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Exact match domains making a comeback?

     
11:29 pm on Dec 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In a few niches I follow I am seeing exact match domains coming back. By this I mean some old domains that disappeared after EMD update are returning.

I have been seeing new EMD's pop up recently, these sites have usually had good quality content so I dismissed it as just the site "being good".

However with these older EMD's starting to turn up again I am wondering has there been some sort of rollback?

Anyway has anyone else seen this trend in the last few months?
1:07 am on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Location-based EMDs, such as widgetville-something dot TLD, have been doing extremely well in the SERPs.

(Just this evening, I was searching for tourist information about major city that I'm planning to visit, and the #1 result was a lightweight EMD site that apparently hasn't been updated in several years. It outranked a whole slew of better results, including several "big brands.")
1:46 am on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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By this I mean some old domains that disappeared after EMD update are returning.

Why did they disappear? I've always thought that the domain name is just one factor out of hundreds that the algorithm uses to determine the rankings. How could it carry enough weight just by itself to cause a site to disappear from the results? For if the site had previously ranked near the top, then most of the other ranking factors must be positive, yet you're saying that one factor by itself (the domain Name) completely nullified all of the other factors combined. Please explain.
1:56 am on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle in some niches just the EMD was enough to carry the site.

I have seen sites with 4 pages mostly taken up by images and very little actual text rank. Some of these sites are starting to come back.

These are not sites that are competing with Amazon for the latest black Friday special.

These are sites in profitable but much smaller niches.
12:18 pm on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I so hope this is true. My EMD has been destroyed by Google these past few years.
1:10 pm on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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viral -- Thanks for the explanation. I thought you meant that the EMD is a strong negative factor.

My EMD has been destroyed by Google these past few years.

Maybe this is a case where it's a strong negative factor.

So maybe sometimes it's a strong positive factor, strong enough to override all the other factors and boost a nothing site to the top, but in other cases it's a strong negative factor, strong enough to destroy the rankings of a good site.

But in either case, it seems wrong to me that a single factor would be given so much weight.
1:18 pm on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But in either case, it seems wrong to me that a single factor would be given so much weight.

Perhaps this is because Google thinks there is little doubt what the domain is for if it is EMD. So they only have to assess the quality of the content on there.

It is very likely that the domain bluewidgets . com is about blue widgets and unlikely that it is about red gadgets. So the relevance is most likely there. The quality is then the factor that needs assesing and this is what Google's EMD algo tweak from the last year tried to do.

Having a branded domain is long term a better strategy but short term EMD win as it seems Google needs longer to "understand" branded page.

There is also an advantage of link anchor text being equal to keywords EMD targets - which is more difficult to penalise if the link is with domain name rather than with crafted anchor text. Otherwise it would be completely impossible to link to EMD.
5:35 pm on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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...However with these older EMD's starting to turn up again I am wondering has there been some sort of rollback?

Anyway has anyone else seen this trend in the last few months?


I personally have not seen any difference. I have two sites which after emd have been pushed to the very last page of search results even though I did not do anything black hat. So far nothing has changed.
Google does not seem to care if they disappear good sites for as long as they can kill spammy ones.
7:25 pm on Dec 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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did they ever really go away? I haven't really had any problems with mine.
 

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