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Matt Cutts Announces Google Algorithm Update

Google rolled out yet another update on 9/28/2012.

Now they’re going after Exact-Match Domains.

The crack-down is supposed to target low-quality “exact-match” domains.

Here are the latest tweets from Matt Cutts discussing the update:

However, it seems that even high-quality EMD sites are getting hit.

Here are a few comments from site owners around the web…


“Two exact domain name match sites of mine are gone. Both top editorial quality, top content, one has excellent links – in their chosen area they are the best. They definitely did NOT deserve to disappear.

In fact one of the sites has been in competition with another of my sites for the same term. The EMD was far better and it has now gone, the other site remains in position 2.”

“I run a number of EMDs, many of which have lost 90% of their Google traffic after this update, however some of my EMDs have not been hit at all.

Having thoroughly compared the quality of content, quantity of content, design/look and user experience metrics of those hit and those unaffected, I can not see any difference whatsoever.

I feel like the most likely explanation is that human “quality-raters” have been sent to all sites, some gave a thumbs up, others a thumbs down, and these (possibly subjective) ratings have decided whether the sites live or die.”

“2 sites gone. One 3 years old. Ecommence bags site, completely unique content. All hand written. 200 words on each page. I am lost on what Google wants and i have been in this industry for 15 years. Before Google even.

Oh, and Bounce rate good and time on site good. The products are all high end mens bags that are not in the normal stores but Google want to show just the same bags but from large retail sector shops.”

“I just did a search for a two-word phrase that gets about 60,000 searches a month.

There’s an exact-match .net ranking #6 that has ZERO content. All it has is an H1 with the primary keywords, a link to a related Wikipedia article, a link to their twitter feed and a Google+ “recommend this” button with 9 votes.

That’s it. Yeah, really, that’s it. Nothing else. And it is not well-linked at all either. Very few links to speak of.

What was that about “low quality” filters?”

“I know exactly how you feel, the Google somehow fails to see the original author, imagine this- My site is five years old, and there comes one blogspot blog (one month old) that copies my entire posts from three years ago and ranks number one for these while I’m nowhere to be found…I’m shocked and disgusted, have already sent copyright claims but I can’t do this for eternity, this algo is one huge mess…”

“All the sites, affected and unaffected, are designed using the same very, very simple template. All are equally well researched, written and illustrated with my own graphics.

So I am seeing something very similar. I have some EMD’s that got hit and some that didn’t. I dont see any correlations between the sites that got hit and those that didn’t.

Not sure if this gets us closer to answers but I wonder if G was able to determine what is a EMD and what is not an EMD. Its certainly possible, but harder, for a algo.

“bluewidgets” and “greenwidgets” one is a EMD and one is a company name. If someone is not in that business it could be hard to tell the difference. You would have to know that bluewidgets is a product and greenwidgets is just the company. Both terms could even get equal traffic. Splitting those apart is possible but not trivial.

I am leaning toward a general change in how domainnames are treated. Partly because I am seeing non EMD’s hit in the same time frame and I don’t think its chance.”

“I am seeing quite a few non EMD domains across quite a few niches that have been hit by this also. Could this be the latest Penguin in disguise? I first decided to have a look because one of my biggest competitors (brand name and efinitely not EMD not even PMD) has dropped from first 5 pages. This site is a big and old site at least 8 years and has gone. Anyway I started looking around and lots of non EMD have been hit and lots od PMD sites also.

Anyway just a thought wouldn’t be the first time a smoke screen came out of the Google camp!”

Keep in mind though… Google is known for releasing aggressive updates and then drawing them back in over time.

So let’s wait for the dust to settle before drawing too wide of a conclusion.

Related Articles:

Algo Change Targets Low Quality Exact Match Domains
New Google update targeting exact match domains announced


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