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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.
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.
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.
[edited by: aakk9999 at 6:15 pm (utc) on Aug 18, 2013]
[edit reason] Moved post to this thread [/edit]
I am still scratching my head on how these manipulations still work!
Obviously it's a risk, but otherwise I am stuck with my branded site not getting results.
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.
That's not the EMD's fault, but your own. Non-EMD alone will not rank your website.
So it was not so much a punishment but an effort to level the playing field, no?
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.
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?