Is 2012 going to be remembered as the year of Google updates? We in the online marketing world have had some devastating updates unleashed on us this year the major one was of course penguin, panda is still being reincarnated and now this past Friday 28th September 2012 we have the emd update, attacking exact match domains.
Googles Matt Cutts tweeted on Friday
“Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.”
Weren’t the Panda and Penguin updates meant to have reduced low-quality sites in search results? If a site has an exact match domain does that make it automatically low quality? If you have a site selling a specific product it would make sense to have the product name in the URL, wouldn’t it, would that make you a spammer?
Google have come under a lot of criticism since they started these updates. Some people say it is an attack on the affiliate marketing industry, they say the search giant see affiliate marketers as direct competition for Adwords, a lot of niche affiliate sites use exact match domains so this emd update is going to hurt them a lot. I have seen talk on forums and blogs about legal action, click bombing adwords ads and there was a petition for penguin.
Many businesses have been destroyed this year, many people have lost money and they are very angry. What I don’t understand is if these updates have improved results and considering the criticism they are under, why don’t Google publish before and after results of serps to prove it? Surely they can do that, maybe they think they are too big and powerful to need to prove themselves?
What should you do if you have been affected?
1. Don’t make knee jerk reactions – wait and see what happens and how the results pages change, keep a close eye on SEO blogs and forums to see what people are saying.
2. If you have been hit by the panda update, see my recovery tips.
3. Hit by penguin? I have written about that too.
4. This latest update may not actually penalise exact match domains, it might just reduce some of the weight they hold. Only time will tell, you might have to buy a more brandable domain and 301 the old one.
5. Look to optimise for other search engines, Yahoo and Bing don’t seem to be penalising emds.
6. Be more active on social media, maybe start a blog if you don’t already have one.
7. See if you could optimise your site to better convert any traffic you do get, maybe with a few little tweaks you can make more more from less traffic.
Have you been hit by any of the above updates and don’t know what to do or maybe you don’t have the time to do it? Get a quote from me today.