Exact-Match Domains – What’s the Value?

by cj Advertising | October 24, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Google engineer Matt Cutts tweeted the following:

Minor weather report; small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.

Exact-match domains are domains that exactly match what a user has typed in when using a search engine. For example, if a user is searching for Nashville personal injury lawyer, the exact-match domain would be nashvillepersonalinjurylawyer.com (or .net, .org).


 {The one constant we can rely on from Google is change.}


Prior to the update, exact-match domains were used by affiliate marketers and many businesses online because of the bonus they would receive from Google. This bonus would enable a website to rank strictly due to the keywords in the domain, rather than the quality of the site or how helpful the information was to users.

The barrier to entry for exact-match domains has now been severely ramped up. With Google’s recent update, they have pretty much leveled the playing field with regard to exact-match domains.

What’s the Future for Exact-Match Domains?

 The one constant we can rely on from Google is change. However, one of the key items in this algorithm change that many have failed to see is the low-quality aspect. Any site that is not user-centric and doesn’t provide content valuable for its intended audience will struggle to gain any kind of traction at all.

A website which provides value to a user increases positive change in user metrics, such as time on site, bounce rate, repeat visits and page views p/user. This stems from a user-centric approach.

While we won’t totally dismiss exact-match domain inquiries, they will undergo close scrutiny regarding how they relate to your overall Search marketing campaign.