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As far as SEO is concerned there are two types of domain names; Phrase match and Exact Match.
The difference between the two is that phrase match domains include your keywords in either the URL or Title, whereas exact match (or partial) simply use one or more of the words in your page title only.
Which type of domain you choose to register can make a big difference to your rankings, especially with Google.
A new update has been seen by many SEO professionals over the last few days which suggests Google's search engine may have started giving preference to exact match domains for ranking positions.
This would represent a major change from their previous decision not to rank without other factors being taken into consideration.
Let's have a look at the evidence.
Exact match domains are more powerful than their phrase match counterparts, if only by the presence of your keyword or keywords in title or URL.
When Googling for 'online casinos', having your exact domain name with 'online' and 'casino' will give you an advantage over competitors with simply 'online-casinos'.
Even though these phrases are not present in content on the page, by virtue of its appearance in (or exclusion from) the URL it gives Google clear indications that they should placed higher up.
As well as this, Google is now clearly favouring websites which use subdomains rather than subfolders to house their pages .
As example, say you own two websites; an ecommerce site which sells t-shirts, and a small blog dedicated to your favourite football team.
If you chose to put the t-shirt website on tshirts.honest-penguin.co.uk and the blog on honest-penguin.co.uk/football you are essentially losing out on two chances of ranking for one phrase 'honest penguin' rather than increasing this chance by using subdomains within one original domain name ( hnp.co.uk).
There is also evidence that suggests Google may be increasing their trust in exact match domains with relevant content , especially if they have made an effort to link towards them from other sites .
Sites such as facebook, wikipedia or youtube would not link to your site unless they felt it was relevant and had some value - this makes it more likely that Google will follow suit.
The last piece of evidence we can present shows how Google has increased its exact match domain (EMD) algorithm and is now considering the age and history of a website as well as other ranking factors such as PageRank and Trust .
This is evidenced by recent reports from Search Engine Watch, which show that there have been an increase in search results with EMDs appearing top.
Although semantic keyword research tools such as OnCrawl can help you avoid using phrases without your keyword, if you already own multiple domains with the same keywords in them you should be thinking about consolidating than restricting yourself to one page which you are unable to rank.
As well as this, you should be taking into consideration that there is more to SEO than just technical optimisation - although it does play an important role in your rankings, other factors such as content quality and user experience are also extremely important.
As far as Search Engine Optimisers are concerned, the safest thing to do would be consolidate your keywords across domains where possible, taking advantage of exact match domains for targeting popular search terms .
If you have chosen not to go down this route however, make sure you take other ranking factors seriously too if you want any chance of outranking your competitors.
If Google's updates continue at their current pace we might start seeing a new era of SEO, where exact match domain names are just as important as quality content.
This would mean that keywords could be found elsewhere than in your content, and these factors would become the most important when you are choosing where to place your domain name.
Do Exact Match Domains Still Work Anymore?
If you are in the market for a domain name that will generate traffic, sales and revenue then it is very likely that you have come across an EMD (Exact Match Domain) recently.
Even if you haven't come across one directly there is every chance your competitor has so it's important to be aware of what they can do for your business.
Do they still work?
Do they even exist anymore or are people avoiding them like the plague because Google uses them as a ranking signal to increase page rank?
Well let's look at this closer and hopefully give you some visibility into the world of EMDs and whether they are suitable for your website needs.
So why would anybody use an EMD and what is the point?
If we look at Google Trends we can see that 'buy iphone 5' has been a very popular search query over the past year or so.
Do you see anything interesting here?
Well if you know your SEO (search engine optimization) then it's probably not news to you but there are tens of thousands of people typing in this exact phrase on Google each month looking for an online store selling the latest Apple iPhone.
To put things into perspective, Google gets around 100 billion searches per month so even when multiplied by just 1% gives us an idea of the sheer volume of traffic generated by these phrases.
So what happens when somebody types in one of these Exact Match Phrases?
Do they get a list of results to click through to? Do they get the top search result?
Do they get to navigate anywhere at all? Well, in most cases it depends on your SEO strategy - what you are willing to pay for or how much work you are prepared to put in.
However, there is one other thing that could be very helpful for this type of phrase - an EMD (Exact Match Domain).
And this isn't just any old domain name either. This is the kind that would consist of 'Buy iphone 5' exactly as typed into Google's search bar with no spacing or spelling mistakes.
They are not easy to find because anybody can purchase them but if you have deep pockets then buying up these types of domains and creating a website that matches the keywords of your target market would be a very smart move indeed.
Exact Match Domains Why Investors Value Them
It's not just the direct traffic you gain from buying up these EMDs that are valuable to investors, it is also about having an edge over their competitors in Google rankings.
Do they have all the right keywords on their site? Do they have them repeated throughout the content? Do they have specific ones targeted at certain parts of the page or even in meta-tags that will really hit home with search engine algorithms?
All these things are important factors in getting ranked well in Google so if you can own all this for one set price then it makes to capitalize on it by securing your place first.
Should I Buy Exact Match Domains?
This is always a difficult question to answer because there are so many things you should consider before spending your hard earned cash on them.
Do they work? Do people still use EMDs? Do I need to invest in SEO services along with the purchase? Do I have the time or skills to build up traffic by myself? Do I have enough money for this investment to pay off in return over time?
There are so many questions you should ask yourself but if it's an EMD that you really want then chances are somebody else wants it too and will be willing to pay top dollar for it.
So why not get involved now while these popular phrases are so hot right now and don't miss out on the opportunity?
Do your research and choose wisely and you could be looking at a very nice investment indeed.
EMDs can be an easy way to dominate specific keywords by owning their exact match domain names.
Do they still work? Do Exact Match Domains Still Work Anymore? -
No, now it is more important for SEO strategies to include links from relevant websites and social media.
Do I need to invest in SEO services along with the purchase of an EMD? -
It's best if you do but necessary since there are other techniques to increase your organic traffic.
It's clear therefore that Google is looking at many different ranking factors rather than just keyword prominence, so keep this in mind when you are considering how to design your website.
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