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Exact Match Domains Update 9-28-2012 - Part 2

   
10:19 am on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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< continnued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

So guys, has anyone with an EMD who was hit, recovered at all?
If so what has worked for you?

[edited by: tedster at 2:51 pm (utc) on Oct 19, 2012]

3:00 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)



@petehall, yes I certainly will report back. I honestly wasn't sure whether to 301 from the EMD, but we do still have loyal customers and I would not want to inconvenience them. Also, as far as google goes it can't really get any worse for us even if the 301 does turn out to be a bad idea.
6:41 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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overscan - x2 - would love to hear what happens. I've been debating the same as a test myself for some time now.
9:15 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)



A quick update: 1 week after the change and google have finally noticed the domain name change. I notified the domain name change on day 1 along with setting up a 301 from the old domain. They have so far only indexed about 7 pages of approx 350 even though I have a sitemap set up to upload daily. The old domain was hovering around 550. Today we're at approx 220 with the new domain.

I did manage one small own goal by screwing up my google product feed. I didn't realise that there were now manual checks and thus they take days to verify a new product feed.

Anyway, fingers crossed. Lets see what happens now.
10:55 am on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)



EMD sites are ranking higher, I have a live example. Single page site and only one big image on the page and ranking 4 on Google India for the keyword.
4:28 pm on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Much appreciated overscan. That's a big initial rise anyway. My site is currently bouncing between page 28 and 35.
5:31 pm on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Overscan - never did this before and not sure if it really does anything, but in Webmaster Tools they also have that new domain option. Even though you 301'ed this might speed up the process and prevent any duplicate page if both new and old happen to be there at the same time. It can't hurt.

Thanks for the updates and please continue to do so. I think you have quite a few of us very interested to see what happens.
6:07 pm on Apr 9, 2013 (gmt 0)



They seem to be up to 35 pages indexed. Sitemap is actually 540 pages, not 350 as I previously said. Not sure I would want to submit it as a new site, and they do seem to be actively indexing now.
12:51 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



No increase in the number of indexed pages yet but we've jumped another 100 pages for our key search term (approx 150 now). Webmaster tools is now claiming no. 32 for that keyword?!? Seem to be top 10 for several slightly EMD keywords, though nothing that brings any real traffic.
1:34 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Seems to be working then! I really do not get this EMD update at all, it seems stupid to me. I even wonder if there's some kind of bug that's affected our sites.

Please keep us posted... thanks.
1:58 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



Lets see how it goes. I'm not about to count my chickens just yet. Last month, 2 weeks prior to the final panda update our emd appeared to have been restored to per-emd ranking. Alas it only lasted 2 weeks, which is the same weird behaviour we've witnessed since last October. Make it back to the top 10 for a keyword. Stay there for 2 weeks, then bang. Minus 400 to 900 places....
And yes... None of this whole emd thing makes any sense. I cant honestly believe its about search quality and providing the best experience for the searcher. We have a score of 98 out of 100 on trustpilot. The highest in our niche.
2:41 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



Turns out webmaster tools isn't lying. We just hit 30.
3:58 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That's excellent news overscan! Long may it continue for you.

Please do keep us informed as this is such a valuable exercise! I can't believe that this would work negatively against one's site. I can understand if some benefit was taken away, but to have it work completely against you is just madness.
4:04 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



Overscan, does your new domain name contain any of your main keywords?

We redirected some of our EMDs to a larger site and they have all held steady since, although they didn't quite recover the same ranking positions as before, but very close. We are working on giving them another push now.

I am also testing a 301 redirect to a new domain for one of our EMDs, it's a slightly different version of the original domain name.
4:32 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



@Lewis1 Yes. The emd was two words. The new site is three words, one of which is also in the emd. We rebranded to the emd early 2011 and have just switched back to our old name pre 2011. Essentially I've reversed the 301s. I hope that makes sense.

@petehall I completely agree. Google gave an advantage to emds as part of their algo. I also don't see why they couldn't just remove the advantage and create a level playing field instead of treating us like we are all criminals who deserve to be banished from the web.
4:46 pm on Apr 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"I would be very interested in an further update on your EMD domain. My EMD also recovered on 28th Feb, back to the top 10 for our EMD keyword. Two weeks later (13th March) and we've fallen back 400 places again."

My site continued to rank #1 or #2 (swapping places with Wikipedia, ack, spit) for the exact name. But, traffic went way down after Google demoted EMDs. Looking at the keywords used for searches, Google had apparently decided that the name of one of the music artist's albums was more significant than anything else. So, traffic for every other keyword phrase dropped.

As I recently mentioned, my traffic went up recently, about 400%, nowhere near what it was, but significantly. Then it slowly crept down again. Now, it's still getting about 50% more traffic than it did after getting hit by Google's EMD "fix."

