Do Exact Match Domains Still Work In 2013? 5 Tips To Make Sure Yours Do

exact match domainsDo exact match domains still matter in 2013 and beyond?

This is the question that I want to address today.

There are many misconceptions on the Internet after Google’s Penguin and Panda updates that somehow claim exact match domains (EMDs for short) are dead.

While it is apparent that certain enhanced bonuses from exact match domains may have been slightly downgraded, to say they are dead or not useful is pure ignorance. 

A great reference article about exact match domains can be found here

First of all, for those who are reading this that do not know what exact match domains are, let me explain.

They are domains that simply contain the keywords that rank on the Internet search engines.

I.e. if your domain was www.greatdanetraining.com your primary keyword phrase for your site would be “Great Dane Training.” 

Some people think Google has waged an all-out-war against sites like this; however, it’s simply not true.

However, Google has waged an all-out war on spammy tactics and crap content.

Dr. Pete points this out in his work that I referenced above.  Make sure to look at the charts and graphs showing the rankings of studied EMDs and their movement in search rankings here.

As you can see EMDs ranking in the search engines have actually increased though weighting has slightly decreased.  There one main reason I believe this is happening and will continue to happen.

#1.  EMDs are vital to search because of branding and relevance. 

It’d be hard to not rank McDonalds for the term McDonalds in the search engines wouldn’t it?

What if Lowes didn’t rank for the term Lowes?  It’d be somewhat shocking, correct?

So what if a site that was only about Coffee Pot Reviews wasn’t allowed the ability to rank for the term “Coffee Pot Reviews?”  In my opinion that wouldn’t make one bit of sense. 

Note:  I am not saying that the site should instantly be the number 1 for that term; it needs to be the most relevant and should be optimized for it as well.

However, I will say if the site was terrible, had only low quality or duplicate content on it, I could understand it having no shot at ranking.

So in my opinion what Google, Bing and other search engines are wanting is good, unique content even on your EMDs.

So Give The Search Engines What They Want!

Here are a few tips that SHOULD be utilized on your websites.  Yes, all websites, not just exact match domain websites.

#1.  Write Good, Unique Content Only!

Poorly spun content won’t help the search engines and it certainly won’t help your visitor, so why use it?  Write unique content and stand out among the crowd and the search engines.

Within that unique content include video, audio, images, charts and graphs whenever possible.

If you are ordering content for your website from places like Iwriter make sure it is well written, makes sense and passes Copyscape.

Note:  I’ll be covering in detail what we need to give the search engines in The Online Success Podcast soon so make sure to sign up for it (it’s FREE!)

#2. Vary Your Anchor Text

In my courses www.nicheblitzkrieg.net, www.nicheoptimizer.com and www.nbkunderground.net I mention to have about 7-11 anchor text variations and more certainly couldn’t hurt. 

By the way, if you’re writing good content people will share it for you; which will help with your link building.   When someone likes your work and links to it because they like what you have, it means you’ve earned their link.

#3.  Links From Different Sources

You can’t just get it from one article directory anymore.  You need links but they need to be from all sorts of sources including but not limited to; article directories, forums, web 2.0 properties (blogger, Tumblr, Squidoo, etc.) social media (Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, etc.), blog commenting and more.

Don’t worry about if the links you’re building are do-follow or no-follow.  In years past people used to try to make sure all of their built links were do-follow links only.  The problem with this thought process is that if all of your links were do-follow only; it’d look suspicious to the search engines wouldn’t you think?

#4.  Think Of Your Audience More Than The Search Engines

Look, I understand that we need to make sure we are getting traffic.  Some of that traffic comes from the search engines.  However, ultimately the search engines do not need to follow the advice you’re giving on your website; people do.

So, make sure your content is good as I mentioned in point number one, but also conveys a message that isn’t littered with a bunch of out of place keywords.  Instead, sprinkle your keywords in naturally and make sure that the writing covers your topic in the fullest to convey your message.

Yes, you should have every page of your website optimized for search, but keep it readable for your viewers.

#5.  Relevant & Growing

The sites that see the best results are the ones that stay relevant to their topic and grow over time.  Though you could make a 20 page site and leave it at that, why would you?

The best sites continue to grow an audience.  Don’t you want a larger audience?  A larger audience should lead you to a larger scale income because your traffic will increase and so should your sales.

Keep adding pages to your site and keep expanding with keyword research.  A good niche should have several hundred or several thousand keywords (most do).

If you need a tool that will greatly help in deeper keyword research I just set up a couple tutorial videos at the Niche Optimizer website that will help you out. 

If you’re passionate about a topic, growing should not be hard for you. 

This works with niche sites and sites that are broader or topic based.

The above 5 tips should be used this year in growing your websites.  Keep in mind you can use all of those tips on EMDs or any domains as well.

What are your plans?  Your thoughts?  Just have a comment?  I’ll listen to whatever you have to say, leave it below.

As a quick footnote; go try searching for some long tailed keyword phrases and see the EMDs pop up in search for yourself.  You'll probably notice many, like I did.

Image Credit: © Timurock – Fotolia.com

Michael Brown

I'm Michael S. Brown, Internet Marketer, husband and father. I have been successful in business and marketing since 1998. In 2007 I took to the internet marketing world and have never looked back. I love teaching people the knowledge that I have acquired and the ultimate boost to my ego is to see everyone I teach succeed in business. My goal is to make everyone who comes into contact with me as successful or even more successful than myself.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Peter - January 17, 2013

Definitely good tips.

Kevin Riley - January 17, 2013

Totally agree, dude. Been saying this for years. Good, quality content. Build great sites.

David - January 18, 2013

Wow some great tips there..i moved away from EMDS though..mine were blasted by google i wonder why they were all legit so iam building two sites that will combine all my sites because all of them (quite a number) were revolving around just two niches..so iam going to combine all those and focus on these two sites..thanks for those tips Micheal.

Michael Brown - January 18, 2013


I remember you talking about that 4 years ago.  🙂  With all the junky content out there it’s no wonder where a lot of the rankings have gone.

Michael Brown - January 18, 2013


The beauty of it all is is that you do not need an exact match domain to rank and rank well.

adam - January 19, 2013

Hey Micheal,

Thanks for shedding light on this issue. I'm an NBK student; I'm still building my first site.

you said: "In my courses http://www.nicheblitzkrieg.nethttp://www.nicheoptimizer.com and http://www.nbkunderground.net I mention to have about 7-11 anchor text variations and more certainly couldn’t hurt. "

I haven't pass over this in lessons1 & 2. Can you plz point for me where it's mentioned?

Do you mean the anchor texts for affiliate products or internal anchor texts that link to posts inside your site. I think that I read somewhere that the latter is harmful?



Michael Brown - January 20, 2013


Anchor text references will be inside the traffic segments of the course.  In NBK it’s in the 4th module.  So you have a cuple more modules to go before you get there.

And I am referencing anchor text for backlinks you place or get from other websites pointing back to your site.  A variety of anchor text is better than just 1 or 2 phrases repeated over and over again.  That would not look natural at all.

Ejere Eke - January 30, 2013

Dear Michael;

Thanks for your great teachings and coachings. You have taught without reservations, imparting your followers and students with great knowledge. Thanks a lot and God's blessings.

My request, is to obtain your teaching program, involving how to upload and download ebook to ones website. Do you offer that kind of course? It will be great if you do; and many will definitly might be interested to add to their learning. I definitly need your update, so one could offer for the course. plz shoot me email on that asap. Thanks.

Yours Sincerely



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