EMD Update Smacked your Site? Here's How to Recover!
 by Casey Markee

EMD Update Smacked your Site? Here's How to Recover!

  • We were smacked by the EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update in September and we are still scratching our heads as to what we need to do to recover. I know we need to make changes before the next refresh but, like with Panda, I need a checklist. Can you help?

Darth Vader EMD UpdateAnswer: As we covered in last month's SES Updates, Google did roll-out an Exact Match Domain (EMD) algorithmic adjustment that lowered the value of exact match domain results in Google search at the end of September.

The change by Google has been a long-time coming and we actually predicted it back in December in our 7 SEO Predictions for 2012 article:

"I (We) predict what you will see in 2012 is a DECREASE in the value of exact match domains and footer links (seriously Google, it's a long time coming)..."

In simple terms, Google has lowered the specific SEO punch that exact match keyword domains have for ranking purposes. On a scale of 1-10, let's say that the value of an EMD was a ten before the update. Now, that specific algorithmic calculation may only be worth a two or a three.

Similar to Panda and Penguin, the EMD update is an algorithmic calculation that Google will run against the index at specific times in the future. Each time this update is run or "refreshed," sites that meet the criteria of the update will be negatively affected. In contrast, sites that have made changes to "improve" their content between EMD refreshes will be positively treated in the results.

To recover from an EMD slap, it's important to recognize first, how badly you were impacted. So far, we've seen two main classes of EMD-affected sites.

The first clas...