There are several techniques in the world of SEO and every technique has its own importance, usages, and advantages. Be it on-page SEO or off-page SEO, you will find hundreds of tactics to improve your site and win the SEO race.
One such thing is using the exact match domain to rank higher than your competitors. But, this technique has always remained in talks because of its relation to black-hat SEO techniques also. In this article, we will have a look at these exact match domains and also figure out if they are worth it today and will they still be for you?
Exact Match Domain
Exact match domains are domain names that have the exact keywords that your brand is trying to rank for in Google search results. For example, if you have a business in car repair, then the exact match domain will be carrepair.com.
By looking at this strategy at the first glance, it seems pretty fascinating and useful to use as it will help the search engines to rank our sites in better positions. But, there are several theories associated with EMD that you need to know before you use them.
A brief history of EMD
Around a decade ago, it was easier for business owners to rank their business just by opting for an exact match domain. Just an EMD, little content, a couple of backlinks, and the site would have the potential to rank for competitive keywords outperforming high DA sites.
But as time passed, search engines especially Google got smarter, and to reduce spam, they introduced several algorithms in 2012. After this update, Google was pretty much successful in bringing down such domains and giving due credit to the quality sites.
After the update, most of the exact match domain got ranked lowered and lost most of the organic traffic. Many people treated it as a domain flipping business and sold some competitive domains at good prices. So, on this note, we have one question that this strategy will work in 2021 and beyond just like it used to work before?
Using exact match domains in 2021
Many SEO reseller experts say that using these types of domains as the primary address will hurt your business and reputation. This is because it’s not considered a standard practice to aim for such domains. But on the other hand, using EMDs are completely fine in some industries.
For those who don’t know Google is not the same for all the industries, Google’s algorithm works differently based on the type of industry. And considering the fact, you can also see it’s practical implementation.
For example, if you search for the best insurance companies in the US, you will hardly find that domains are using insurance word in their domain. As this is a high-profile domain and E-A-T guidelines are also there to rank these sites, SEO professionals avoid using EMDs in such industries.
On the other hand, if you search for the best casinos in Dallas, then you will notice that many domains are using the word ‘casino’ in their domain name and Google has not penalized them. This is because the penalty system is totally dependent on the direct impact of business on the end-users.
Should you use them?
Exact match domains can be used to improve your site’s rankings if you use them in the right way and you are not spamming the rankings by thin or low-quality content. In some cases, Google will not put a penalty on your site for using the exact match domain.
But the majority of the SEO experts say that you should avoid using them because there are several other ways of ranking a domain. Other techniques are more efficient, practical, and bring more results to your SEO efforts.
Smart ways of using the exact match domain
If you need to use them for your brand then you need to use them partially to avoid any possibility of getting a penalty. You can add a secondary short word to the main keyword to take advantage of EMD. For example, if you sell batteries online, then you can take domains like batteryhub.com or batterycenter.org to sell your products.
Many big brands are using this partial exact match domain to sell their products without getting a penalty for their site. And, once you gain a higher authority in your industry, it’s beneficial for your brand.
So, we can say that, in the case of exact match domains, it depends on in which industry you are working on how you are operating your domains. If you are using partial exact match domains, then it would not cause any harm to your brand.
In case, if you feel that your traffic is dropping due to the exact match domain, you can shift your site to a new domain and you will still be able to hold 80-90% of the organic traffic.