Have you seen these types of domain names: maryland-web-design.com; AdWordsServiceConsulting.com; pest-control-New-Jersey.com? These are called exact match domain names and in many cases the site owner has simply optimized the content for search engines as an SEO doorway to another website or for AdSense ad use. Google has rolled out an algorithm update in the past month and one half that directly deals with these type of domain names and it has the webmaster world screaming!It is true that previously placement in the organic search results could be delivered by using a domain name that contained the exact keywords you wanted to place on and typically with the keywords separated by hyphens. It was just a smart, savvy approach to getting placement, but now, your site may be penalized for using an exact match domain.The key to all this is that if you are using an exact match domain and have LOW QUALITY content you will hit one of Google’s new filters and your placement WILL drop. If you have an exact match domain but you have quality unique content that is linkable and is your parent company website, you will probably not hit the filter. But make sure you have quality unique content!
If you feel that your marginal quality website came through this recent update unscathed, think again, Google may have missed your exact match domain site initially but has already stated that they will be rolling out updates and refinements to the algorithm update to additionally filter out sites it may have missed, so be forewarned.
The bottom-line is that Google is tightening the noose on SEO tactics for garnering free unpaid (organic) search placement. If you have a legitimate site with great content that has been created uniquely for you, if you blog, and if you actively work on improving your website every month, you will most likely never be impacted by these types of algorithm updates. Google is simply targeting the scammers, schemers, and scrapers. Actually Google’s activity benefits the legitimate businesses such as ourselves by filtering out the scrum and allowing sites like ours and our clients to become more visible.