Comprehensive guide to exact match domains in 2020

Comprehensive guide to exact match domains in 2020

Exact match domains (EMDs) are domain names that incorporate the exact keywords that you are trying to rank for in Google’s SERPs.

Examples of exact match domains include:


In some industries, people will call their company’s name after the product that they offer, for example, Window Cleaners London.

But in the competitive world of SEO, EMDs are commonly bought by webmasters to gain a quick advantage when it comes to ranking on search engines.

Other studies have shown that having an EMD can help clicks with PPC, given that it targets a particular search enquiry.

The history of exact match domains

Looking back at the evolution of SEO over the past 20 years, having an exact match domain was originally a sure-fire way to rank top of Google.

Even dating back 10 years ago, many SEO practitioners benefitted from just buying an exact match domain, adding a bit of content and getting links from directories and this was enough to secure a page one position.

A new market emerged from domain-name selling. Many entrepreneurs were eager to get their hands on a valuable domain name, whilst thrifty businesspeople held onto domain names hoping to ‘flip’ them at a higher price.

This market continues today, with companies like GoDaddy and 123 Reg offering a marketplace for buying and selling domains, amongst other products.

But webmasters holding onto domains for their potential value has seen the most promising businesses never seen to be made, with websites such as,, offering affiliate sites but not transpiring into major brands.

With long-winded exact match domains starting to rank such as and – Google responded with an EMD update in 2012 to penalize and filter these out.

Is using exact match domains a problem in 2020?

Not necessarily, there is a place for EMDs in 2020 and the right level of SEO can make it successful.

You do not get penalized just for having an EMD and in some cases, you will get a boost.

However, for the larger part, using exact match domains is going to be like walking on thin ice and could make you very prone to Google penalties.

For instance, creating new landing pages becomes an issue and you risk the possibility of keyword stuffing or over-optimization.

Your homepage should be the welcome page for your website and you should have nicely optimized landing pages coming off it and this where a lot of your SEO traffic will go to. The issue is that if your homepage is, using the right words for landing pages becomes tricky. Would you realistically create a page and would Google rank this?

When your homepage is likely to have more links pointing to it initially, there will be difficulty in ranking for other landing pages for that exact match keyword.

However, it is link-building that really becomes tricky.

Whatever anchor text you use, you risk the chance of using too much exact match anchor text – and this is a simple way to get a penalty. There are ways around this, such as using a wide range of anchor text, but finding the balance is tricky and it only takes one link of yours to be shared numerous times to make it look like you are running an exact match anchor text campaign.

The role of partial match domain names

Partial match domain names are a combination of the main keyword you are trying to target and something that is not related. A number of successful brands have used other words with the main keyword such as “hut”, “hub”, “network”, “market”, and so on.

Some examples of partial match domain names:


These brands only use half the target keyword, service or object, such as “sunglasses” or “fashion”.

This approach means that natural landing pages can be created without the risk of keyword stuffing and there is no risk of anchor text causing penalties when the brand name is linked.

Another partial match option is that you take a different word, which is more of an adjective or selling point.

A good example is a price comparison site, Forces Compare, which benefits from having ‘compare’ in its domain, and therefore gets a boost for every product it compares across cards, accounts, loans, and more.

There is also the business provider, Funding Invoice, which benefits from having the word “invoice” in its domain.

Some smart uses of partial matches could involve using words such as “free”, “cheap”, and “best” or locations such as “London” and “California”.

Using the right words by association

If you want to generate brand value, but do not want to risk the chance of a Google penalty, you can use a domain that has an association. You do not gain any immediate benefits from Google, but it will certainly look good from a user’s perspective and gaining a good click-through rate (CTR) will notably benefit your rankings.

This includes the infamous doorbell company,, the dog food provider, and the dating site,

Are some industries better than others for using exact match domains?

Yes, we have to accept that Google treats some sectors very differently and when it comes to very competitive industries such as fashion, insurance and finance, they do not want to give anyone a quick advantage just because they own an EMD.

The best approach is to look at each industry and the SERPs that you are targeting. For some industries such as loans and insurance, there are very few (if any) in the UK search results, where “loans” and “insurance” are mentioned in the domain and they are positioned on page one.

However, if you look at the key term “casino bonuses”, around seven to eight sites on page one have the word “casino” in their domain name – highlighting the importance of researching each industry.

For industries where there is less competition and fewer penalties handed out (and this is particularly in local listings), there is only going to be a handful of people searching for “good plumbers in Orange County” or “pizza places in Brooklyn”– you are more likely to be successful using an exact match domain.

Is it too late to change my exact match domain?

No, if you have started with an EMD and have struggled to get it to rank or have been subject to penalties, you can look at changing the domain and you will still hold a lot of the good SEO you have built up.

Doing a 301 redirect to the new domain will hold 90% to 95% of the SEO value and also have a very quick turnaround time, providing that you have good content and UX to back it up.

A recent rebrand of the company Bridging Loan Hub to Octagon Capital showed that the rankings were restored within two weeks and continued to grow back to their original positions, and higher.

