Do Exact Match Domains Work?

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Exact Match Domains

I have had a few friends and family members ask me what my take is on Exact Match Domains (EMD’s). Instead of telling the same story over and over again I thought I would write this blog post and just send them the link. Yes, that’s right, I’m going to let you in on the stuff that I normally reserve for the people closest to me.

My theory on EMD’s is probably a bit unique. The general consensus is that Google is cracking down on them and that they have just as much weight as any other domain.

While I agree that they don’t have as much weight as they once did have, they still by far have a better chance of ranking higher than a regular domain does. Google can never turn this off entirely. Think about it for a minute, if someone is searching for “Pizza Hut” in Google, they are clearly looking for Pizzahut.com, if you Google search “IKEA”, chances are that you’re probably looking for IKEA.com. Google knows this, so how could they ever turn this metric off? How does Google differentiate a query VS a request. If I’m searching for “Bob’s Flowers in Toronto”, and a website called bobsflowerstoronto.com exists, then Google has to make a decision to either A.) assume you have just randomly decided to look for a store in Toronto called “Bob’s Flowers” because you like the name Bob and think if a store like this exists, you would be interested in buying flowers from it, or B.) You are Google searching “Bob’s Flowers” because you actually know a business called “Bob’s Flowers” exists and you want to find it.

When EMD’s Won’t Work

If your website is low quality and has a high bounce rate, EMD’s will have no power. Google has an algorithm for everything so if it thinks your website is junk, there is no SEO that can be done to repair this.

I also see exact match domains not working for highly competitive keywords that have already been well trodden. For example, you can’t just buy the domain NBAjerseys.com and expect to rank for “NBA Jerseys”. It’s going to take years of hard work to rank front page for something as competitive as that.

Feel free to add any comments below.

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