Automotive Micro Sites and the Google EMD Update

Last month Matt Cutts alerted us to what is known as the Exact Match Domains (EMD) update to Google’s ranking algorithm.

This change impacts the automatic ranking boost of an exact match domain.    For years having targeted keywords in your domain name i.e. HondaDealershipNY.com would automatically give you a boost in the rankings for the phrase “Honda dealership NY” regardless of the quality of the site.

With Google’s goal of delivering quality results they are de-ranking spammy exact match domains.  Thanks to research by Peter Meyers, these once prominent sites have lost their lofty rankings due to the EMD update:

  • www.bmicalculatormale.com (#4)
  • www.charterschools.org (#7)
  • playscrabble.net (#3)
  • www.purses.org (#3)
  • www.teethwhitening.com (#4)

So how does this affect your dealership’s Internet marketing strategy?  Your bets on those micro sites built on an exact match domain just got more expensive.  The domain alone isn’t going to guarantee you a few added points towards your rankings.  If you want to get any search engine love you are going to have to put in the time to generate backlinks and demonstrate to Google that the site deserves to be ranked highly.

The silver lining to all this is that these types of microsites sites often target very specific long-tail keywords like MiamiFordF150Sale.com. Competition is sparse the more specific you get and with the new EMD algo clearing out spammers, a small bit of SEO goes a long way.  It’s like running from a lion. You don’t have to be faster than the lion; you just have to be faster than the slowest person in the group.


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