Does your website have an ‘Exact Match Domain’ name? If so, Google may have some bad news for you.
An Exact match domains means the search query and the domain name are both the same. For example, if you sold sunflower seeds and you were the owner of the www.sunflowerseeds.co.uk.
Matt Cutts, the man at Google charged with the responsibility of tackling web spam, sent a tweet recently saying;
So what does this mean?
In the US we shall start to see downward movements in the search results of low-rent ‘Exact Match Domains’ sites.
At the moment this only affects 0.6% of US queries which loosely equates to 68 million searches. But I have no doubt that it will be rolled out globally affecting the UK in the fullness of times – that’s good news.
Yes I said ‘Good News’ – Algorithm changes are a fact of life. Penguin, the most recent Algorithm update has had 20 updates alone. So Google’s commitment to re-adjusting the rankings of low-quality sites is constant, that’s its job. So the Good news is, that if you think you might fall into this category, you have time to get your house in order.
However, not all ‘EMD’ websites will be affected. This is only aimed at the low-quality sites.
What is a low quality website
There are many factors which will contribute towards a sites’ perceived quality. Poor content, a site that only contains ads, keywords stuffing, poor user experience or poor conversions.
One way to check how Google perceives the quality of your site is to check the Page Rank. A quick way of doing this is to download Google Browers toolbar So every time you visit a site it will give you a PR number. For example the BBC website receives a 9.
A word of warning, the PR value is only a rough indication of quality. The public version is only updated every 6 months. And is only a small part of a greater search ranking whole.