The total eCommerce sales for the last year amounted to 3 billion dollars – and this figure is only expected to increase this year.
In fact, there are predictions that almost 95% of all purchases will be carried out through eCommerce by 2040.
Essentially, this means that businesses need to build a solid presence online to survive in an increasingly competitive market. And the first consideration for this is your domain name.
When it comes to domain names, the two most important things to consider are; it has to represent your brand, and be short enough so visitors can easily remember it.
Exact match domains are the perfect examples of this. They use normally searched for keywords and turn them into domains – directing you to the corresponding website right away.
These domain names can be seen as a long-term investment of sorts; a search-friendly and relevant domain, once registered, will bring in traffic and leads for a long time.
What Is An Exact Match Domain
An Exact Match Domain (EMD) is a domain peppered with the keywords for which your website will appear in search engine results.
To understand this better, let’s consider that your business is a chic clothing store in Melbourne. The best EMD for your brand would be chicclothingsydney.com.
EMDs were extremely popular in the early 2000s, up to 2010. They were the SEO equivalent of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket; granting entry to the very top of the SERPs.
What Do EMDs Bring To The Table? Once purchased, an exact match domain is a highly profitable asset bringing in many advantages. It increases the authority and credibility of your business while also setting you apart from your competitors.
Businesses that buy the most expensive EMDs generally tend to dominate the SERPs. They generate millions in revenue, and can easily pay off the hefty investment that goes into buying them.
This practice has been observed by many well-known domains like Cars.com and Hotels.com – the latter having been one of the most expensive Exact-match Domain according to Business Insider, that sold for $11 million in 2003.
In the world of SEO, such tactics have helped businesses build link networks through the use of satellite websites. This also allows them to further strengthen their domain name with the help of relevant backlinks.
EMDs are built to get as much traffic as possible for a particular keyword; hence, they’re often used by affiliate marketers. However, it is still just as important to build your websites content with high-quality material and proficient optimization.
Another way that exact match domains have been used is for redirection. Webmasters started the practice of buying multiple domains with search terms that matched keywords for their own websites. They would then redirect these domains to their own site.
Even internet giants like Amazon have applied this trick in the past. When you look for Diapers.com, the search engine automatically redirects you to Amazon.
The 2012 Update
Back in September of 2012, the Head of Webspam at Google, Matt Cutts introduced an algorithm update directed at reducing the importance given to keyword domains with thin, low-quality content.
While many believed this would automatically lower the ranking of all EMDs, that wasn’t true at all.
The update sought to penalize only the EMDs that were trying to fool Google’s algorithms by containing over-optimized, low-quality content. Unfortunately, that was true for most websites with an EMD.
These sites were based largely on spam; created for the sole purpose of ranking high and making quick cash. They had minimal worthy content and barely provided any real value to visitors.
Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, further elaborated on this.
Therefore, exact match domains are still considered to be quiet valuable – as long as the supporting website has high-quality content. With the average person conducting 3-4 searches per day, it is essential for search engines to be able to provide the most relevant results in SERPs, and EMDs help them do that.
Since they hint at the contents of the website, users can directly visit the pages relevant to their search queries and find the information that they need.
However, obtaining an EMD that is in line with your business can be very expensive, particularly if it contains a highly-searched keyword. If you still choose to include this technique as a part of your SEO efforts, the benefits are bound to beendless and long-lasting.