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

     
9:13 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Matt tweeted [twitter.com]:
small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.
9:19 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just a thought about many EMDs... that, as brands, they're actually less distinctive than non-keyword based brand names.

CheapWidgetsForSale.tld, eg, is actually less differentiated than SnappyBrand.tld. Semantically, it stands out a lot less, and, if publicized sufficiently, "SnappyBrand" is likely to be more memorable. It certainly has more lilt.

A brand as a differentiator may well be becoming more useful than KeywordKeyword.com for ranking purposes, because, going forward, anchor text influence isn't the only signal Google's going to be looking at in terms of reputation.
9:21 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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And what makes you guys think this is uniquely British behaviour?


pass maybe its worldwide idiots ! but in the UK most brits do think G is the internet probably helped by the fact that the media constantly make references to " check it out on Google" bing really just doesn't stand a chance in the UK ...along with webmasters that have lost G traffic


I'm not sure at the moment - I'm going to spend the day thinking about a new strategy and see what I come up with.


Jez123 I've got a EMD thats gone through this update with no problems and I put this down to poor link development (thankfully) & not using the url / keywords as the anchor and just using "more / home/ more info" ...The site was a bit of an experiment and over the last 12 mths the traffic has been building well
9:24 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Tigger,

I've got a EMD thats gone through this update with no problems

How old is this domain?
9:27 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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incrediBILL

You said 'I'm sure many that have issues currently won't have them when the next update occurs, assuming the problems have been properly reported via the proper channels.'

I am curious as to what you mean by 'have been properly reported via the proper channels'?

Say i have a website in a product niche which has loads of relevant products which has gone from being on the first page for over 5 years to being virtually not findable.

Sorry to be slow here but what would you report apart from the drop itself ?
9:29 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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themistral

Its 10 years old - it doesn't pull a massive amount of traffic about 2k a day but it ranks for all its keywords and is an affiliate site
9:45 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Anyone with a hit EMD that wasn't previously hit by Panda or Penguin?

I wonder if they are using Panada/Penguin markers to identify EMDs to hit?
9:48 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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RedCardinal,

Our site was too new for Penguin, and I haven't noticed a drop around any Panda updates so I'm fairly confident that we were not hit by either.
10:29 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Widgets for sale for www.widgetsforsale.co.uk has gone back up to position 3...
10:33 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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JamesMacf is now at #1 ( in his target market )..for KW EMD..so the dust may not yet have settled..
10:46 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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guys its confirmed
that's the fourth day, i lost 13% of long tail keywords traffic since that update even though my site is not an EMD at all by any means! i have 2500 quality articles all written by me over 6 years in one domain
11:17 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't hit by this update, but I do notice that there are a lot more sites in the past few days appearing to suffer from the -950 penalty that used to rank with many having near EMD's. If you are hit by this you might check the end of results with settings set to show 100 results to see if you are there.
11:19 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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One thing that definitely happened to my main EMD site is that it has lost almost all of its international traffic in this update. Only getting USA traffic now! Anyone else notice this?
12:43 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Anyone with a hit EMD that wasn't previously hit by Panda or Penguin?


Me - two EMDs that have been hit ONLY by this update. The sites are about three years old.

Could update frequency be a factor (one of several) in this algo? I ask because my two hit sites haven't been updated for 10 months, but my other, unaffected EMDs, have all been updated on about a monthly basis.
1:16 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@bloard, yes you are right. Found my site at -950.... Now, why is this happening suddenly? Why this penalty with this update?
1:31 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yep -950 for one of my sites too. That's going to take a bit of work to get it back to page 1 ;)
11:19 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4502731.htm [webmasterworld.com] by tedster - 9:36 am on Oct 2, 2012 (EST -4)


Seeing many conversations on the web reg: plummeted search volumes for EMDs. Do you think getting a new domain will fix the issue?

What are the other options for recovering from an EMD "penalty" ?
1:36 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No - because the ranking loss not just the domain name, it's also Google's assessment that the content is low quality. That won't change with a domain change.
1:43 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No - because the ranking loss not just the domain name, it's also Google's assessment that the content is low quality. That won't change with a domain change.


Do you really think Google is assessing the quality of the content? I think when Matt Cutts says "low quality" he is basing it on the link profile and other measurable metrics, not the content itself.
1:47 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think it's just a EMD version of Penguin. Same rules apply probably. Too much keyword rich anchor text
1:51 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But there is still something else going on. I myself as well as a few others have chimed in indicating that we are not emds and have been hit. Index has disappeared for some terms, but not all. Same for inner pages.
1:54 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But there is still something else going on

The problem is this has been the case for months now. I can't remember a stable period going on for more than a week......
1:59 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They finally got me (and about time to) !

