Do exact match domains still rank? (ex: keywordhere.com)

Profile picture of the author Justin Says by Justin Says Posted: 09/24/2013
Simple answer.

Yes.

I haven't seen much of a change at all for exact match domains that I own. The main thing to note here is to have proper onpage optimization. But overall EMDs are ranking just fine for me and I've seen others doing well with them.

I'd like to share a snippet from SEOMoz (or Moz..).

"The ranking ability of exact and partial match domains (EMD/PMD) has been heavily debated by SEOs recently, and it appears Google is still adjusting their ranking ability (e.g. this recent post by Dr. Pete). In our data collected in early June (before the June 25 update), we found EMD correlations to be relatively high at 0.17 (0.20 if the EMD is also a dot-com), just about on par with the value from our 2011 study:

"

"The increase in correlations between March and June says that the EMDs that are still present are ranking higher overall in the SERPs, even though they are less prevalent. Could this be Google removing lower quality EMDs?"

Source: 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors - Moz

I'd like to add on that I definitely see what they are talking about.

If you're setting up junky EMDs with a bunch of BS content just to rank.. good riddens you don't deserve to rank anyways.

But if your using an EMD and actually putting work into it and continuing to work on it... they seem to hold a lot of value and in many cases I've seen better rankings as of late, especially with localized results.
#emds #rank

  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    nik0
    Lower quality EMD's can still work as long as the quality is not too low like a 3 page site that's over monetized.

    I have quite a few EMD's that are ranking well and in the range of 20-40 pages large.

    I am just much more careful with using the EMD as anchor text as that seems to be a huge killer to me (talking about affiliate sites btw), normal sites can handle a lot more.
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    Justin Says
    Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

    Lower quality EMD's can still work as long as the quality is not too low like a 3 page site that's over monetized.

    I have quite a few EMD's that are ranking well and in the range of 20-40 pages large.

    I am just much more careful with using the EMD as anchor text as that seems to be a huge killer to me (talking about affiliate sites btw), normal sites can handle a lot more.
    I think the main direction of a low quality site is one with minuscule content, few pages, no images, videos, etc.

    If you have 20-40 pages.. to be real... that's more than I have on nearly all of my websites that are ranking lol. I usually stay under the 20 page range for most of my websites and edit those pages.
  • Profile picture of the author tjtigers14
    tjtigers14
    Yeah, they work really well now that Google has decided to focus so much on branding. A money keyword will actually be interpreted as your brand so you can increase your "money anchor text" distribution. But you still have to be careful because if you overdo it you'll get smacked
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    nik0
    Originally Posted by Justin Says View Post

    I think the main direction of a low quality site is one with minuscule content, few pages, no images, videos, etc.

    If you have 20-40 pages.. to be real... that's more than I have on nearly all of my websites that are ranking lol. I usually stay under the 20 page range for most of my websites and edit those pages.
    Lol ok.

    Well I found that I rank for much more long tail traffic when I increase number of pages. Or perhaps I should hire better writers that include more LSI type of keywords

    Can you give me some more details about the type of sites that you build? I want to experiment a bit with smaller sites to see how far I can go so some questions if you don't mind:

    - How many pages do your sites have on average?
    - Wordcount of those pages?
    - How many pages without affiliate links?
    - How many images/video's do you add on average per page?
    - How much do you pay for your content, in $x/100 words?
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    Justin Says
    Sure Nik0, I'll go ahead and answer all of your questions.

    How many pages do your sites have on average?

    5 pages with content, 6 disclaimers, contact page, sitemap.xml page

    Of those 5 pages with content...

    Front page is static with image, one page includes a video, another page includes 2 images, the other 2 pages include just content.

    Wordcount of those pages?

    All pages with content are anywhere from 400 - 600 words (averaging 500 each). Totaling 2500 across the entire site.

    How many pages without affiliate links?

