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


73 thoughts on “Matt Cutts Announces Google Algorithm Update”

  1. This is one reason of many why I’m slowly moving away from SEO. I want to be able to tell Google that their services are no longer needed. ;)


  2. As I DO generate my Traffic not solely with Big G and instead use a mix of social media, advertising, and all SE’s ( most Yandex and Bing), Big G’s Zoo Updates don’t hit me this hard.
    Other Side I DON’T use Google to search the web if ever possible – more people doing so would decrease their marketpower – so spread the word and change your habits ;)

  3. The focus must be towards ignoring SEO stuffs and simply focusing on creating quality content. I am hearing more stories about new sites getting traffic from search engines just by posting regularly. No seo, no keywords, no link building, nothing but simply adding content.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

  4. I have an ecommerce site that was hit. I was in position 5-7 on about 5 keywords, now they are around position 25-40. Not wanting to give the URL, but as an example if the domain was I was hit on keywords like water hose.waterhose,waterhoses,water hoses. Since it had the word “the” and “store” in back of it, why would it be hit if it wasn’t an EMD?

  5. I have a website ” Make Money Selling something .com” that is a 3-page website selling an ebook. Nothing else. Homepage PR=1 salespage PR=3

    For the past 8 years I had homepage #1 and salespage #2 and more on page 1. Mid-September I was #1,#2 and #4 for the 3 pages. I also a few other “something” related websites that had a similar page pointing to my ebook salespage.

    Today my salespage PR=3 is #13 and all the other pages have gone. All pages had title,description,H1,alt tag,img and so on within the code. All are gone from the first 50 positions except the PR=3 salespage so it’s more than the EMD that was in cause.

    Gone from the EMD search but not from other non-EMD search KWs that I am also targetting.

  6. EMD update is one of the worst update.This one git quality sites which were not EMD too.When releasing updates they must double check it.Simply releasing updates making the webmasters scared of it is not good for google and it’s reign as the no.1 one search engine.

  7. After the first Panda update I simply pulled the plug on it as I saw it as a non-viable traffic source.

    Result? I’m doing better than ever now and I don’t have to go to bed every night thinking if big G will be ok with me tomorrow.

    My advice is, if you’re building a business around Google, then quite frankly… You’re screwed!

    Seriously, diversify. You’ll be so happy once you’ve done it.

    James Scholes

  8. A few of my ‘High Quality’ Niche sites have been hit… All the content and reviews were nothing short of great quality. I’m pretty fed up with Google at the moment. I’ve never done anything shady in the way of SEO or anything, but now it seems like a lot of my passive income is now gone as 95% of my traffic from Google is lost.

    A little bit of traffic is still trickling in from other sites / Yahoo & Bing searches, but not much.

    Just because a site is an EMD doesn’t mean the quality is any less than another site. I know there are definitely crappy MFA EMD sites out there, but if Google can’t decipher the difference between good quality and bad they should leave the search algorithm alone.

  9. Even though i had good quality content, few of my websites have been hit by this useless EMD algo. Almost half of my traffic went down. We spend thosands in creating a good website, but this google comes up with some stupid algorithm updates often and wipes out everything we’ve got. Removing some junk sites from the search results is ok, but what’s with sites with quality content? Just because the domain names are matching it doesn’t mean that we are spamming.

  10. Penalizing people for domain names they chose years ago just seems wrong. Anyway, seems like some of my emd’s got dropped, but some are still on page 1. Can’t really see the difference between them though.


Leave a Reply to Mike Cancel reply

Share via
Copy link