At the very dawn of SEO as a science, many technology and engineering companies jumped on the Exact-Match Domains (EMDs) bandwagon; and life was good. But recently things appear to have changed slightly. 

Exact-Match Domains seemed brilliant in their simplicity, as they provided a succinct description of what visitors could expect to find on the website. or, even closer to home, were quite popular EMDs for many companies. But have they lost their benefits?

The clever guys at SEOMoz have done all the legwork and collected the historical data that allows them to test whether EMDs are losing their strength in searches. This blog post shows that in relation to ranking, .com EMDs do seem to be weakening.

Furthermore, June’s Penguin update seems to have impacted on these domains and weakened the website’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) results for a few. And although Penguin may have not directly targeted EMDs, the assumption is that by targeting some forms of spammy anchor text, Penguin disproportionately hit EMDs.

Then the SEO Moz team goes on to analyse partial match domain, hyphenated domains and .com versus non .com domains and find causality for the way they are currently ranking.

The conclusion is that although these domains seem to be going through a difficult phase, they shouldn’t be dropped completely. They can be very useful if you have a recognisable brand name that is likely to be used a key term in searches. However, the experts advise in favour of caution and a long term view when including them in your company’s SEO campaigns. 

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