site not getting results.
.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 6:15 pm (utc) on Aug 18, 2013]
[edit reason] Moved post to this thread [/edit]

atlrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 2:51 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)


I am still scratching my head on how these manipulations still work!


Huh? A website called BlueShoes dot com sells blue shoes and has links with anchor blue shoes is a manipulation worth head-scratching? Really? What anchor should the links have? And what should google "deal with" exactly?

I am sure that the website does not rank for general terms outside the exact match, for that you still need anchor variety.

Obviously it's a risk, but otherwise I am stuck with my branded site not getting results.


That's not the EMD's fault, but your own. Non-EMD alone will not rank your website.

turbocharged



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 3:58 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Agree with atlrus completely. There's a big difference between common sense and manipulation. It would be perfectly logical for a website selling a widget to have widget in its domain name. Manipulation occurs when shady links are built to rank the site, it stuffs keywords, etc.

Since this still works I am considering buying an EMD in this vertical, and using the same tactic, since it appears that Google still has trouble dealing with it.

Chances are Google is dealing with it perfectly fine. Everyone believes their sites should rank number one, and it's possible that yours should. However, it's more likely that your "brand" and the keyword(s) you believe that you should be ranking for are not properly aligned.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 7:09 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have seen this a lot in the past so this is not necessarily 'new'. They are emd domains, very few pages, very little content, usually fairly new and/or no backlinks, etc. All in all they are usually very poorly done in terms of what you would expect on a typical site.

My opinion... some how these fall through the cracks. The page factors I listed above some how do not trigger the typical results that EMDs have since the algo change.

If you find an old established EMD with 'well done' page factors, lots of content, and lots of backlinks, then THAT would be something of interest and would need more research done because I have yet to see or hear of one in a competitive market.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 7:18 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's not the EMD's fault, but your own. Non-EMD alone will not rank your website.


Actually, there are multiple people on this very site who have 301'ed their old, established, well done sites to a new non-emd domain and saw their old rankings return almost over night. I believe this has been taken care of by Google already though.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 7:50 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

So it was not so much a punishment but an effort to level the playing field, no?


There are two sides of this and I realize there always will be. IMO, there was never any preferential treatment given to EMDs... the better results happened naturally because of the fact it was an EMD.

For instance, you have kw1kw2 and your site content is about kw1kw2. Maybe even your site 'brand' is kw1kw2 which is more than likely. Well guess what... when people link to the site the anchor text they will probably use is going to be kw1kw2 - this just happens naturally. Nobody is forcing people to use that anchor text people just tend to use the site name when linking.

EMDs were always 'the' domain to have because they directly tied your site to its exact niche or content. Many natural things happened because of this including the anchor links I mentioned above. All things Google loved. It has also been a spec of the www since its creation - use a domain that directly relates to the content of it. It also made sense - apparently it made sense to the creators of the www spec as well.

Now, we have an EMD algo added. It pretty much wiped out all EMDs no matter what... how good, how old, how well known, anything. I think the factors in play have to do with many things, but it is a much more strict algo then what a non-emd has. So when you say level the playing field this is not what happened... basically penalizing and profiling of emds is what happened so they cannot be used in a normal manner is.

I think all factors come into play... if the keywords are in your titles, in your page content, how many incoming links use the kws, etc - all things a non-emd would want... an emd cannot use in normal fashion now.

I like to compare domains to real estate as essentially they are. Well EMDs were always prime real estate and Google has essentially completely erased their market overnight with this update. In a few years you will have websites with absolutely no words in them - all completely made up which causes confusion on the users part, but guess what that confusion will lead to more searching and viewing of sites so they can find out what it IS about.

If you have a bunch of domains in front of anyone - widgets, (some made up brand), (some made up brand), etc and ask someone what they think is on the site and where they would go if they needed widgets which do you think they would go to? They all have widgets, but only one directly tells the user without any additional searching, research, or viewing.

ibeau



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 11:34 pm on Aug 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've noticed this also. I've been monitoring a site for a couple of weeks now that has gained very high serp ranking and the site is only 4 months old. It has no content compared to my site and is ranking between positions 4-7 for several commonly used search terms. All I can put it down to is a change in the way Google see's keywords in the domain name... either that or it's Google giving a preference to "fresh meat" as I saw somebody call it last week.

atlrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 2:26 am on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)


I've noticed this also. I've been monitoring a site for a couple of weeks now that has gained very high serp ranking and the site is only 4 months old. It has no content compared to my site and is ranking between positions 4-7 for several commonly used search terms. All I can put it down to is a change in the way Google see's keywords in the domain name... either that or it's Google giving a preference to "fresh meat" as I saw somebody call it last week.


You can get a ton of links in 4 months.

These are all speculations. I have a few EMDs (both old and newer) and I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary.

ibeau



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 2:42 am on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can get a ton of links in 4 months.


No major links at all

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 7:06 am on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@aakk9999, not high quality content in my opinion. Its very concise, but I would say its much too short given its trying to explain things.

The other search it ranks for is [phrase][widget] and for that it may be a good sales pitch.

It is all rather artificial though. The natural thing to do would be to have a page on the topic/product on their main website. They have

1) [company name].co.uk
2 [brand name].co.uk (its a one product, one brand business.
3) microsite with keyword domain.
4) one page EMD.

1 and 2 link to each other, 3 links to 2 and 4. 4 links to nothing else. All sites have the same contact details and [company name] on them, but 3 and 4 do not link to 1. To me, that looks unnatural. It looks like a domain for each of the four search phrases most relevant to the (one product) - and [company name] is contains keywords as well.

Donadoni



 
Msg#: 4602474 posted 8:11 am on Aug 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Huh? A website called BlueShoes dot com sells blue shoes and has links with anchor blue shoes is a manipulation worth head-scratching? Really? What anchor should the links have? And what should google "deal with" exactly?


I call it manipulation because if company A realizes that "blue shoes" is a competitive money KW and wants to rank for it they just buy the EMD blue shoes dot com point a couple exact match anchor text links from low quality sites at it, and bam, they rank for it on the top page. No quality content, no authoritative links, nothing interesting (especially compared to other sites in the SERP's.

When Google puts an EMD algo change and an anchor text algo change they mean to prevent fly by night instances such as these, which are basically cracks in the system since they want to provide most authoritative and high quality results.

I actually have 2 other domains that rank for the a different KW- one is branded and constantly being worked on, the other is an exact match domain which literally NOTHING being worked on in the last 3 years. Guess which one still ranks #1 for the KW and the other one is #3? Obviously the EMD.

Basically it seems that there are still a few (since I can understand that this is a tiny sample size) verticals where the old "trick" of EMD + Anchor text KW still get you to the 1st page pretty quickly.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved