Exact Match Domains and SEO – What You Need to Know in 2023
Exact Match Domains, often known as EMDs, are domain names that specifically use the keywords for which you want to rank a website.
In order to level the playing field for websites that didn’t have all or some of their target keywords in the domain name, Google issued the exact match domain SEO update back in 2012. We want to assess the function of exact match domains in SEO in 2023 and see if they still affect a website’s ranking in Google search.
There is a lot of conflicting information online regarding whether the impact of exact match domains on SEO exists and whether they are a significant ranking factor.
In this post, we’ll examine the utilization of exact match domains historically and determine whether they still factor into search engine rankings.
What is An Exact Match Domain?
Exact match domains (EMD) are names for websites that contain the precise keyword phrase for which they are attempting to rank. An illustration of an exact match domain could be:
Usually, naming your company after the search keyword you want to rank for gives you an advantage in the search engine results. Even if Google (and other search engines) acknowledge that the weighting of EMDs in SEO is decreasing, they still offer a useful benefit in website ranking to certain degree.
History of Exact Match Domains in SEO
Many companies learned in the early 2000s that including their target keywords in their domain names was a quick method to rank highly on Google. As a result, there was a surge in the registration of domain names that were connected to the services and products that businesses provided.
Up until the middle of the 2010s, exact match domain still had a significant influence on SEO. Exact match domains were once thought to be a certain way to appear at the top of search engine results pages. Google, however, put a stop to this in 2012 with the exact match domain algorithm update after recognizing the negative effects this was having on the caliber of search results.
Despite Google’s efforts to exclude low quality domains that use exact match domains to boost their search engine ranks, firms that engage in this technique still gained some benefits in the search results.
Even now, as an SEO agency, clients frequently ask us if it would be advantageous for them to get a domain name that has something to do with the sector. Many new and old business owners are still debating adopting an exact match domain to increase search visibility because they see how websites using this ranking dominate the search engine results.
In such situation, we advise using proper SEO techniques instead of only focusing on EMDs. In 2023, Google will put more focus on quality and useful content, video content, mobile usability, page load speed, quality relevant backlinks. Gaining an EMD is simply not enough for improving on SEO results.
What Is a Partial Match Domain Name?
A partial match domain name is a domain that contains a portion of the keyword you want to target. Here are some instances of how a partial match Domain can appear in the same industry as the plumbing example we provided above:
As you can see, these domain names explicitly state the services that these companies provide. They look a lot more natural than the EMDs mentioned above.
In addition to helping potential customers learn more about the kinds of products and services your business offers, using a partial match domain can boost your SEO rankings.
If you want to market your business through SEO as well as other methods, partial match domains are a good option. It is important to not undervalue the relevancy signals that a partial match domain provides.
Misinformation Around EMDs
One of the most widespread misconceptions about EMDs is that they have no impact on search engine results. Any SEO specialist working in the industry can absolutely state that exact match domains continue to rank for local search phrases.
Despite this, a number of SEO experts on Twitter will assert that exact match domains have no bearing on your search rankings. As an SEO agency, we can clearly state that exact match domains still play an important role in how local companies rank because we spend a lot of time scrolling through search results for low to medium competition search terms.
What Does Google Say About EMDs?
Gary Illyes (webmaster trends analyst at Google)
Emits the following when it comes to EMDs and their impact on SEO rankings
What Can We Take Away from That?
EMD-using websites are not penalized or rewarded by Google.
It’s quite possible that the website with the best links and content also happens to have an exact match domain in many situations.
After all, many of the websites with exact match domains have been around for more than a decade and have been concentrating on SEO for a considerable amount of time. Consider it this way: If a company was fortunate enough to acquire a domain name that is really relevant, there is a decent likelihood that they have been paying attention to SEO for some time.
Is It a Good Idea to Use an EMD in 2023?
So, in 2023, should you use or refrain from utilizing EMDs?
We’ll tell you what we convey to our current and potential clients.
It is not required to register an exact match domain for your new company in 2023. In any case, it is advisable to give your company a name that is congruent with the products and services you intend to provide.
When we first started, calling Digital Channel “SEO Company Canberra” may have made it simpler for us to rank highly in Canberra, but it would have hindered our capacity to rank highly nationwide. Instead of making money off a website name that can have short-term advantages but impeding long-term growth, it is always worthwhile to consider your best case, long-term scenario.
Consider all the additional marketing strategies that your company will use in the future. Would you really want your brand name to be connected to an exact match domain if you were planning to engage in traditional marketing channels like print, television, or radio?
Wondering whether EMDs are a good option for your company? Our expert advice is to select a domain name that you are pleased to utilize across all marketing platforms and keywords.
While EMDs may appear to be a terrific way to “game” the SEO system in the recent years, we anticipate that as Google continues to weed out low-quality websites in favor of high-quality content, relevant sites, their importance will decline.
What we do
Digital Channel is a local SEO company in Sydney that offers comprehensive SEO services to local companies. With a combined 30+ years of experience in web design and SEO, we believe in working directly with our clients rather than using so-called account managers.
North Sydney, Chatswood, North Shore, Western Sydney, Parramatta, Blue Mountains, Castle Hill, Northern Beaches and all other nearby locations are included in our SEO service areas.
In addition, Digital Channel focuses on SEO and web design for a variety of businesses, including restaurant and café, dental care, physiotherapy, and more.