The EMD update is a filter google launched in September 2012. EMD stands for Exact Match Domains aimed at ensuring that low quality does not attain a high page rank (PR) and rise high in googles SERP’s just because such websites have the relevant search terms in the domain names. Google states that EMD, like the other filters ( panda update, penguin update) will be updated regularly.
An exact match domain is a domain name that contains what would be considered to be many keywords for the website. For example, if you were looking to target the search term ‘digital marketing training in Hyderabad’ you may well buy the domain www.digitalmarketingtraininginhyderabad.com Historically this has been a common practice for those looking to boost their rankings for specific search terms and has led to a multitude of low-quality websites springing up on the first page either as main websites for businesses or acting as doorway pages. Either way, it meant that Google was suffering a spam issue. Admittedly, the figures show that the update only affected 0.6% of US queries, but it was a noticeable affliction on search results in many industries. In fact, the trades were possibly the worst offenders! They produced numerous EMD websites with very poor quality content that would then rank for their search terms.
The EMD update was designed to withdraw the power that exact match domains had in the SERPs so that Google could continue to return the most relevant and valuable result to the searcher, rather than the one with the most keyword matches in their domain name!
Avoiding the EMD Update
Sadly, there really isn’t a step by step guide to recover from the EMD update. You either have an EMD or you don’t. There are a few tips that can reduce the likelihood of getting hit, or possibly recovering from it:
- don’t build exact match anchor texts to your website
- if you do have exact match anchor text, disavow them preemptively
- don’t build exact match doorway pages
- don’t stuff keywords of your EMD into your title’s and metatags
- don’t stuff keywords into your content
If you have gotten hit by the EMD update, chances are you are only penalized for the keyword that is contained in your domain. If that is the case, and your whole empire depends on that one keyword we recommend moving to a new domain.