BTW ... I just transfered the domain to the artist's record company. They finally decided to create an official official site (as opposed to the unofficial official one I had been running). So, I have moved my site to a new domain and 301 redirected the old domain to the new site. The record company is leaving the redirect in place until the new site is ready then they'll include a link to my site in the new site. I'm loosing tens of thousands of backlinks dating back a long time, but I'm gaining a link from what should be a more authoritative site. It'll be interesting to see what happens!
10:24 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)



26 today.

@jadebox that really is bonkers. Why on earth did they decide to punish you as an EMD.

I really have to stop trying to rationalize what google does before it sends me round the bend. As I keep saying to my father (business partner), stop trying to make sense out of what google does. It makes no sense.
11:02 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



@overscan what position were you before the EMD update and when did you drop to result 500?
11:11 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)



@petehall we were no.2 or 3 for our EMD before the EMD update. After the weekend of the original EMD update we had dropped 950 places.
12:26 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Google gave an advantage to emds as part of their algo. I also don't see why they couldn't just remove the advantage and create a level playing field instead of treating us like we are all criminals who deserve to be banished from the web.


That's absolutely correct. Rather than simply ignore any advantage, we are being penalized, and many of us had the emd over 10 years ago and have branded around that domain name. We have ours on hats, t-shirts, you name it. Now we have to dump our brand?

What's more irritating is the wave of new cutsie, meaningless, made up words used for domains. That makes it clearly obvious who is AVOIDing being penalized, which by Google's logic should be considered black hat.
3:11 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)



Pretty much the whole site has now been indexed according to webmaster tools.
7:06 am on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)



Seem to have fallen a couple of pages. From webmaster tools it looks like they are now assessing incoming links. Apparently we have two links from other domains and 300+ from the EMD. Interesting that they count the 301 from the EMD as links. Hopefully once they have cataloged all of our links we will bounce back stronger.
9:06 am on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Very interesting... did you initiate the 301 via Webmaster Tools? I am literally shocked having an EMD could work against you in this way. It seems crazy to me. Like Google not ranking for Google ! :)
11:03 am on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)



@petehall Yes, I set up the 301 in my .htaccess and then reported the change of address in webmaster tools. Didn't see there was anything to lose in doing so and hoped that things might get moving quicker that way.
In my opinion pretty much everything that google does is a knee jerk reaction to try and deal with spammers. Penguin, Panda, EMD etc. Trouble is that vast amounts of websites get caught in the crossfire of a battle that google can't win. Ultimately the spammers don't care about their websites. They can just start again and try a different angle. Meanwhile our businesses are destroyed.
9:42 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)



Google webmaster tools seems to have picked up our incoming links this morning. We're ranking at 48 at the moment. I think we were mid 50s yesterday. Fingers crossed :-S
9:46 pm on Apr 21, 2013 (gmt 0)



A quick update on our progress. We only got round to sorting ours out on Friday. We have 301 redirected our EMD to a PMD. It's essentially the same domain minus one of the keywords. The new domain is brand new.

Our site used to rank #1 for it's term. We redirected on Friday and today its at #9.

Bit surprised at the speed and it will be interesting to see what happens going forward. Over the next few days we are also going to get some of the exact match links to the site changed to point to the new site and remove the keywords from the anchor texts.

I'll report back here every now and then with progress.
5:59 am on Apr 22, 2013 (gmt 0)



Our site used to rank #1 for it's term. We redirected on Friday and today its at #9.


Blimey! Congratulations!

We've not experienced a rise quite so meteoric, but are definitely bobbing back to the surface. 40s last week, 36 over the weekend and 20 this morning.
6:29 am on Apr 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That's fantastic news both of you!

I was thinking of switching from EMD to EMD + unrelated term as the company name is the EMD so don't want to confuse customers too much.
3:37 pm on Apr 22, 2013 (gmt 0)



I'd be really interested to hear updates from those who moved from an EMD to a non-EMD a few weeks/months after the move. (IOW report back in the future please.)

I'm curious if this really a solution in the long-term or if the domains are ranking from something in the algo more along the lines of what allows the "churn and burn with 301s" to happen and maybe it's only appearing to be a solution right now.

I've read a number of reports where domains appearing to have been hit by different factors in the algo (including Panda and Penguin) rank initially after a move via 301 only to have the algo "catch up to the move" and tank them again.

So, please, let us know down the road if the 301 solution continues working or not.

NOTE: I have an EMD with no issues. Been pinned to the top for quite a while above some bigger names and way better PageRank, so I'm personally not seeing any type of penalization for using an EMD.
3:48 pm on Apr 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



NOTE: I have an EMD with no issues. Been pinned to the top for quite a while above some bigger names and way better PageRank, so I'm personally not seeing any type of penalization for using an EMD.

Ditto..and make that many EMDs..all ranking page 1 with no problem..suggest many people's "problems" are not due to their sites being EMDs..
4:15 pm on Apr 22, 2013 (gmt 0)



It's NOT about being an EMD. I'm pretty convinced it's about having too many inbound links with the same anchor text as the keywords in the domain name. We have already successfully recovered other sites and we spent quite a bit of time getting the anchor texts changed over to something less optimised.
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