Did Google Soften The EMD Algorithm?

Dec 17, 2013 • 8:57 am | comments (39) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google EMDOver a year ago, Google introduced an algorithm to reduce the amount of exact match domains from showing up when those EMDs are not as useful as other sites.

Some at WebmasterWorld have noticed that in some niches the EMDs are back. One said that he is now seeing old EMDs that dropped down after the EMD update have returned, while he is also seeing new EMDs showing up more often as well.

Another SEO added:

Location-based EMDs, such as widgetville-something dot TLD, have been doing extremely well in the SERPs.

Have you seen EMDs come back in the search results?

I guess for search terms like [new york web development] and such, you'd see a nice number of EMDs?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Jonathan Hatton

12/17/2013 02:24 pm

Seen loads of location based EMD's doing well. It is as if the algo hasn't effected them.


12/17/2013 02:29 pm

I've seen this a lot for local searches, coupled with the return of third party directories that Google seemingly banished (Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.). My guess is that the Hummingbird engine switch dredged up a bunch of crap, or at the very least screwed with their previous algorithm settings IDing and demoting bad EMDs. I'll bet this goes away sometime in the next couple months, with nary a comment from Google. Either way, it's kind of scary to think that even Google doesn't know the full capabilities of its engine/algorithm.


12/17/2013 02:37 pm

who cares? Seriously, Your site could be the best darned thing since sliced bread but if you have a questionable link profile you won´t show up for Jack. Google have no authority at all when it comes to presenting the highest quality of anything. It is NEVER possible to show the best websites for searches when penalties exist. Googles algorithms are probably so mushed up with all the penalties that they have zero hope of ever presenting the best of anything. The days of people thinking Google are really smart cookies is well gone. Just a bunch of nerds with an over engineered monster that needs manual reviewers, manual penalties, white-lists and loads of penalties. That´s not an algorithm, that's manual labor!

Michael Martinez

12/17/2013 02:58 pm

"Over a year ago, Google introduced an algorithm to reduce the amount of exact match domains..." Incorrect, Barry. They went after "LOW QUALITY" exact match domains.

Barry Schwartz

12/17/2013 03:01 pm

I thought I implied that. I need to spell out everything. ;-)

Michael Martinez

12/17/2013 03:05 pm

Well, we all read what we expect to see or we miss what is substituted for what we expect to see. Maybe I'm just being too nitpicky.


12/17/2013 03:13 pm

Hm...someone's been penalized ;-)...

Mart Shark

12/17/2013 03:16 pm

There's an awful lot of trash in the organic results these days. Maybe there's a plan to push people into viewing pay-per-click as higher quality - "well if they're paying to be there.." :-) I don't believe you can kill off EMDs anyway - there are too many company name domains to worry about and people do love to click a phrase matching their search after all!

Durant Imboden

12/17/2013 03:19 pm

I think location-based EMDs are doing better than ever. Just yesterday, I saw a location-based EMD site in Google's #1 spot for a keyphrase on my topic. The site has been around since 2008, and I'd never heard of it before.


12/17/2013 03:23 pm

Someone? Have you been hiding under a rock for the last year? Last I looked it was millions penalized. Back to the stone for you my friend. Crawl back under ;)


12/17/2013 03:30 pm

I was just suggesting the tone of your comment sounded more bitter than informed. Most that have been penalized deserve it. You reap what you sow.


12/17/2013 03:52 pm

Try spilling your sycophantic bile on some of the honest businesses that google has destroyed and see how they take your holier than thou google fanboy love lust.


12/17/2013 03:58 pm

standing behind every word Einstein-and-go-go say good for you google kill small business


12/17/2013 04:50 pm

That's complete BS. There was an astronomical amount of websites hit by Panda that were completely innocent. Yet, big brands took all their spots -- wow, what a coincidence.


12/17/2013 04:52 pm

Impressive story.


12/17/2013 05:03 pm

My longest running client was a Panda shrapnel victim. Two months later, they were back and kicking after another Panda update. Also, Panda was a content penalty. I agreee about the big brands push, but please provide data or some studies if you're going to throw around "astronomical."


12/17/2013 05:19 pm

No, they simply never enforced it.

Danail Donchev

12/17/2013 06:10 pm

They are back in many niches


12/17/2013 07:55 pm

Examples please.