    2-3 pages without affiliate links, however I vary it. I've also found that setting up an affiliate link that arrives at the bottom of the content on all content dedicated pages works well as long as it's not intrusive and annoying. It's usually just a link, no image.

    How many images/video's do you add on average per page?

    Max 2-3. I mix it up heavily though.

    How much do you pay for your content, in $x/100 words?

    $5 per 500 words, so $1 per 100 words. I have very good writers that I've found over the years that I've had write over 1,000,000 words in the past 2 years.
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Vick
    Mike Vick
    Do you guys prefer EMDs with dashes or without? I have a high traffic page that I want to spin off to its own site and give it an EMD.

    Edit: NVM, I see another hyphen discussion..
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    Justin Says
    Originally Posted by Mike Vick View Post

    Do you guys prefer EMDs with dashes or without? I have a high traffic page that I want to spin off to its own site and give it an EMD.

    Edit: NVM, I see another hyphen discussion..
    I prefer EMDs without hyphens.

    However.. I have easily ranked websites with hyphens. If you can setup a website with proper onpage optimization, it's not going to hurt you as bad as you might think.
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Vick
    Mike Vick
    Thanks Justin!

    Btw, where did u find your writers? I'm about to try out writers from Elance.
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    yukon
    An EMD by itself isn't SEO.
  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    nik0
    Originally Posted by Justin Says View Post

    Sure Nik0, I'll go ahead and answer all of your questions.

    How many pages do your sites have on average?

    5 pages with content, 6 disclaimers, contact page, sitemap.xml page

    Of those 5 pages with content...

    Front page is static with image, one page includes a video, another page includes 2 images, the other 2 pages include just content.

    Wordcount of those pages?

    All pages with content are anywhere from 400 - 600 words (averaging 500 each). Totaling 2500 across the entire site.

    How many pages without affiliate links?

    2-3 pages without affiliate links, however I vary it. I've also found that setting up an affiliate link that arrives at the bottom of the content on all content dedicated pages works well as long as it's not intrusive and annoying. It's usually just a link, no image.

    How many images/video's do you add on average per page?

    Max 2-3. I mix it up heavily though.

    How much do you pay for your content, in /100 words?

    $5 per 500 words, so $1 per 100 words. I have very good writers that I've found over the years that I've had write over 1,000,000 words in the past 2 years.
    Hmm, that's not a lot, perhaps a lot has to do with amount of affiliate links

    Do I read it correctly that you have 6 disclaimer pages :confused: or do you mean that's your 6th page?
  • Profile picture of the author johnsmith789
    johnsmith789
    Originally Posted by Justin Says View Post

    I prefer EMDs without hyphens.

    However.. I have easily ranked websites with hyphens. If you can setup a website with proper onpage optimization, it's not going to hurt you as bad as you might think.
    I agree. I am using the same thing. But I focus on quality web page and quality SEO. And it doe not matter website with hyphens or without hyphens if you are doing a quality SEO.
  • Profile picture of the author sany00
    sany00
    EMD still works. You just need more focus on your SEO plan because may be your targeted keyword has lot of competition...
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    Justin Says
    Originally Posted by yukon View Post

    An EMD by itself isn't SEO.
    Of course it's not.

    That's why I mention "The main thing to note here is to have proper onpage optimization."

    But it definitely is a factor in SEO, especially if you can create an EMD site with 1 paragraph and get it ranking.
  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    Justin Says
    Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

    Hmm, that's not a lot, perhaps a lot has to do with amount of affiliate links

    Do I read it correctly that you have 6 disclaimer pages :confused: or do you mean that's your 6th page?
    I setup 6 disclaimer pages using WP Policies (free WordPress plugin).

    Those include..
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Service
    • DMCA Notice
    • Medical Disclaimer
    • Testimonial Disclaimer
    • Spam Policy
    • External Link Policy

    I could probably get away with less.. but I'd prefer to have them all in separate pages and automatically setup/rendered.

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