I currently run a fairly large SEO corporate consulting business and also run a large SEO authority site with a ton of services..
In short it is my job to know exactly what is up with Google for my clients and subscribers
With that being said, I have been doing EXTREMELY extensive research on this new EMD update by comparing EMDs that got hit to EMDs that lasted. (This comes from my own surviving sites and friends whose sites got smashed)
Here are some of the big things that stood out to me between sites that got hit and those that didn't
- Not all of the sites that got hit were EMDs. However all of the sites that got hit had the main keyword in the domain name.
What sites that got hit did all have in common is the main page on the sites (Ex: zetaclearreview.com) was blatantly targeting the keyword the domain was made to target.
The keyword was EXACTLY in the title, description, and meta tags. It was also in the content, alt tags, and with ALL of the hit sites above a 4% density
However sites that did not get hit were missing the EXACT keyword in the title, description. (I do this because having a EMD is blatant and powerful enough) They also did not have the exact keyword in every image alt tag, and a >2% density in the content
I truly believe this EMD update was an extension of Penguins on page targets. Basically if your home page is blatantly going after a keyword and the domain has that EXACT keyword...boom penguin activation
-On top of this the sites that got penalized had 30-40% main keyword anchor text profiles. For example
Zeta clear review
Best zeta clear review
Easy Zeta clear review
(adding best and easy to your keyword does not make your SEO any less obvious)
The sites that did not get hit had around >20%. HOWEVER, they also had many relevant keywords like. For example
-Here are on page factors almost all sites that did not get hit had
Usage of h1, h2, h3 fonts
Less than 2 affiliate links
Cloaked affiliate links
Links to major authority sites (for example if I am in the health niche I ALWAYS link out medicine.net and what not)
>2% keyword density
Somewhat intelligent internal linking
(Of course the sites that did get hit had the opposite)
-Here is some link patterns/signals sites that did not get hit had
-Social signals (Every one of my sites has 1000+ retweets and likes)
-Youtube video links
-Facebook fan page (with fake fans and likes)
-Many no follow links
Of course sites that got hit had the opposite. I also did not see any correlation between backlinks and the penalty besides anchor text variation and very few no follow links
Sites That INCREASED In Rank
On top of this, I am sure some of you saw some EMDs go up in rank
The ones of mine that did this have
-Youtube, twitter, facebook pages/channels
-Low exact keyword onpage targeting
-More links to authority sites than to affiliate sites on page
Also think about it...There is NO authority quality site on the web that links to affiliate sites heavily on their home pages. This is because authority sites aim to keep traffic.
Thats a pretty big indicator right there
Finally a very helpful tip on what KILLS it right now
I am not the biggest EMD guy to begin with. Here is how I snipe keywords much more effetively
What I have been doing the past few months is buying PR 5 domains with a good link profile. This means
-10k + incoming links
-Indexed and not penalized
-When you type in the domains keyword, or its name (houston264live.com) it shows up with the top spot domination (when google gives the site the top spot and then show additional pages in a 4 block formation)
Go to Google and type in "Source Wave" for an example. My site has this.
This means not only is the site indexed, but Google actually likes the site
This will run you anywhere from 200-500 bucks. You can also do this with a PR 3 for about 50-90. I also like to do this with pr7s but I have a larger SEO budget that most
I then convert the PR 5 to an authority style site. I make the home page broadly about a niche (acne)
I then make pages on the site targeting keywords (zeta clear review). I basically can rank for anything competitive in 1-2 months and rank almost instantly for non competitive terms
This works so well because
A) You get the power of ALL the links the original site had AND get the trust that comes with PR (PR will not increase your rank alone, it just lets you be more aggressive with your linking)
B)Your go totally under Googles "crap site" radar because your site resembles a authority (somewhat)
C) When you add backlinks, the anchor text profile is already EXTREMELY desaturated because you have 10k links already pointing at the site... You can basically bomb your pages with 100% anchor text links
Just a quick tip for anyone whose frusterated with this stuff!
Hope this helped!