joined:Apr 1, 2010
I just got back from Pubcon(great convention) and I left with a feeling of frustration about exact match domains after hearing Matt Cutt's talk.
This all started about a month ago with a rumor that Google was going to "do something" about exact match domains ranking so well.
At Pubcon Matt Cutts made a statement to the effect that he "hears a lot of webmaster complaining about exact match domains doing so well" and now they are going to "take a look at fixing this". I'm paraphrasing.
I think it's a mistake to downgrade the value of exact match domains.
Here is my summary of the problem: Over the last 6 months since Mayday and the concurrent caffeine role out there have been many technical issues and unexplained changes in the SERPs. Also, Matt Cutt's has had his team working on non web spam projects(he said at Pubcon).
The result is that there is more spam combined with lots of frustrated, angry webmasters looking for patterns or some explanation of the changes in the Google SERPs. One clear pattern through has been that exact matches have ranked fairly well and so I think people were just complaining about it b/c that's all they could see.
Somehow Google seems to have interpreted this as webmasters think there is a problem with exact match's having inherent ranking value.
To me the real problem is not that exact matches have too much power but that there is more spam and in general the relevancy is a bit off(though it seems like its getting better again lately.)
(One example is that in several competitive verticals I watch I see SERP results that aren't domain exact match, no keyword in the title and the content is one page with little to no value.) Changing exact match power doesn't address this.
I think exact match domains should retain their power b/c:
1. The name says it all..If it's an exact match it's exactly what I typed in to search for.
2. An exact match domain is relevant to the topic 99% of the time in my experience.
3. There are a limited amount of good exact match domains so it can't be easily manipulated.
4. Since there are a limited amount of valuable exact matches over time these will be developed in to higher and higher quality relevant results.
5. Exact match domains only have an advantage ranking for their the exact match keyword search an not for anything else. The advantage they gain is for a search they are inherently relevant to.
6. Many people have invested large sums of money in exact match domains because of branding value and if users search for that keyword that's most likely what they are looking for.
I don't want Google to "fix" something that isn't broken.
What do people think about Google claiming they are going to "do something about" exact keyword match domains? Do you agree they should leave the inherent value in exact match domains to rank?