Google may penalize exact matched domains

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Google may penalize exact matched domains

Gary Illyes from Google just twitted this:

Google may penalize exact matched domains

So apparently he is the look for "bad" exact matched keyword domains that are actually ranking for those keywords but are spammy in some way or use spammy tactics to get those ranks. He may be checking their backlinks profile also don't know exactly how the folks from Google are "hunting" these domains but if you have any competitors you want to get rid off and you think they may use black hat tactics and also are exact matched domains, give this guy message!

I personally hate domains that use exact matched keywords in their name, never liked them, tried a couple a few years ago but Google didn't really love them too much and as you can see, they still have no love for them in the present day.

I believe you are much safer just finding a cool name and evolving that into a brand than buying exact matched domains and trying to rank for those keywords.

What do you think?


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Oh yeah it's much better to create a brand name and go big from the start with your own branded domain name than it is to get with an EMD on something. Even if you can get the .com of it lol. In fact, if you can, register anyway, and redirect it to your brand name! That is the thing to do these days. Sure it can be tempting to go with an exact match domain. Like "" and Google does still rank by word and take the words in the URL into consideration when ranking a website today.

And it's not to say that you can't still rank an EMD high. In fact, I've had good success with EMD's ever since Google stopped ranking them so high. Not for really high competition keywords though more for low-medium comp keywords you know? In the gaming niche it's still possible to rank a new popular flash game that comes out on Kongregate or Newgrounds or something and then make an EMD for it and get that EMD ranking high if not #1 for its related exact keyword phrase. But high comp keywords forget it! And that's what they're after more anyway is those spammy EMD sites that try and rank for high comp keywords as Google only wants safe sites ranking there.

It's been tricky for them to get right from the start because not all EMD's are spammy EMD's and don't use spammy black hat techniques to try and manipulate Google and are good sites that have all good natural and organic backlinks and the like and shouldn't be punished just because they are an EMD. And Google has known this from the start I think and mainly give that side of it out to their manual review team who can look at their backlink profile and see whether or not they've been engaging in black hat techniques of which they can then give them a penalty.

And that's fair enough, if those sites aren't ranking high naturally because they're a good site, or from some other reason that isn't one that would make and mean that it's a safe site for people to use and it isn't, then it's justified and rightly so. And so it's better to just have a good brand name and go with that and then try and rank that for the keywords you're targeting. However, not all brand name keywords are ranking high through natural and organic backlinks. They're ranking high through some bh stuff as well maybe and if Google cottons on to that it will give you the same manual penalty just the same lol.

Still, it's just better to create a brand name anyway as people can identify and relate to a brand better than they can the keywords you know?

That's what I think.


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I do not like when people try to get ahead of the curve. People put so much time and effort to rank for keywords that are unrelated to their domain. For instance, if I had an online business that basically just sells electronics, and the domain was "", and the keyword was "small electronic shop". I would be mad if someone were to rank higher than me, whilst having a newer domain for the keywords "small electronic shop". This has actually happened to me in the past, and the page was basically advertisements. I think they either were an affiliate marketer or just spammed the page (it was a single) with advertisements to different products. So I applaud Google for looking out for these domains, and penalizing them to the full extent of Google's law. Lol.

It's much more appealing to have a custom domain name, one that you created yourself, other than to have take note folks! Custom domains, one that you created yourself out of words or even a new 'word' has more branding opportunities than "small electronic shop".

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Oh geez you mean like when you type too fast and misspell your bank url and end up on some skanky website? Oh I hate that so much!

Is that what is meant by that exactly?

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I have never thought about this. I have a domain When I registered this domain, I did not know that the same name without s at the end was already registered. Since the similar domain and my domain both are not associated with a website, I don't know whether Google will penalize me or not.

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I wonder how Google would determine if I have an exact match domain in the search key that I innocently placed. When you say spammy, what comes to my mind is something that was done deliberately to cheat the search engines. But if my exact match domain was not intentionally done and it appeared only once then I guess it wouldn’t be construed as an exact match domain that is spamming.

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