Debunking the SEO Benefits of Exact Match Domains

Exact Match Domains EMDsIn this Green Ways comic Archie is making the same mistake we see others in the lawn and landscape industry continue to make over and over again: registering numerous “exact match domains” (EMDs).

EMDs are domains that match exactly for a search query. In Archie’s case, using a domain like www.springfieldlawncare.com to capture search traffic from the keyword phrase “springfield lawn care”, or any similar combination of terms.

There are two major issues with this approach which should make it a non-starter for any reputable green industry company.

The SEO perspective

First, in September of 2012, Google rolled out an algorithm change that reduced low-quality exact match domains from showing up so highly in their search results. Read about it here.

Translation: Keywords in the domain name no longer carry the SEO weight they once did.

Side note: “Doorway pages” are sometimes synonymous with exact match domains. I suggest you read what the Google Webmaster Guidelines say about these.

Your brand perspective

Consumers aren’t stupid. And they don’t like shady tactics.

If a Google user searches for “lawn care service springfield” and clicks through www.springfieldlawncare.com on the search engine results page (SERP), only to be re-directed to another URL like www.springfieldlandscaping.com, you can bet your credibility and their trust in you is on shaky ground.

This “re-directing” of URLs is typical when using multiple EMDs. Google doesn’t like it, and neither do consumers. It’s shady.

It also causes unnecessary confusion around your brand. Is this company in our example called Springfield Lawn Care or Springfield Landscaping? Well... neither.

Archie’s company (and brand) is Greenbelt Outdoor Services.

Brand consistency is more important than shady black-hat SEO tactics that no longer carry weight with Google. Therefore, the website should be www.greenbeltoutdoor.com.

Archie doesn’t need multiple EMDs, even if they re-direct back to this main site. They are of no value.

Friends, this strategy doesn’t work. If an SEO provider suggests this to you – Please!! – run to the hills!

After you have this conversation with said SEO company, pick up the phone and give us a call at (800) 681-9169. Or, easier yet, fill out this form. We’ll show you what it takes to attract smart consumers to your website and turn them into customers (just like we’ve done with these other green industry companies).

Psst... before you leave... Download our FREE e-book, "25 Website 'Must Haves' For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales", for even more expert insight related to search engine optimization.

Ebook: 25 Website Must Haves

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