Example of exact match domain sites - Octagon Capital


 Conclusion: Do your research and focus on the brand

Exact match domains (EMDs) still have a role to play in successful SEO and this includes some target industries and local searches.

One has to be careful if they have a large SEO strategy depending on optimizing an exact match domain since this could see initial growth but also be high-risk in the penalty department.

The best advice is to research the industry and see who is ranking on pages one and two of Google. Do they use exact match, partial match or neither?

Either way, Google does not want SEO to be easy and they want it to be earned through other factors such as good design, UX, content, and link-building.

Every time, the most effective and risk-free approach will be to create a keyword-free brand name and build an online brand using good, clean SEO. This should be complemented with other traffic sources such as direct, email, referral and social media to see the maximum effect.

Daniel Tannenbaum is co-founder of Tudor Lodge Consultants.

This content was originally published on Source link, we are just re-sharing it.

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SEO 2020 - Expired Domains SEO Tips

SEO 2020 – Expired Domains SEO Tips

Learn SEO 2020 tips for expired domains website building and 301 redirecting

I cover building websites with expired auction domains and 301 redirecting expired domains with backlinks.

I wanted to cover this topic from a subscriber who asked is it a benefit to use a auction / expired domain to build a website on , and the long story short of this question is it depends just like anything to do with SEO .

Most of the time you want to build a website on a aged domain that does not have backlinks and this is to bypass the sandbox period.
For those reading this the sandbox website period is when you launch a website and there is nothing but crickets but then all of a sudden about 4-6 months in you will start to see traffic if you have implemented proper SEO , this includes content , backlinks etc.

So the big takeaways from this video today is , buying a expired domain that is non relevant to 301 redirect to your website will almost every tie result in zero boost in traffic and power to the domain , however this is the magic , buying a domain that is aged without backlinks will jump start your campaign and bypass the sandbox period in most cases.

So I hope this expired domains SEO tips video for 2020 has helped you and if you have any questions regarding SEO or local SEO backlinks link building digital marketing in a whole please feel free to leave it in the comments below I am always happy to answer.
Chris Palmer Marketing
30 W. Broad St FL2
Tamaqua PA 18252

#seo #seotips #expireddomains


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8 Metrics for Backlink Analysis

We often hear people in the SEO industry ask how to accurately calculate back link data.? Here are 8 metrics worth looking into next time you do a backlink analysis.
1. Link Distribution Ratio
If you have ever looked at, at least a couple backlink profiles, you should already be aware that organically most links point towards a domain’s homepage. This happens naturally because the home page is the most relevant place to link to when mentioning a site. The link distribution ratio is the ratio of total backlinks pointing towards the homepage; to the total backlinks pointing towards the rest of the site. The more balanced the ratio is, the more links are pointing to supporting content. Domains that have balanced Link Distribution Ratios tend to have engaging content. And also link equity is spread more evenly.
2. % of Exact Match Anchor Text
Exact match anchor text is anchor text that is verbatim the query a page is optimized for. For example if you have a product category that sells platinum wedding rings and the majority of the links that point to that page have the anchor text “platinum wedding rings”, that is an example of exact match anchor text. This percentage was used significantly in the first iteration of Penguin to identify manipulative link patterns.
3. Total Number of C-class IPs
Many advanced SEOs have known for awhile that two links that share the same C-class IP address are not as strong as two links that have different C-class IP addresses. This is because when different domains share the same C-class IP it means that they are on the same server. Which can also mean that they are owned by the same person. Therefore links that share the same C-class IP are slightly devalued to negate the presence of manipulative networks. Therefore, backlink profiles with high numbers of C-class IPs do better.
4. Total Unique Linking Domains
This metric is similar to the C-class IP one, except we are looking at the number of links from unique domains. This is a value metric to understand because it can articulate the number of enities involved. For example you might have 200 links, but 145 of those might all come from one domain. Which means you might only have around 56 unique domains. That’s 56 unique “people” linking to your site. That’s a big difference than 200.
5. Citation Flow
This metric comes from our friends at Majestic SEO. To put it simply this metric is similar to Google’s PageRank in that it analyzes the incoming equity of each link. Each link is given a metric and each contributes to a larger picture of the target page’s authority.
6. Trust Flow
Trust flow is also from Majestic, and it also is similar to PageRank, except this metric is based on a data set of hand curated domains that reflect trust. The metric is then calculated by analyzing the relationship between the target page and the domains in the data set. How close is the target page linked to the curated list? Answering that question can help understand a level of trust that you can’t find with any other metric.
7. Domain Authority (DA)
DA is a neat metric from Moz. In this metric the folks at Moz have combined all of their other metrics into one domain wide metric. The data used for this metric comes from Moz’s own link data. I like using this metric to quickly judge the domain as a whole.
8. Page Authority (PA)
PA is also from Moz and combines many of the same data sets that DA uses. The big difference though is that this metric is at the page level. Because of that, PA is similar to PageRank or Majestic’s ACrank. I like using this metric when determining the value of a page in a relative context.