Actually the question is whether the exact match domain penalty (EMD) is really a penalty or some type of filter that gives more relevance to content and if your Brand is at risk if you concentrated on a keyword brand or phrase in your domain name.
Google is always making updates and changes to their algorithms, something very difficult for marketers to try and keep up with, yet it should be noted…this is how technology works and a topic that has been on the lips of many online specialists for years. Should you put so much effort into those keywords or build a quality brand and content instead?
Nothing is ever permanent and changes can be good, especially if it helps to weed out those spammy low quality websites in your searches. The issue of using keywords and keywords with hyphens in one’s domain in hopes of boosting SEO has been an issue for quite some time.
According to Google’s own information, an update or change to it’s algorithms as they work to better search engine optimization techniques, makes the searching world better with more relevant results. Over the years we have seen many of these changes, particularly to keywords, keyword spamming and keyword cramming in which less effort is put on a site’s actual content. There is nothing like doing a search and getting pages of crud sites when you are looking for quality information. So regular updates are necessary for better search results.
If you consider Google’s own Webmaster Guidlines, a penalty is issued when a website is violating the guidelines and are enacted swiftly. The latest exact match domain “penalty” seems to be a bit confusing since it may have targeted a specific set of practices (hyphenating domain/sub-domain urls) used by many affiliate marketers which looks like a penalty, yet left other types of sites untouched. This likely is still only an update, but comes across as a penalty when many similar sites are experiencing a reduction in traffic and their page ranking.
The key is to concentrate on your content and your brand, not keywords. Another recent update from Google has been over optimizing your site and content with keywords. Change your strategy and concentrate on quality content instead. Some guidelines on how to boost your site are listed below.
Allographics & Design based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, specializes in web, graphic and social media design and consulting. If you would like to learn how we can strengthen your online branding and marketing or to book a workshop to better understand the major social media tools available for your business, contact us for more information.