Is The EMD Update Easily Manageable?

Oh SEO, the love of my life and the subject of my dreams. So when the SEO-osphere becomes awash with talk and speculation of Our Glorious Leader (Matt Cutts) making supposedly game changing announcements, my little ears prick up.
  • Those of you who rank #1 for ‘london seo’ just because you have the domain name www.londonseo.org, better watch out.
  • If Google were really going to frown on EMD’s, they would have to frown on every domain on the whole interweb, including their own, and that would be mad.

EMD. Exact Match Domain (not Easily Manageable Development, silly. Although it IS – and we will found out why now). What does it mean? Well, the idea of this distinctly Penguin Over SEO update is that those of you who rank #1 for ‘london seo’ just because you have the domain name www.londonseo.org, better watch out.

In fact, we have been made aware of a number of people who have seen movement in the SERPS over the last couple of weeks, but the challenge is in identifying which of Google’s algo changes is responsible for that change. Is it the EMD update (28th September) or is it in fact because of the update to Panda (which started 27th September and is probably still being rolled out.) To be honest, we think it’s probably as a result of both, but for the sake of this article let’s focus on EMD.

Guy Becker has written an excellent article on the subject of the EMD update, and rightly points out that actually, technically, every domain IS an exact domain. If your domain is www.whyilovetothrowbroccolioverthewall.com, then that makes it an EMD for the search ‘why I love to throw broccoli over the wall’. Sure, unless you have a specific problem with certain green, iron-rich vegetables then this should never be a search recorded on Google (actually, make that 1 search – I just searched it. Top result was an IMDB quote about the 1991 movie starring Phoebe Cates, Drop Dead Fred. Who’d have guessed it? Not me)

Therefore if Google were really going to frown on EMD’s, they would have to frown on every domain on the whole interweb, including their own, and that would be mad.

So what can you take away from this article about EMD?

Don’t panic if you are ‘bestpaintshoplondon.co.uk’ and all your traffic comes from people searching that phrase. The trick is to not overdo it on the rest of the site.

If in the case of this particular paint shop (the best in London, ahem!), you have to be careful that you aren’t cramming that keyword into every available space on the website as well.

We all know that having your main keyword in your URL pretty much sets you up for all exact queries, so why take the risk of Google regarding you as overdoing it? Don’t make the mistake of having ‘best paint shop london’ in your title tags, your H1 H2 tags, keyword tags and your alt image tags as well. It’s just not worth it. And that’s just the on-site.

And with regards to the off-site stuff watch out for over-use of the anchor text, such as:

Best paintshop london
London best paintshop
The best paintshop in london

So really folks, it’s the same old story and there is no reason to worry too much, even if you are our trusty Best Paintshop London co. It really is an Easily Manageable Development. Follow Go Up’s guidelines and you’ll be fine:

IF YOU RELY ON YOUR EMD, just be cautious. Remove the keyword from some of your on-site optimisation. We all know an EMD is reason enough to rank for a query.

DO NOT OVER-SEO. You know when you’re doing it, and if you do, it won’t be long till Uncle Google finds your stash too.

EMBRACE QUALITY LINKS from high PR sites which are specialist in your niche.

WORK ON ENGAGING, HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT. In the post-spam world of Google this is your greatest weapon. It acts as both reason for the user to stay on your site and as a good, long-term, organic reason for good sites to link with you.

I think you will probably be hearing from us shortly, as soon as we learn more about Google’s 3 other big moves:

1. The Panda Update
2. The Google Image Update
3. The Penguin Refresh

With thanks to www.Site-Reference.com, I have provided you this chart which will help all you SEO-ers get your head around all of Google’s recent little fiddles:

emd update graph

Bye for now. Woof.