If you have an EMD (exact match domain), you may have noticed a drop in traffic last week. As I mentioned last week, Google’s new EMD filter hit, and like the Penguin filter, it may have hit domains that shouldn’t have been hit. I’m only now recovering from the Penguin filter, which was supposed to weed out low-quality content, over-optimization, and other things that just aren’t the case here. But the Penguin froze me out anyway, and I lost half my traffic. That was very frustrating.
It seems the same thing is happening with the EMD filter. One of my clients has an old and well-respected site, but it has an EMD. Last week, the site got 2,000 fewer visitors from organic search — all of them missing from Google.
However, this site is NOT a lightweight. It has tons of great quality content about the topic, good reviews, lots of social interaction, and it’s been around since 2004 — it’s an authority site. It’s total B. S.! I really wish that when Google does these things it could do them better.
I read in an article at Web Pro News today that Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineLand.com, confirmed with Google that the EMD filter is going to be run periodically, just like Panda. They aim to reinstate sites that were hit that shouldn’t have been and weed out some of the low-quality sites it missed on the first go-round.
To me, low-quality will be squeeze pages and sales pages — one page sites, and AdSense sites, scraper sites, or any other sites that Google considers “Web spam. As I mentioned last week, if your site has authority, I figured this EMD filter would have left your site alone.
Apparently not so.
So, we’ll have to wait as see what else was in play as the days and weeks go by. For example, about a month after Penguin hit, I found out that part of the filter was to weed out sites with anchor text in sidebars. I had some, but not because of paid linking. One was to MagnaSites.com, my own website, and another was for a friend. When I got rid of those by adding the bare URLs, things started to come back.
We’ll have to keep watching to see what the filtering factors for EMD are, but even if you’re an authority site, it’s true — you could have fallen victim to this newest update, too. Check your Analytics under Traffic, Search, Organic and compare your Google traffic from last week to your Google traffic from a week before the update started. If you see a difference, depending on how wide the gap is, you may have had incoming EMD’s too! (Sounds like a SCUD missle or something, eh?)