How to recover from Google Exact Match Domain update

How to recover from Google Exact Match Domain update

You might be here and reading this because your website or blog has been affected by the Google EMD update that succeeded the Google Panda and Google Penguin updates. The specific Google EMD update was pushed online on 29th September 2012 and everyone impacted  with the EMD update can find a HUGE drop in the traffic on that specific day onwards.

What is EMD update?

The Google Panda and Penguin updates from google was primarily focussed on pushing down low quality websites with copied or duplicate content while the EMD update is no where related to that. The websites that were penalized during the EMD update are those who have the targeted keyword in their domain names. Personally, I feel having the keywords within the domain name not only gives an advantage over competition, its a treasure to any web entrepreneur.

On the flip side, we cannot really blame Google to release this algo update because, there are several spam websites spawning daily with keyword rich domains on almost all TLDs that have been growing as threats to genuine content rich websites.

How did the EMD algorithm update affect genuine websites?

I do own one high traffic EMD website that was unfortunately hit big time with the algorithm update on 29th September 2012. The website was the most popular mobile classifieds website in India and was doing a good deal until the EMD killed the organic traffic to the website.

As you can see the Google Analytics screenshot below that shows the disaster caused by the update on the website traffic that really did not recover soon. But aided with some careful inspection and correction strategy help recover the website from the traffic loss.

How to recover from Google Exact Match Domain update

Below are the steps that helped me recover from the EMD update:

Its true that in the process of cleaning up the bad EMD websites, hundreds of genuine and good EMD websites we thrashed but if you feel that your website is genuine and should not come under the EMD affected category, you can still put in your efforts to recover from the Google EMD update.

Step 1: Prepare for the future and Build your Brand: Such algorithm updates can be common in the form of an EMD or similar changes to the search engine world, hence do not only depend on the organic traffic. Ensure that your website is not totally dependent on external parties like Search engines, Social media etc. Build your brand and presence that you continue to receive traffic no matter what changes.

Build  a subscription list, fan page, forum and other backup plans to ensure that your users keep coming back to your website without being reminded or directed by Google or Facebook.

Step 2: Stop optimizing your website for the EMD keywords directly. Ensure that you optimize your website during link building and other SEO activities by using different Anchor texts and keywords – This helps ensure that Google bots know that you are not banking on the exact match keywords only.

Its vital that you do NOT try to rank high for the EMD keywords, while you continue to optimize and promote your website for other keywords that are relavant to your website.

Step 3: Continue to use the old method of building fresh content, great information and valuable resources for your readers and blog visitors to ensure that the upcoming algorithm from Google could help fix the damage already done by the update.

Step 4: Closely monitor your progress, traffic sources and user engagement to ensure that your efforts and in the right direction. Summing up all these will slowly but permanently help your recover from the Google EMD update



  1. samita January 14, 2013
    • Joshu Thomas January 14, 2013