EMD Serps: What not to be Impressed With!
First, what’s an EMD?
This acronym stands for an ‘exact match domain’ as in when you buy your domain name you think ‘keywords’ ahead of brand and you buy something that is a usual search engine keyword phrase. Like you’re going to go into the cheesecake retail store channel in your hometown, so you buy “hamiltoncheesecakes.com” for an example.
Yes, I know that technically, all sites are EMD sites in that you should always rank #1 for your company name, but the fact that some folks buy domains to try to take advantage of that increase in serps due to the EMD factor is what bugs us all…yet we’ve learned to work with what we’ve got, competitor wise.
Google too was bugged, as they approached that issue just last fall by changing their algo to no longer reflect that major EMD lift although it appears now in hindsight that such a change was minimal. According to them tho, millions of those low relevance EMD sites dropped out of the serp rankings when the algo was updated, yet still millions more haven’t moved their serp positions whatsoever.
So what, right? EMD factors mean default serp rankings run high and still play a part in the overall serp rankings it appears….so why this post?
Ahh…here’s what I’ve noticed and I wanted to share it with you ASAP if you’re an SMB owner with an SEO Campaign currently being run for you by an SEO firm – check your rankings is what I mean!
I was recently given a set of a competitors search ranking results for a domain – yes, one that has an EMD component, and I was surprised by what I found and here’s why…
That other SEO firm, was listing as their keyword candidates, a variety of EMD matches/clones and taking credit for the “wonderful” serp rankings for same. They know what the EMD factor is, and what it entails…and how it boosts rankings by default!
Think on that for a minute. You have a domain like say that “hamiltoncheesecakes.com” one I listed as an example above. You talk the client into allowing you to use (as keyword candidates) say “hamilton cheese cakes” or “cheesecakes in Hamilton” or the like and yes, of course with EMD factors working for you, you get rankings. High rankings. Numbers of #1 rankings…and you bow and invoice the client.
That means that through no effort on your SEO firm’s abilities or skillSet, you got the client high rankings via that EMD factor. The client doesn’t know about EMD factors, so they think “yea…what a great SEO firm I have!” and pays the invoices promptly! Everyone is happy.
But not really eh!
SEO firms that use the EMD factor to gain serp rankings should be very cautious as Google has indicated that they still intend to “de-influence” the serps from same…but untilt that happens, SMB owners are getting scammed IMHO! They think that they’re ranking via the hard work of their SEO firm – when in fact they’re not as they’re getting scammed! Note partial EMDs too!
That’s not a good thing but it sure seperates the able SEO firms from those who use a client’s ignorance of the EMD factor to gain serps from those of us who know better…and gain honest rankings without this scam!
For more info on the whole EMD and ranking factors in general….remembering that knowledge is power….try these great links….Google