A single page EMD with virtually no content gone from #5 to nowhere. It survived all these years on the back of a single link from DMOZ and nothing else.
2:01 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think when Matt Cutts says "low quality" he is basing it on the link profile and other measurable metrics, not the content itself.

Link profile is already in the core algorithm. It wouldn't take an algo tweak to include it. Something more is going on here.

"Other measurable metrics"? Of course. Now what are they, that's the big question for people who have been impacted. If one of my sites was hit, I wouldn't even try to reverse engineer this one. I'd just go directly at the site and try to step up my quality. Get some objective third parties to look at the site and give me their input, things like that.
2:16 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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While I fully expect G- to announce what a great success this update has been soon, I can't help but think it has missed the mark.

One of our sites, call it baby-blue-widgets.com(with dashes), is seven years old, has over 80 pages of unique and quality content all directly related to baby blue widgets, bounce stays under 20% and even creeps under 10% at times, time on site and page views are big, tons of likes, tweets, pins etc and has been a top site if not the top site in it's niche for years is basically gone from the results.

Meanwhile, BabyBlueWidgets.com(without the dashes) is an auto-generated glorified parked page with no history and almost no links has jumped up with this update to the middle of page two. If you put "BabyBlueWidgets.com"(without the dashes) into Google, it returns "Did you mean: Baby-Blue-Widgets.com" , our site with the dashes.

At least in this niche it looks like the exact type of site they are trying to target got a bump and our site that is what people are looking for when they put in the search term got dumped.
2:30 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Many of my sites were affected by whatever update/s just happened, many were not EMDs and most were not affected by penguin or panda.

On a side note I find it very interesting the timing of the annihilation of my affiliate sites along with news of quite a few updates to Google shopping including their move to paid only listings.

I really think there is more going on with the latest changes than meets the eye. It certainly seems to be affecting some non EMDs in seemingly the same way and at the same time as EMDs.
2:32 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@bloard
suffer from the -950 penalty
looks you are right, Moved from 2nd page to last, so penalised for what? Has to be more than just EMD.

What I have noticed, (could be a coincidence) I have 8 EMD, the 5 that have been given a penality have meta keywords and description, the 3 that remain unchanged have no meta keywords, nor description.

Here is a brief report from one of my affected domains:
Links:18
Breakdown of links,

    URL:4
    Exact Match: 2
    Partial Match: 7
    Inner pages Exact Match: 5


Keyword Density Report
Widget KeyWords found 1 time(s) in 4 Title words (Density: 50.00%)
Widget KeyWords found 2 time(s) in 30 Meta Description words (Density: 13.33%)
Widget KeyWords found 1 time(s) in 18 Meta Keywords words (Density: 11.11%)
Widget KeyWords found 1 time(s) in 16 Heading(s) words (Density: 12.50%)
Widget KeyWords NOT found in Alt tag(s) (37 words)
Widget KeyWords NOT found in Image Filename(s) (20 words)
Widget KeyWords NOT found in Linktext (12 words)
2:35 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Link profile is already in the core algorithm. It wouldn't take an algo tweak to include it. Something more is going on here.


True, but this gets back to what I wrote previously, I think that EMDs somehow got a pass or the bar set higher for over-optimization of link text with past updates.

We have several sites that were hit with this update but I freely admit that a few were medium quality offering no more than a casual level of expertise and ranking mostly based on the EMD. Losing those rankings to this update does not really bother me.

But we have lost one in particular that was clearly a top site in the niche. It does have issues with over-optimization of link text but has come through all of the previous algo changes(and I am talking over the last 7 years) with no problems. Now with this so called EMD update it has disappeared.

Quality of content is not the issue. The only explanation I can even imagine is that the over optimization finally caught up with it. At this point I strongly suspect that a key part of this update was lowering or removing the protection that Google previous gave EMDs from over optimization.
2:44 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Possibly removing the higher set bar then opened up EMD's to Penguin. So perhaps an initial drop and then a plummet into the depths of Penguin
2:53 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Possibly removing the higher set bar then opened up EMD's to Penguin. So perhaps an initial drop and then a plummet into the depths of Penguin.


That is exactly what I think happened with my main site in question. It was not a penalty for having the EMD, but a removal of protection that made the site more vulnerable to Penguin.
3:11 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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JamesMacf is now at #1 ( in his target market )..for KW EMD..so the dust may not yet have settled..


I am not seeing myself at #1 - I see #5 at the moment but that happened Monday morning. Still all our long tail has gone as far as I can tell.

What data server are you in?
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