Will I get Penalized for using EMD

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Suppose, the keyword is "buses in New York." If I choose a domain nybuslover.com is there any chance of getting penalized by Google for using EMD, though it is not a purely EMD. What about NYbusreviews? Is it OK?

Thanks
#emd #penalized
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    There's more to it than just the EMD, it's what you do with it once you've got it.

    Google took a dislike to EMD's because of the crappy way marketers promote (spam) them and the type of content (spun) published on them.

    If you focus on delivering value to a relevant audience, with some strategic backlinking it'll be alright.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I don't think there's really any difference between an EMD and a branded domain these days - mainly for the reason Michael mentioned above. But, I think you could potentially find a brandable EMD in your niche.

    For example, StockPhotos.com is a branded EMD. But, other competitors in that same niche use branded domains such as Canva.com and Unsplash.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Anyone who says that Google doesn't like EMDs is just pain wrong. Most EMDs rank extremely well but not because they are EMDs. In most cases, they rank well because they have been around for a long time and have built up authority, backlinks, a good reputation and have great content..

    Your domain name has absolutely nothing to do with how well it will rank. What matters is the content on the pages, the user metrics and the backlinks.

    The reason so many people think that EMDs got "penalized" a few years back is because Google was giving an artificial boost to keywords in a domain - something they stopped doing. When Google took away the boost they were giving for keywords in the domain, a whole lot of websites with EMDs crashed because they didn't have very good content, user metrics and backlinks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      Anyone who says that Google doesn't like EMDs is just pain wrong.
      Google added a filter to the algorithm SPECIFICALLY for EMD's.

      https://searchengineland.com/google-...houghts-137340

      The patent for the EMD algorithm, Systems and methods for detecting commercial queries, was filed way back in September of 2003, and finally approved a year ago on October 25, 2011. Matt Cutts even talked about how they were going to change the EMD game in a video on March 7, 2011. Is Google being transparent by warning us that they are giving too much weight to EMDs?
      I use EMD's without problem, it's how you use them and being aware of the trust factor surrounding them.
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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

        Google added a filter to the algorithm SPECIFICALLY for EMD's.

        https://searchengineland.com/google-...houghts-137340



        I use EMD's without problem, it's how you use them and being aware of the trust factor surrounding them.
        I am having trouble understanding your point. The EMD filter did not "penalize" websites for having an EMD. It just took away the artificial boost their algorithm WAS giving sites with an EMD. So, my point stands ... they do not dislike/hate EMDs. They're just not going to rank your site better if they have them anymore. (They're not going to rank them any worse because of them, either.)

        Also Note: If you read the actual patent, which they may or may not ever have used, the domain names in question are ones that exceed a certain defined number of hyphens in them.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteNameSales
    Keep in mind that not only is there no penalty, but you'll want to consider the fact that a considerable amount of brand recognition and traffic is a result of either paid or free social media marketing. The more your brand can indicate what you do or what you are promoting, the easier it is to remember.

    Having said that, I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to promote. Is it NYC or NY state? Is it price comparisons between, say, Trailways and Greyhound or is it quality of service? Is it scheduling and reviews of different routes or is it getting directions for best route?

    Keep in mind that premium EMDs are usually one or two words and it's possible you might need to decide if you are thinking of reselling the domain name some day or if your primary purpose is to promote a site whose purpose can be easily identified by the domain name.

    Hope this helps...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    You can choose to disagree if you like.

    There are over 200 signals, the domain name is just one and that alone isn't enough to determine much... the penalty hits low quality EMD sites.


    (Via Moz)

    You can choose to call that an update, I'll choose to call it a penalty because that's what it looks like.

    And it doesn't matter what Google calls it because I doubt anybody here is naive enough to believe half of what they say?
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

      You can choose to disagree if you like.

      There are over 200 signals, the domain name is just one and that alone isn't enough to determine much... the penalty hits low quality EMD sites.


      (Via Moz)

      You can choose to call that an update, I'll choose to call it a penalty because that's what it looks like.

      And it doesn't matter what Google calls it because I doubt anybody here is naive enough to believe half of what they say?
      I guess all low quality sites choose to call things penalties when Google takes away the thing that used to give them an artificial boost. It still does not change my answer to the OP's question ... "no, you will not get penalized for having an EMD."
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

      You can choose to disagree if you like.

      There are over 200 signals, the domain name is just one and that alone isn't enough to determine much... the penalty hits low quality EMD sites.


      (Via Moz)

      You can choose to call that an update, I'll choose to call it a penalty because that's what it looks like.

      And it doesn't matter what Google calls it because I doubt anybody here is naive enough to believe half of what they say?
      I definitely disagree with you.

      Dave is right. Google never penalized EMD's.

      There was a time where they gave a boost in rankings to EMD's. They took that boost away and instead ranked them in their rightful position.

      As for that graph from Moz, I wouldn't use it to back up your argument. Moz routinely puts out horrible and misleading information in the SEO space.

      That graph is a perfect example. The data did not really back up their argument (or yours), so what did they do? They zoomed in on the graph to make it look like a much more dramatic dropoff than it actually was.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Moz routinely puts out horrible and misleading information in the SEO space.
        I don't doubt that Mike.

        All I'm seeing on this thread is a lot of opinion and no data to support it.
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by Michael Meaney View Post

          All I'm seeing on this thread is a lot of opinion and no data to support it.
          Yes. Like your post. Lot of opinion. Nothing but a manipulated graph to support it.

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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        I definitely disagree with you.

        Dave is right. Google never penalized EMD's.

        There was a time where they gave a boost in rankings to EMD's. They took that boost away and instead ranked them in their rightful position.

        As for that graph from Moz, I wouldn't use it to back up your argument. Moz routinely puts out horrible and misleading information in the SEO space.

        That graph is a perfect example. The data did not really back up their argument (or yours), so what did they do? They zoomed in on the graph to make it look like a much more dramatic dropoff than it actually was.
        I noticed the same thing, too, Mike but decided to let it slide. The graph is showing a 4/10 of a percentage point difference but making it look like a landslide. Not only that, but they are using correlative data from their extremely limited data set to imply that the domain name had a 3.6% effect on ranking and now it is only 3.2%. It's like proclaiming that the word "the" is a ranking factor because it shows up on x% of domain names on the first page.
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

          I noticed the same thing, too, Mike but decided to let it slide. The graph is showing a 4/10 of a percentage point difference but making it look like a landslide. Not only that, but they are using correlative data from their extremely limited data set to imply that the domain name had a 3.6% effect on ranking and now it is only 3.2%. It's like proclaiming that the word "the" is a ranking factor because it shows up on x% of domain names on the first page.

          I didn't take it to mean correlative data. The top of the graph said percentage ranking in the top 10. I took that to mean that across all the SERPs they are tracking, 3.6% of the top 10 rankings were EMD's. After the algorithm update, that dropped to 3.2% of the domains in the top 10 were EMD's, which is more or less negligible.

          Who knows with Moz though. Dr. Pete, or whatever his name is, likes to play with data until it reflects his beliefs versus actually analyzing data to draw conclusions from.

          He does science backward.
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  • Profile picture of the author HarrieB
    I have 5 websites all EMD niche based and making me good commissions and ranking on Google.
    You won't get penalized by Google for just using EMD of course u need to keep in mind other factors.
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