Google’s EMD algorithm update focused on ridding the SERPs of low-quality exact match domains.

EMD was a 2012 Google Algorithm Update. This update targets exact match domain names and the sites with the combination of spammy tactics. The main focus is on those precise match domains that were also low-quality sites with thin content.

There were no other names for this update. It went by the Exact Match Domain update.

These websites’ major weakness was that the SEOs would buy domains with exact match keyword phrases and built a site but have skinny content with no value on them. It was effortless to do. It was almost like taking balloons from a baby in terms of SEO wins.

Dr. Pete Meyers published an article before the release of the EMD update, asking about EMDs decline. His attached data showed a sharp decrease in the influence exact month domains had on actual rankings. But the result came to be more rigid than expected, and lesser fields could survive the update.

Later Google confirmed that the EMD algorithm would run periodically to catch what may have missed during the last update.

This update’s primary focus was to target the sites with significant amounts of thin content, providing little value beyond exact match words in the domain, basically the scammy sites. Sites that have more robust brand recognition and good quality content were less likely to be hit.

If the EMD update hit you and you want to recover, then you must follow these steps:

  1. It would be appreciated if you tried to get rid of low-quality content. Improving low-quality content is mostly the best solution in comparison to removing the low-quality pages entirely.
  • A link profile audit would be beneficial if you want to identify spammy inbound links and their low trust signals. You have to engage in a link removal campaign to remove them.
  • Revise your routine to add new customs and update your site with great content every day.
  • Eventually, engage in an SEO link acquisition campaign to increase your website’s trust and authority. When you altogether remove the wrong links, the continued acquisition would be necessary.

How the sites hit by the update?

According to Dr. Pete at Moz, the site that fell out of the top 10 had an exact match domain. Even the place wasn’t precisely spammy, but its only crime was choosing a keyword-rich domain over the branded environment.

Most sites seem to have more signals that communicated things like low-authority, aggressive keywords use, spammy link acquisition, etc. They appeared to be ranked just because of an EMD.

Most SEOs assume that they were weighing multiple factors not identified publicly by Google.

Myths and Misconceptions About the EMD Update

Despite Google publicly taking a stance about EMD update and closing the exact match domain name loophole, the misconception that buying exact match domains works still prevails.

Today most webmasters have good intentions while purchasing an exact match domain. They have better quality standards when it comes to building websites, and there won’t always be situations where these sites are created just for the sake of EMD. Most Webmasters want to stay on Google’s good books.

Nowadays, there is a lesser misconception, and the filter has been in place; everyone learned from their mistakes. The biggest misconception was that Google was going after all exact match domains.

How Did the EMU Update Change SEO?

Using the exact match domain comes under the gray hat because they were technically manipulating the search result long before this EMD update came into existence.

The website kept on using this technique at that time; that is why Google felt it was necessary to close this loophole.

Panda solved significant issues related to low-quality content, but Panda did not do a much better job matching exact match domains.

When EMD update came into existence, SEOs could not just purchase a site with exact match domains and make low quality content and call it a day.

With this update, the SEO was about to get more complicated, and everybody came to know that easy ranking wins for clients were over. Now it was mandatory to plan out everything: from SEO to Content Marketing to link acquisition.

Now webmasters will be less inclined to build low-quality sites purely for the rank benefits. Eventually, this did work well for better SEO, and there were no complaints from Webmasters regarding unfair advantage given to exact match domains.