12/17/2013 07:57 pm

Could you name some of those honest businesses who were wrongly targeted by Google's penalties?


12/17/2013 08:42 pm


Gareth Mailer

12/18/2013 12:13 am

They really didn't punish low quality EMDs, at least not if you believe what you see rather than what you're told. I believe at the time the mention was 0.6% of queries and English-US at that; another case of Google doing something and then exaggerating its impact to discourage spammers from pursuing the tactic. EMDs are still all over the place. More often than not they are surrounded by high authority sites, yet still manage to acquire a place with next to no link profile.

Alex Polonsky

12/18/2013 12:47 am

I know of several PMDs that are doing quite well in the rankings for competitive terms, and are some of the worst sites. I'm sure there's plenty EMDs as well.


12/18/2013 12:47 am

I actually just saw my EMD pop back up yesterday to top of 2nd page after (admittingly) exact matched anchor text linked the sh*t out of it


12/18/2013 02:14 am

Domain registrars will be the happiest if indeed Godaddy has softened the EMD algorithm. I can imagine how much sales slumped when IMers stopped buying gazillion EMDs, :)


12/18/2013 06:11 am

Yes it's back. I have seen a huge come back for my site!


12/18/2013 06:39 am

Yes, Google did. I am seeing 3-4 EMD sites out of top 10 that are ranking for various industries' specific keywords.


12/18/2013 09:19 am

Spot on, I agree with that assessment. Some muppet above claimed that EMDs are still all over the place... talk about stating the obvious. Listen, no site ranks without a link profile and if you believe a site that ranks well has next to no link profile it's because they're black hat. Pure and simple.


12/18/2013 09:21 am

No. Are you data mining? Do the work yourself.


12/18/2013 04:06 pm

yep you sure are


12/18/2013 06:12 pm

homes.com, trulia.com and every other real estate lead harvester/seller under the sun

Michael Martinez

12/18/2013 07:30 pm

Given the cluelessness in the comments below, I would say I was not being too nitpicky. These people need milk, not meat.


12/18/2013 09:07 pm

Why should I do the work to support someone else's assertion? I asked because people talk a lot of crap about all of these businesses who were wrongly targeted by Google's penalties, but nobody ever gives an example. Just once, I would like to see one of these spammers-turned-whiners put up or shut up. I can play the game too. Stewart T steals from dozens of poor old ladies. Now you go looking for those old ladies and tell me what you find, ok?


12/18/2013 09:13 pm

I don't think we are understanding each other. I was looking for examples of sites that didn't deserve to be hit by Panda. Not sure if real estate is the niche to use as examples. I don't think that there is a single real estate site of any size that isn't scraping the same MLS listings as everyone else in some way, link spamming, or both.


12/18/2013 09:23 pm

You muppet. at least people on here aren't hiding behind a fake name/screen and defaming legitimate members. the police will be coming for you. TROLL.


12/19/2013 03:06 pm

We have an exact match real estate site that is now #1, page 1 beating out all nationwide competition for the Geo keyword phrase like "Florida homes" also on Page on 7th position page 1 for "FL homes". Our authorship image is gone, as many have reported.

Nate White

12/19/2013 08:05 pm

This one worked for me. http://www.quora.com/Entrepreneurship/Whats-the-simplest-website-idea-youve-made-and-made-money-off-of


12/20/2013 02:20 am

In my area of advertising, criminal law, search results are dominated by exact match or partial match domains. Some of these domains don't even have a backlink profile, and their corresponding websites are terrible. Search results look like pure spam because most law firms are now switching to an EMD simply because they know it works. The urls in results now are highly impersonal, simply because its too hard to get a normal (business name) url to rank among the EMDs. About 3 months ago I bought an EMD and built a decent website, and without ever building a single link, I now rank on the first page of search results for relevant vanity searches that are highly competitive. Google is failing miserably. Post-Penguin search results are horrific, and frustrating. That's about as much detail about that opinion as I feel like giving.


01/09/2014 08:15 pm

OK, "churchill". With the exception of Stewart T who at least has his social profiles linked to Disqus, everybody in this particular thread is "hiding". Still waiting for "einstein" to point out one of those "honest businesses that google has destroyed". The only people claiming that are people who got screwed because they didn't want to follow some rules. Maybe they just cant admit they screwed themselves.

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